Along with sickening and killing millions and putting stress on health care systems around the world, it’s now widely known that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted access to items people use in their daily lives. From lumber to books to microchips, the economics of Covid-19 resulted in a mass shortage of goods.
In 2020, manufacturers halted production to put Covid-19 safety precautions in place. But between safeguards, vaccine obstacles, and the delta variant, the timeline for factories to get back on track is still uncertain in 2021. The Biden administration has attempted to lessen the impact of these stressors by requiring the Port of Los Angeles — one of the largest port systems in the US — to operate 24/7.
However, this single change is unlikely to undo problems that one expert says are 40 years in the making.
“We allowed supply chains to get away without having contingencies in place, resiliencies in place, and other measures to ensure humanity would never be subjected to this,” Nick Vyas, the director of the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Southern California, told Recode.
Some are suggesting shoppers adapt by buying less, but as the holiday season approaches, this may be tough for consumers. Even if consumer behavior changes, experts say Covid-19’s effect on the global supply chain will be here long after countries “return to normal.”