- Here’s another byproduct of the current coronavirus pandemic that most people may not even know about: The United States is experiencing a shortage of parts.
- This is in part the result of reduced production of the US Mint in the midst of the pandemic, but retailers are also facing a shortage of money due to dramatic disruptions in the normal flow of consumers buying things and of their money changing hands.
- This is causing retailers across the country to start posting signs encouraging customers to use exact changes or to ban cash payments entirely.
Today, when I parked in the service driving a donut near my apartment, I was greeted by a sign posted on the menu board outside that I have not seen anywhere elsewhere during the coronavirus pandemic. He explained to customers that the United States, believe it or not, is currently experiencing a shortage of coins and please use exact currency if you are not making electronic payment with something like Apple Pay. Wait what?
It is true. This is yet another bizarre side effect of the ongoing pandemic, and retailers across the country are increasingly showing their customers the same message. Part of the reason is that the US Mint has reduced its production of coins as part of a protective measure for its workers, which I bet most people haven’t even considered. But add to that the fact that the normal flow of trade has been drastically reduced – so that fewer people than ever buy in person things that require a physical exchange of money – and you can start to see why it started to be a problem.
Brother, can you save a penny was a popular song in the United States during the Great Depression, so it may be appropriate that during this economic disaster at the level of the depression we are going through right now, we are again experiencing a shortage of coins.
If you have not already done so, here is a version of the sign I saw and which you may also encounter soon:
Indeed, people across the United States seem to have been increasingly waking up to this unusual byproduct of the pandemic in recent days. “What is the shortage of parts? Asked a thread from Reddit a few days ago. “Production is down,” wrote one commenter on the thread. “The Treasury even issued an emergency strike of certain coins. And many places do not physically touch cash, preferring credit cards. So the normal exchange is also going down. ”
The Michigan-based Meijer supermarket chain is said to have banned cash payments in its self-pay lanes until the shortage of coins ends. According to MLive.com, the company will always accept invoices at cash registers in the cash lines that have employees.
“While we understand that this effort may be frustrating for some customers, there is a need to manage the impact of the shortage of parts on our stores,” said Meijer’s spokesperson Frank Guglielmi. MLive.