The spread of the novel coronavirus has impacted almost every aspect of our lives and may continue to affect us after the pandemic has subsided. Across the globe, the safety protocols enforced by governments have protected our health, but the restrictions have also contributed to the limited availability of important resources. Although we had very little warning before taking on these new health policies, workplace requirements, and lifestyle adjustments, people everywhere must prepare for the prolonged effects.
Changing Demands are Shifting Priorities
The widespread shutdowns and stay-at-home orders have caused many people to adopt new shopping habits, which include stocking up on essential items. Increased bulk-buying and stockpiling have taken a toll by depleting local store inventories and leaving some resources unavailable until the next shipment supply. For those who are venturing into communal spaces as infrequently as possible, this could mean going without certain supplies indefinitely.
Business shutdowns and social distancing have created a shift (and rightfully so) in resource priorities. Luxury items fall to the background as health-safety items become more coveted than ever. However, this means that the health-safety items that are mandatory for essential workers to continue doing their part are also being sought after by those who could do without them. Essential workplaces have had to find a balance between meeting common needs and protecting their own staff. These increasing demands can’t be easily met when suppliers are also trying to incorporate safe health practices in the workplace.
Obstacles in Production, Transportation, and Access
The health and safety protocols required to hinder the spread of COVID-19 have called for decreased physical contact and exposure. As a result, employers have adjusted shifts and work hours in addition to mandating the use of protective gear and equipment. These many changes have meant that businesses involved in supply chains must reduce their staff, which can slow the rate of production. Even when production stays on track, global travel restrictions have prevented some resources and supplies from reaching their destination entirely, creating the need for alternative resources and for other suppliers to take on additional roles.
Helpful Practices to Lessen the Strain
The most important thing for us to do on an individual level is to follow health and safety guidelines. This way, we can prevent the spread of the virus and prevent prolonging the resulting issues. The next thing we can do is live in moderation. Preparing for uncertainty is wise, but repeatedly stocking up on items that you already have or rarely need can prevent others from accessing resources. And finally, introducing alternative resources or behaviors into your life now can help you to prepare for uncertainty in the future. Look for locally sourced food, learn to make certain necessities at home, and take advantage of opportunities for independence. For example, even something like switching to an alternative energy source like solar power can reduce your dependence on outside sources.
As we see global restrictions lifting, it’s imperative to make sure that health and safety are a priority.