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COVID-19: Cats, Dogs, Caviar, Here Are Odd Shortages Caused By The Pandemic

COVID-19 Photo Credit: By Famartin - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic turmoil are leading to supply shortages in places you might not have considered.

Among purchasables in short-supply are cats and dogs up for adoption to baking yeast, jigsaw puzzles, and truffles among other things.

When COVID-19 closed much of the economy in March 2020, items that include toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, coins, meat, and flour were among the first pandemic-related shortages Americans experienced.

Most of those shortages have been addressed by manufacturers and supply chains. But as the U.S. comes up on one year of isolation and quarantine, new shortages have emerged.

Some of those shortages are trivial, like caviar, while others are serious like pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment for medical personnel. 

Doctors, nurses, and other caregivers are running low on surgical gowns, patient examination gloves, surgical masks, surgical respirators, and testing supplies, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Here are some other items that people have found to be in short supply at some point during the pandemic:

  • Freezers
  • $100 bills (NYC)
  • Kettlebells
  • Blood
  • PlayStation 4
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Laptops and computer tablets
  • Small gold bars
  • New cars (New vehicles are available, but customers may have to make concessions on things like color and additional comforts, according to USA Today.) 
  • Firearm ammunition
  • Yellow Tang fish
  • Bicycles
  • Thick canvas
  • Swimming pools
  • Children's desks
  • And propane.

To help cope with the shortages, some people have created private shopping groups on Facebook to communicate when hard-to-find items have been located. Right now, many of those pages are having discussions about where to find disinfectant, antibacterial hand soap, and laundry detergent.

Many of the COVID-19-related shortages are being driven by new realities, according to people who track supply and demand chains

More people are forced to stay home and there are fewer places to go, which means more people are investing in having fun at home, setting up their work-from-home or school-from-home offices, getting into new hobbies, cooking, and going for drives/bike rides.

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