What's sad are the shortages of baby formula (particularly less common types). There isn't always a good substitute. Pediatricians are being called on to try to help people get samples to see them through.
Eggs (stress baking)
Baker's yeast (those packets lose some efficiency in a short time. I like to bake and yet I rarely need yeast. I still don't understand the need for so much if you don't bake all your bready items from scratch at home. I'll just be making my own sourdough starter. Assuming there will be flour, see below).
Rice (I have 2 friends that bought a 20 lb bag. Like, when was the last time you even ate rice? They don't. They will have that bag a year or so from now I would bet.)
White and whole wheat flours (other flours are still plentiful)
If your current stock of so much of this has been in your house for the better part of a year and it's still there, I have no idea why you would need to buy 5x as much right now.
Now we get into what is alive and may suffer:
Adopted dogs (not cats, covid is gonna screw cats)
It's clear with the uptick in purchase of the 3 items above, that it's being done by a lot of first timers. Which is great if people find they have equal dedication to the free time that prompted the acquisition. I doubt it. Now is and isn't the time for first times.
Victory gardens might be nice. However many seeds purchased are fated never to be planted, and I've already seen more of the same in first time garden buyers this year.
But the surge in purchasing is actually becoming a problem for Native American peoples and other rural peoples that rely on seed supplies for their nutritional needs, not just a first time experiment to insure one's supply line on a fresher bunch of kale for their green smoothie stays intact in the apocalypse.
But if more people come to appreciate horticulture, cool I guess.
Already people are realizing after 6-8 weeks inside, they have nowhere to safely house their chicks outside. Or if it's even legal to have them where they live.
What's ridiculous is it takes 22 weeks to get a chick up to an egg-laying hen. That's true for industry too, theirs don't grow faster. They can address any long term egg shortage in the long term by growing more chicks/hens. (Short term people just need to go back to eating the number they were eating. Maybe quit stress baking so many cookies).
So buying chicks for your backyard right now does not address the current egg shortage. Industry will fix it right around the time of the worst of this being behind us. And by then people will be bored of their chickens.
(Responsible chicken ownership has big ramifications for other wildlife. Coyotes, foxes, racoons are attracted. Coyotes eat everything. These predator populations boom and wildlife prey decline. These predators are prey for mountain lions and bears. Result are decimated bird etc populations and people-acclimated bears that have to be put down. No joke, it operates like a food chain. You can't just decide you don't want to care for your hens anymore and let them roam at night to be eaten. But will people do that? Of course).
Egg industry as opposed to other animal agriculture industries, we can trust won't slow down with covid, as they're not very reliant on close-in slaughterhouse/factory worker conditions or immigrant labor to create supply.
Most of the people that I know buying chicks before now, do it every year. Not just cuz farming is fun (it is) but because they were economically and nutritionally dependent on them.
What it comes down to with most things, there was enough for the people who were creating the steady demand leading to the current supply, and those buyers tended to rely on that supply.
The problem is everyone changed their buying habits. By buying things they had never bought before, didn't really need, might not ever use, and more they could really use, now there's less for people that had come to depend on what's there.
It's come up how the hoarding has disproportionately affected those with less access: poor, rural, those still at work. Healthcare workers are getting hit hard because they're not off the job, and some people are getting off work to face empty shelves at the store after everyone else has been there, shift after shift, no dice.
And at baseline I think a lot of dog owners are irresponsible. Somehow I question many new owners in mass shelter animal adoption drives, driven mainly by cabin fever, as good forever homes.
No one is able to do anything about the cat populations (catch & fix) so they'll balloon, and their adoptions haven't gone up. Dogs are a lot trendier. In fact, a lot of people are trying to use dogs as an excuse to get out of the house and even socialize with other people.
Any given Sunday, there's enough food in my place for 2, for 6-8 weeks, at any time. Might not look pretty at week 4, but there's enough.
I get that people have monetary, space, dietary considerations that they're not stocked as well.
Then again, no one ever bought a chick or a seed because they were hungry *now.* And if you didn't need to buy those things a year ago, you don't need them now.
And you don't need 20 lbs of rice if you don't eat rice.