15 Products That May Become Difficult to Find Due to Coronavirus

The global supply chain is more interconnected than ever before, so economic conditions in one region can have effects around the world. With coronavirus already popping up in so many different countries, a variety of common products have already been affected.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most popular items that may be hard to find in some areas as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s tough to tell how long the virus will continue to affect the supply chain, so it may be weeks or months before things go back to normal.

1. Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is a convenient way to sterilize your hands, especially in situations where you don’t have access to soap and water. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that so many people started stocking up. You may have trouble finding hand sanitizer at a store near you.

Similarly, availability has dramatically decreased on Amazon and other online retailers. While it’s good to have some on hand, keep in mind that washing your hands is generally more effective.

It’s also just as convenient if you’re spending most of your time at home.

2. Masks

Experts recommend wearing a mask while in public, particularly if you live in an area affected by COVID-19.

People can spread coronavirus without showing symptoms, so you could be a vector even if you don’t think you’re infected.

Unfortunately, masks and hand sanitizer became valuable commodities in a relatively short period of time. If you don’t have access to a disposable mask, it’s still worth using a cloth covering in order to minimize the risk of transmitting the illness.

3. iPhones

While there’s no official word from Apple on the status of the iPhone 12, early reports indicate that the model’s release will likely be delayed by a month or more.

In fact, we may not see the iPhone 12 on shelves until early 2021 depending on how the economy responds in the next several months.

Along with the release of the newest model, other iPhones and mobile devices may see decreases in production as a result of COVID-19.

Other brands will also be affected, while others may be producing phones as usual. Businesses in tech and other fields will likely review their supply chain practices due to the weaknesses exposed by coronavirus.

4. Nintendo Switch

Nintendo first announced issues with production in February, and shipments are still being affected in April. The Switch is primarily manufactured in China, where the coronavirus outbreak started.

Demand has increased with more people staying home, making the console even more difficult to find.

On the other hand, recent news has claimed that Nintendo is trying to bring production back up to respond to higher levels of demand. It could take a few weeks or longer for these changes to reach consumers, so don’t be shocked if Switch consoles are sold out at physical and online retailers for most or all of April.

5. Toiletries

Toilet paper was one of the first items to disappear from store shelves following news about coronavirus, and many other common household products are manufactured in China or use Chinese suppliers. Availability will vary depending on your location and the brand in question.

If you live in an area that has been affected by coronavirus, you should consider stocking up on some extra essentials in case you have trouble finding anything later. While you should be able to get everything you need, it may not be as convenient or reliable as before COVID-19.

6. Alcohol

Coronavirus has already been linked to decreased production of beer, wine, and spirits, and the effects are likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Corona, for example, has already suspended production, and the head of Suntory, a Japanese producer of beer and liquor, expressed similar concerns at the beginning of March.

Of course, alcohol production isn’t limited to the largest companies—small businesses around the United States are in need of support. If you’re looking for alcohol during coronavirus, consider buying from a local brewery, distillery, or winery that may be experiencing diminished demand.

7. Tires

Goodyear, Bridgestone, and other manufacturers have announced temporary production shutdowns in response to coronavirus. While they expect to resume in the near future, it’s impossible to predict how long it will take for production levels to return to normal.

Bridgestone, for example, restarted some production in North America on April 13th, but some operations will be halted until the beginning of May. As long as these interruptions are relatively short, they shouldn’t have a major impact on tire availability in your area.

8. Virtual Reality Headsets

Virtual reality was a niche field up until the last few years, but it has started to break through with PS VR, Oculus Quest, and other popular headsets. Like many other products, virtual reality headsets have experienced both an increase in demand and a decrease in supply due to COVID-19.

VR is a popular way to escape from quarantine, as Facebook Oculus Quest headsets were sold out in many locations at the beginning of March. Availability may be unpredictable over the next few months, and shipping could take longer if you buy a VR headset online.

9. Thermometers

Fevers are among the most common symptoms of coronavirus, so a thermometer is the easiest way to tell if you might be infected. Thermometers were one of the first products to be affected by coronavirus, and manufacturers and distributors are still struggling to meet demand.

If you don’t have a thermometer on hand, call some local stores to see if they have any in stock. Fortunately, you should still be able to find them on Amazon, although shipping may take longer than the usual two days.

It’s worth buying a thermometer as soon as possible, even if you don’t think you’re currently at risk for the illness.

10. Medicine

The Food and Drug Administration announced a medicine shortage near the end of February, but they didn’t include the name of the drug in question. Since then, people around the country have had trouble finding a wide range of medicines.

Unsurprisingly, panic buying has contributed to these shortages as much as problems in the supply chain or increases in the real need for these drugs. While you shouldn’t put your safety at risk, keep in mind that stocking up could make it more difficult for others to get the medicine they need.

11. Diet Coke and Coke Zero

Diet Coke and Coke Zero are both manufactured with artificial sweeteners, and the outbreak of COVID-19 has led to supply delays. Around the end of February, Coca-Cola announced potential shortages depending on how the pandemic continues to impact supply chains in the near future.

While the company has backup ingredients to cover temporary delays, these may not last long enough to cover the months ahead. These issues don’t appear to have affected the availability of sugar or corn syrup, so any shortages will disproportionately impact sugar-free sodas.

12. Computers

Coronavirus has put pressure on the supply chain for CPUs and other critical parts, with Dell announcing shortages in February. More people are working from home than ever, making computers a vital resource for millions of Americans.

Along with Apple and Dell, other manufacturers including Lenovo have reported delays, particularly on parts that are sourced from China. These slowdowns could continue to impact the availability of both desktops and laptops for the foreseeable future, especially given that tech companies rely on China for a wide range of supplies.

13. Webcams, Keyboards, and Other Accessories

Logitech, one of the largest producers of computer accessories, recently announced an increase in production to match higher demand for webcams and other tools due to COVID-19. People who used work computers and equipment now need to buy those items on their own, and manufacturers are struggling to produce enough units.

Furthermore, Logitech also reported potential delays in new releases, so it may take longer for upcoming products to launch. Many webcams in particular are out of stock on Amazon and other online retailers, including both Logitech models and devices from other brands.

14. Sneakers

Nike is one of numerous private companies currently producing personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, and it’s not the only sneaker brand with factories in China. Adidas has already reported a substantial drop in sales along with problems in the supply chain.

With so much of the production process taking place in China, it’s hard to predict how long it will take for Adidas, Nike, and other brands to overcome the COVID-19 outbreak and resume production as normal. They could also be affected by a reduction in demand with most people spending money on necessities rather than athletic gear.

15. Clothing

Like sneakers and athletic apparel, conventional fashion sources many products and supplies from China. This dynamic has led retailers around the country to experience delays and shortages, which could last through the rest of 2020 or even longer.

Gap, Abercrombie and Fitch, and other brands have already announced decreased earnings. Nobody knows when factories in China or other areas affected by coronavirus will be able to reopen,


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