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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Editorial: America proved once again, it’s not prepared

Illustration+by+Amber+Davis%2FThe+Collegian
Illustration by Amber Davis/The Collegian
Illustration by Amber Davis/The Collegian
Illustration by Amber Davis/The Collegian

Walking into a grocery store nowadays paints a frightening image of empty shelves gathering dust from the lack of product sitting atop it. 

The supply chain shortage has impacted electronics, food and many other items people are used to simply walking into a store and grabbing. But, even when an item is in stock, it doesn’t help that sometimes its price has gone up because of inflation. 

For almost the past two years, COVID’s wake has brought with it many tides that have drowned America. When it seems the water is subsiding, there is always something new that slaps everyone in the face. Out of all the major events to happen since 2020, this one seems to have been one the U.S. should’ve been more prepared for. 

A factor that contributes to the shortage is workers. There is a lack of truck drivers because of multiple factors, with the primary one being work conditions. Some drivers spend weeks on the road, away from family and friends. It’s a difficult career to manage, and the pay doesn’t help. Seemingly, one major solution could be to pay truckers more, no? In a report done by the senior writer for CNN Business Chris Isidore, he wrote that pay hikes are causing the opposite effect employers anticipated. Since drivers are getting paid more, they don’t have to be on the road as much, so they tend to stay home longer instead of doing shipment after shipment. 

Reports such as this are all over media outlets. There is a gigantic human factor to these shortages that many seem to forget. Supplies don’t drive nor deliver themselves. At least not yet. It’s not just truckers, too. Warehouse employees have been treated with a similar disregard. Remember last year when they were touted as essential employees? The word “essential” was actually used in place of “sacrificial” because it sounds better. 

America was unprepared for everything that went down. 

Initially, there was a lack of demand for masks because, at the start of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention didn’t stress its importance too much. Similarly, former President Donald Trump also downplayed the impact COVID would have on the U.S. So when everything went to hell, masks were demanded like crazy at a rate that the supply chain still doesn’t seem to have caught up to. Finding a functional mask in a store is like looking for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The Biden administration has taken slight action by giving away 400 million free N95 masks and four at-home test kits. Only took about two years.

It’s best not to look to the future and hope things will get better because experts have predicted the shortage is going to stay for a while like a pestering fly near earlobes. On the electronic end of things, it doesn’t seem like things will be fully in stock until 2023 or 2024. Going without a smart fridge is fine, but those same chips go into medical devices, which are also experiencing shortages. 

Hospitals have been facing staff shortages and full-capacity issues for a minute now. Adding a lack of medical supplies to that stressor is going to lead to even more medical professionals leaving their jobs. On the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website, there is a full list of medical devices that are short. It’s a pretty horrifying list to look at. Personal protective equipment, test kits and ventilators are just a few on this long list. 

People really needed the government to step up, but it spat in everyone’s face. Protecting others became a partisan issue, and now look at where America stands in the world. No universal healthcare, no free college and low on supplies. What a joke. 

Throughout the entirety of the pandemic, the CDC and presidential administrations have done more harm than good with their policies. Each time a good decision is made, there is always one shortly after that halts any accrued momentum. 

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