Several months ago, the immediate disruptions began at the beginning of the COVID-19 hysteria, when factories, distribution centers, and even farms shut down under the pretext of "flattening the curve."
As a result, Americans found necessities were missing on the shelves for the first time in years. Items like hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes were, of course, out of stock.
Soon other items became noticeably missing as well.
People began to notice meat, and even canned vegetables and rice were soon missing from the shelves. Most of this was simply the result of mass panic buying, although "preppers" were blamed for "hoarding." Therefore, people who had not been prepping all along and were suddenly caught with their pants down.