The World Has Changed

We are all looking forward to a “return to normal” as Covid-19 is wrestled to the ground. We seem to get hit in the face repeatedly as we wrestle though. But I’m confident that eventually, there will be no Covid-19 driven restrictions.

But the world has changed, and normal just won’t be that. We see signs of it everywhere – job postings that are not filled because potential employees are afraid of being in service industries, chip shortages, no trucks to ship products, no fresh produce, gas prices that are ridiculously high, more and more people working from home, and my favourite, cameras that are announced one day and cancelled the next.

I recently replaced my laptop computer. The transaction went very smoothly online, with even an offer to trade-in my old device. It was a great deal and the machine would be available to me in a couple weeks. What chip shortage?

When the unit arrived, it was nicely packaged, as is the custom with this company. But when I opened the box, an overwhelming smell of mould drifted through the air. Luckily it was in the packaging, not the computer.

The unit I had ordered was last year’s model. It was replacing a device from 2013 so it was a clear upgrade. It was on sale and included a couple of other nice perks. That’s why it was available. Anyone ordering this year’s model was completely out of luck – no inventory to be had anywhere.

I took two thoughts from this experience: that companies are doing their best to stay afloat with what they have, and that the world will be very different in the return to normal. I suppose a third thought is that I was lucky to receive the product at all – who knows where it was stored before it was shipped to me and what had happened to it in transit.

It’s an interesting irony that the pent-up demand for products that can be used at home is very high, especially with folks having more disposable income from the inability to travel and spend elsewhere. The irony is that demand is high while supply is low – a classic reason why inflation is now heading up at record levels.

It is possible, though, with a little research and digging, to find that product that you might want for a somewhat reasonable price and reasonable availability. I’ve done it throughout the pandemic. I’ve chosen an alternate product to the one I really wanted just because it was available sooner. I’ve purchased used products rather than new just because they were available sooner. And I’ve asked friends and family to keep their eyes open for offers and deals that I might be interested in. Not sure how long those strategies might last going forward.

I purchased some food supplies to prepare a dish for Thanksgiving (Canada) dinner this past week and some of the ingredients were not available. I drove home from that same Thanksgiving dinner this past weekend and stopped for gas, only to find none at one station, then another. I then drove over (no irony there) to one much further away and found gas. It was ridiculously expensive. I think we all need to be prepared for this type of future for a while. While I am thankful for remaining safe through the Covid pandemic, I am fearful about what lies ahead.

One thought on “The World Has Changed

Comments are closed.