In writing about this, first and foremost, I don't want you to be afraid. I believe the Holy Spirit keeps saying, "Look at the Supermarkets" so people can prepare. Remember, we're to prepare, not panic. As more areas are pushing to reopen, a concern is that the number of coronavirus cases is going up. Hence, there may be more people out sick with coronavirus. Because some of the meat plants have closed, that's reducing the amount of packaged meat that's available. While this isn't in every store, the concern is price gouging and lack of supplies to meet demand.
Another troubling area is that farmers have had to throw out produce, dairy products and other essentials because of lower demand from restaurants. A plan is now in place to get this food to the various food banks but this wasn't started right away.
Here's our first message on Look at the Supermarkets.
Are New York Stores a Sign?
As we live in New York, New York has been the epicenter for the coronavirus numbers. And, it's possible that stores in New York should be similarly compared to the rest of the nation. While some stores here are out of a few basics, other stores are experiencing severe shortages. For example, when ordering online from Peapod through Stop and Shop, there are several out-of-stock products. However, this isn't March or April. We're now halfway through May and stores should have replenished their inventory by now. One concern is that stores are no longer accurately tracking inventory. Take bread and flour for example.
With my last grocery order, to be on the safe side, I added two types of flour to my order. I received none. And, I had substitutions listed. I ordered 2 types of bread for 4 loaves total that were listed as "in-stock" and only received 2. A concern is that as stores "play catch-up" to replenish inventory, they're not accurately showing what's in stock. With my April grocery store order for example, half the items were out of stock and the driver forgot half of the remaining items. My $300 grocery bill came out to $120 because half the items were out-of-stock and half I didn't receive due to a "packing error"? Not sure.
Again, the concern is that while the items shown are listed as in-stock, they're still coming up as out-of-stock on my order. For example, if I place the order on Friday with one type of bread, one type of flour, one type of milk, etc. and save it in my shopping cart, the day of delivery, some of the items are being changed to "out-of-stock". So, were they really not there to begin with? I then tried to "double-up" like I mentioned earlier with the flour. I put in 2 different types of flour in the 5-lb bag and received neither. I was concerned I'd end up with 12-lbs of flour because I actually added a 2-lb bag of flour (just in case). Again, I received no flour and no substitution.
Are the Store Shortages Cause for Concern?
Now, I'm not mentioning this as a complaint but I think the concern that the Holy Spirit wants me to highlight is that with this wave of the coronavirus, Americans in some areas were not prepared for this. If there's possibly going to be a second wave of the coronavirus in the fall, does that mean more store outages? Will that be more difficult over the winter season? Additionally, how will the coronavirus and flu season react in colder environments?
Some news reports have indicated the coronavirus is mutating. Will this new strain be worse? Again, these are only thoughts and not meant to cause panic in any way. I'm merely listening to the Holy Spirit who keeps stressing, "Look at the supermarkets" and "Look at the markets". If the markets are any indication, then it's important that families prepare - not panic - in the event there is a concern in the fall.
Here are a few ideas:
The Holy Spirit has said to "Pray that the stores are able to meet demand" and so we pray for all stores to increase their inventory for those in need. Pray and ask Father God how you can prepare your home for the winter season. I know there are some that will say, "God says don't worry about tomorrow". And, yes, I agree with that. He also says in Deuteronomy 28 that He will make us the head, lender and above only. And, then in Psalm 37:19, it states, "They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied."