Thanks to the Coronavirus, many Americans who never bothered to think about the trucking industry are now getting a first hand lesson in truck driver appreciation.
As much of life in the U.S. shuts down for the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, with businesses, restaurants, and bars shutting their doors to try to contain the spread of the illness, federal and state governments have asked trucking to step up to keep the supply chain moving.
And the trucking community has heeded that call. In spite of all of the challenges that they face, U.S. truckers are still rolling and are the reason that many grocery stores and businesses are able to remain open to supply essential goods — but what if truckers stopped due to illness? Went on strike? Were ordered off the road?
Just so you know how essential and important you are, here’s a timeline to show you just how quickly things would go south without your heroic efforts behind the wheel.
If trucks stopped
The first 24 hours
*Delivery of medical supplies to the affected area will cease.
*Hospitals will run out of basic supplies such as syringes and catheters within hours.
*Service stations will begin to run out of fuel.
*Manufacturers using just-in-time manufacturing will develop component shortages.
*U.S. mail and other package delivery will cease.
Within one day
*Food shortages will begin to develop.
*Automobile fuel availability and delivery will dwindle, leading to skyrocketing prices and long lines at the gas pumps.
*Without manufacturing components and trucks for product delivery, assembly lines will shut down, putting thousands out of work.
Within two to three days:
*Food shortages will escalate, especially in the face of hoarding and consumer panic.
*Supplies of essentials, such as bottled water, powdered milk, and canned meat at major retailers will disappear.
*ATMs will run out of cash and banks will be unable to process transactions.
*Service stations will completely run out of fuel for autos and trucks.
*Garbage will start piling up in urban and suburban areas.
*Container ships will sit idle in ports and rail transport will be disrupted.
Within a week:
*Automobile travel will cease due to the lack of fuel.
*Hospitals will begin to exhaust oxygen supplies.
Within two weeks:
*The nation’s clean water supply will begin to run dry.
Within four weeks
*The nation will exhaust its clean water supply and water will be safe for drinking only after boiling.