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Move over, toilet paper and make room for pepper. Really. Pepper. The pandemic just keeps giving … or in this case, taking away. In the spring of 2020 we collectively lost our minds about toilet paper and hand sanitizer and bought everything on the shelf. Well, the global crisis is winding down, only to pour salt in our wounds with continued shortages. And we’re not talking about employees or the gas crisis caused by hackers of the Colonial pipeline. (Seriously, that’s not a thing for Florida; our gas comes on shipping tankers. Please, stop panic-buying.) 

The list is funny, but the real-world problems are not. 

Some of the shortages are being caused by supply chain disruptions — i.e., manufacturers that closed or scaled back during the pandemic and underestimated demand, such as the lumber and steel industries. That chip your new washing machine needs? Turns out the supply of semiconductor materials needed to build it is delayed. That’s worrisome because the typical mine takes about 16 years to develop to the point it can supply raw materials. Heinz is 12 billion ketchup packets behind the eight-ball due to the rise in takeout orders when dining rooms closed. Other markets are being affected by shipping; according to one industry report about 25% of the U.S. fleet is parked because there are not enough drivers.  

So, what else? We polled business owners and managers and here’s what’s missing in the Keys:
Kate Koler: Cake cones.
Jasmyn Carver: Linens, blenders, coffee makers, frying pans, towels.
Carolyn Anthony: Ketchup, horseradish.
Danette Baso Silvers: Nikon products.
Rachel Bowman: Liquor. (“Last week I couldn’t order Crown Royal. This week, it’s Patron. And Hennessy shortage is a big issue too.”)
Bette Zirkelbach: 1 cc Luer Lock syringes.
Carol Tedesco: Silver coins (“I guess I can’t blame COVID-19 for the lack of recent discoveries of silver Spanish colonial coins on shipwreck sites. Or can I?”)
Chef “Flavor” Stanton: Nitrile gloves (“The prices have gone from $7 a box to $34!”)
Dion Watson: Roofing supplies (“Some are not available for 60 to 90 days, and what is available has risen in price anywhere from 40 to 60%”).
Leanys Carlson: Yetis, fishing boots. 
Mark Senmartin: Guns and ammo.
Rachel Daniels: Paint, fiberglass filters, AC filters, kitchen appliances.
Aaron Osters: Trap wire, aluminum, watersports gear, fish hooks, chlorine.
Chanice Dos Santos: Chlorine.
Scott Newton: Amplifiers, speakers, routers, cameras.
Todd Childress: PVC pipe. (“The supply is getting bad and most has doubled or tripled in price from a year ago.”)
Baelee Pettry: Tackle.
Blair Shiver: Black pepper.
Chelsey Torres: Chlorine and rubber gloves.
Chris Bryk: Electrical meter cans.
Tiffany Duong: Dive regulator parts. (“Dive shops in the Keys couldn’t get parts to do regulator service for months. Still looooong wait times.”)
Nicole Grego: Tires.
Shannon Gershowitz Silva: Boxes.
Elise Mucha Reid: Old Bay spice.
Danielle Lebo: Imported flowers. 

The takeaway here is that we should kiss all the truckers, share and amp up our kindness and understanding and pass the ketchup.

The post MOVE OVER TOILET PAPER, NOW WE’RE RUNNING OUT OF PEPPER appeared first on Florida Keys Weekly Newspapers.

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