COVID-19: Shortage on Necessities

COVID-19: Shortage on Necessities

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed countless aspects of our daily lives, even how we do business. With those changes happening, News Center 7 is continuing to hear from viewers concerned about whether they'll impact how we get and buy essential things, like food, and if the supply chain can keep up going forward.

This public health emergency has led to a new normal for all of us. That includes small business owner, Troy Davis and his wife, Teresa, who live in Union. "I think a lot of people like routine -- I do -- and getting up and getting uncertainty of what are you going to do that day is has been difficult to adjust to," Troy said. Teresa added, "(It's) not being able to go out and do the things that you're used to doing. And when you do go to do something outside the home it's caution."

Content Continues Below

The pandemic has changed how all kinds of industries are doing things. Banking looks different these days, telemedicine and telecommuting are more prominent. Students are learning online. In some cases, manufacturers are changing what they do to help supply items needed in this emergency. And more folks are taking advantage of pick-up groceries and delivery.

Worship is going digital. "Church services we do all through Zoom online so we get to still kind of visit with people that way," said Aspen King from the Village of De Graff in Logan County. And online shopping is more prominent than ever. "I online shop for the kids," said Chelsea Davis, a single mother of three from Dayton. "Obviously it's been getting warmer so they need spring clothes."

With online business models become so popular, News Center 7 asked supply chain expert and Jet Express, Inc. President, Kevin Burch, how that affects us getting the stuff we want in stores? The trucking company president said empty shelves are sometimes the result of people panic-buying or hoarding. "There's a disruption in there and that's because we don't have inventory anymore," Burch said.

But for perspective, there's also been reporting on the difference between what we did before the stay at home order -- like using toilet paper we personally bought at home along with using the stuff supplied to us at work or businesses. During the stay-at-home order, most of us were only using what we bought.

The increased volume of online shopping means more vans and smaller trucks dropping things on your doorstep after truckers get the stuff to distribution centers. "It's just the volume has increased," Burch said, when asked about how many more people are getting things delivered to their doorsteps from online shopping. "A lot more people are getting that. But rest assured, just be patient because the supply chain is working."

Burch says, it's actually the people who make the stuff those drivers deliver that could play the biggest role in supply chain concerns if they get sick with COVID-19. "There's been a shortage of workers at some of the manufacturing plants and we're starting to see that now," Burch said. "If we get to this apex hopefully, we'll see less and less cases and we'll get back to normal."

Jeff Hoagland, the President and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition, says the transformative changes businesses have already made will continue adapting to find what a new normal actually means. "There are efficiencies in how we operate now," Hoagland said. He added business will be working to learn, "what are some of the technologies or tools that we can use going forward that we're using now that are more efficient and more effective?"

Back in Union, as Troy Davis waits to see the pandemic’s long-term economic impact on his small business, he thinks it will, at the very least, lead to a heightened awareness of public health as our new normal evolves. “I think there’s going to be a new normal for people hopefully a year or so from now the masks and such won’t have to be as routine as they are now. I think there’s definitely gonna be a change,” Davis said.