We’re all out. Still in the throes of a global pandemic, we are running out of a lot of things.

Grocery stores posted flyers that read: “There is a national coin shortage. Please use the exact change.” Or “No cash. Credit and debit cards only.”

The same can be said of restaurants, with missing ingredients for personal favorites now crossed off the menu. Shelves at an increasing number of stores have empty sections due to delays and backlogs for unloading ships sitting at anchor off the U.S. coast.

Restaurants are also short-staffed, with major chains offering sign on bonuses. But most people don’t want to sign up for a bare minimum wage that doesn’t cover the basics.

This is why so many young adults are now living in their parents’ basement. Because they’re tired of working at jobs that pay so little that they are forced to choose between the basics — food, clothing and shelter.

These needs are universal but even during a global pandemic, health care is not.

Some of us are not covered by health insurance, not sure if we should go to the emergency room because we really can’t afford to. But we really can’t afford not to. We are sick and tired.

Still, the possibility of medical bills that wipe out personal savings and max out credit cards weighs heavily. This is coupled with the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 in hospitals where empty beds are in short supply due to those infected with the deadly virus.

There also aren’t enough doctors and nurses to treat all the sick, injured and dying. They have been taking care of all of us for more than 18 months now, and they are tired, spent, wiped out. They’ve given all they have and then some.

The expectation to keep this up is too much for any one of us. None of this is balancing out. We are all overwhelmed. We are all coming up short.

Well, except for capitalism. Capitalism is still on the job, working hard to take every nickel and dime we’ve got, steadily raising prices, taxes and the cost of living and breathing.

It doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t add up. People can work all day or all night and still not make enough. Because greed is insatiable; it can never get enough.

Ignorance is also still hard at work. More than 4.5 million people have died worldwide due to COVID-19 and many people are still swapping conspiracy theories.

Even when it is free and comes with a gift card, some people still won’t take the vaccine. They still won’t roll up their sleeves, which makes some people want to roll up their sleeves — though for another reason.

The vaccinated people are tired and they want things to go back to normal. They want to get on with their lives and they have run out of patience.

They have no more explanations, facts or reports to offer. They have used all their graphs, statistics and sad stories. There will be no more demonstrations as to why this is the right thing to do. They are tired and they don’t want to be sick too.

We’re all out. When the pandemic began, we were greeted with empty shelves as our neighbors overstocked their own. No bath tissue, paper towels or hand sanitizer.

We didn’t even have enough face masks at first. I remember watching online tutorials and making my first masks out of old t-shirts.

The pandemic supply list seemed to come out of nowhere. Stock up, lock up and everybody keep your distance. That was traumatizing.

This survival mode has gone on for too long, and there is no shortage of shortages. We are running out of certain things again, and so we are cutting back on certain things – making adjustments and making it work until an unforeseen later date.

I wonder how this is all going to work out. If I had the time and space, I would write down all that I have lost.

But the signs of shortage are just reminders to use my debit card, to pay using cash or to not place that order. And sadly, I am getting accustomed to coming up short.

Share This