I was at Walmart yesterday — and I noticed something…
I’m not saying for sure that what I saw is directly related to the emerging COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic and increasing awareness. But it could be (and probably is). We’re going to start seeing lots more of this in the not so distant future in my opinion…
Yes (in case you were wondering), I do take precautions when out in public these days, given the unfolding Coronavirus pandemic. Consciously not touching things — not touching face in any way with my hands (easier said than done) — keeping distance from others as reasonable — immediately disinfecting when I get back to the vehicle…
Going To Walmart During Pandemic? What?!
First though, you might wonder (because I run this preparedness blog) — what am I doing out at a Walmart during this time of potential infection with coronavirus? Am I not hunkered down in my fortified rural castle waiting this thing out?
My ears are to the ground, so to speak… listening for the rumble of the coming train. It is coming (unless my ears are hearing something else).
But to the best of my knowledge it’s not at my location yet. Though I do know that the virus can be shed (contagion) while asymptomatic for days up to as long as 3 weeks (that’s crazy! ..and very alarming).
I’m not at my ‘castle’ at this time. So I’ve been preparing (just in case) at my current location. And that has involved procuring supplies.
I’m prepping to have enough for a 90-day isolation scenario at my temporary location (again, just in case). The purpose is to have enough here, so that I don’t have to go out to “the store” to get “more” (if I feel it’s time to pull the plug). If I don’t need to implement my fall-back plan, then I bring those consumables home. Nothing lost. It will get used. At this point, I’m pretty much set…
Walmart Shortages | Because of Pandemic?
With that said, I’ve made some Walmart runs. And this last one, yesterday, was somewhat interesting.
I went to get MORE toilet paper (can you ever have enough?). I also wanted to stock up a bit more with Ibuprofen (aka ‘Advil’), and to pick up a few more First Aid supplies for my kit at this location.
Anyway, my first stop was the section with over-the-counter medicines. I’m not kidding when I tell you that the shelve sections for Advil / Ibuprofen / Tylenol, etc., were nearly empty! You know how they have generic Ibuprofen? All but just a few bottles were gone. And that was a lot of shelf space. Empty.
This particular Walmart is a ‘Super Walmart’ in a busy area.
I then looked over at the shelves for “Airborne” (immune system booster) — because I wanted to pick up another few bottles of ‘gummies’ while I was there. There wasn’t much left! Then, just for grins, I checked for their Elderberry gummies. They were almost gone. Other stock spaces in the general area seemed low too.
Okay, maybe that was just a coincidence. Seriously, maybe it was. I don’t know.
Then I go over to the TP aisle (the reason for going there). I’m talking a significant linear distance of shelves designated for various brands and packs of toilet paper. I estimate that the entire space was about 2/3 empty! At a Super Walmart.
Ohkeydoekey then… hmmm…
Coronavirus Information Being Managed
I believe with near certainty that mainstream information about COVID-19 Coronavirus is being carefully MANAGED. It’s logical to do that. Though I disagree with the notion of hiding information from us (which I believe they are).
I have also noticed that mainstream news media has been slowly ramping up reporting about Coronavirus pandemic. And as more of mainstream America becomes aware of this, and as more of them get “switched on” like a light bulb, there is going to be a run on food and supplies.
Shortages Already Happening
IT’S ALREADY HAPPENING.
Even if what I saw yesterday was an anomaly, I know for a FACT that ALL preparedness food companies are SLAMMED with orders. There a big delays on shipments, RIGHT NOW.
There has been a massive surge of ordering long term storage foods (and other supplies). Prices have, and are, going up due to supply demand. People are waking up. And SUPPLY CHAINS ARE BEING DISRUPTED, RIGHT NOW.
Lots of Product Comes From China (It used to…)
Okay, back to Walmart…
I heard that about 40% of their inventory comes directly from China. The number may be even higher. China’s manufacturing sector has essentially shut down. That happened weeks ago.
Container shipments from China are NOT HAPPENING like before. Even those that did leave before China got slammed — it takes about 30 days “slow boat” — and we’re getting to that time when shortages are going to begin appearing here in the USA.
A LOT OF PRODUCT COMES FROM CHINA
Thankfully, not everything. But here’s the problem…
Our “Just in time” system is going to get into big trouble when more than just a few percent of the people begin to “stock up”. The system is designed for smooth and steady input / output. Profits are maximized to the fullest extent by a system of forecasting which affects everything from raw materials all the way down the line to final product.
When the supply chain gets jerked (like it’s going to be), it will take a long time to refill those channels that become drained. There are ripple effects. More than most can imagine…
Let Us Know What You’re Seeing Out There
I don’t mean to be alarmist (even though this probably sounds that way). I’m just using sensible reasoning to advise as to what will likely happen as more and more people scramble to get supplied in order to hunker down for a time…
Those that wait, will have a harder time. Simple as that.
LET US KNOW IF YOU NOTICE DISRUPTIONS IN SUPPLY CHANNELS AT YOUR LOCATIONS…