The disruption to the world economy from COVID-19 restrictions is set to continue despite the gradual lifting of restrictions in some locations. The effect these restrictions have had (and will continue to have) on the supply of goods is so extreme it is hard to quantify as nothing similar has happened in recent history. It is also reasonable to expect that there will be shortages of many goods we rely on, including supplements and medications.

Delays

Orders heading outside the US are severely delayed to most destinations, some taking longer than 8 weeks, and there are 111 countries right now that USPS cannot deliver to at all. FedEx is still the most reliable option as they have their own network of planes, but they have also restricted the number of destinations they will deliver to, and increased prices.

Shortages

Will there be shortages of essential goods? The short answer is yes. The goods that we see in the supermarket, retail store, or online are there after a long process of acquiring, manufacturing, and distributing which can take many months. Any shortages we are seeing now are likely to be small compared to what may happen later in 2020 and through 2021 as the damage to supply chains is fully materialized.

How can you prepare?

After choosing which items are essential, it is best to have enough for at least several months and think about alternative sources in case supply is no longer available. How many of these items can be sourced locally? Can they be substituted for something else? Can they be rationed? It is very important to create a plan B for sourcing the goods you rely on most, especially if the goods need to be sourced from another county.