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caption: The Port of Seattle is shown on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, in Seattle.
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The Port of Seattle is shown on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The shortage show: a look at what we don't have as the world returns to normal

Staffing. Rental Cars. Shipping containers. Lumber. As the economy rebounds from its pandemic slump, we're learning that returning to normal won't be easy -- or cheap. This hour, we speak with a variety of experts dealing with shortages, from rental cars and port authorities to timber sales and lesbian bars.

Individual segments are available in our podcast stream or at

Why are there so many shortages at once?

From groceries to lumber, the rise in demand for various goods is pushing prices up and inventories down. Couldn't we have prepared for so many shortages? And how long will they last for? Debra Glassman, professor of finance and business economics at the University of Washington's Foster School of Business, joins The Record.

A shipping container shortage

Everything on a store shelf got there somehow-- most likely, it arrived by boat. Record producer Sarah Leibovitz fills us in on how a shipping container shortage is impacting goods from groceries to household goods.

A rental car reduction

As countries around the world raise their vaccination numbers and loosen their COVID-19 restrictions, the prospect of vacation is luring many out of their pandemic cabin fever. But is now the right or wrong time to hit take that postponed vacation? Senior travel agent Sheri Smith, from Elizabeth Homes Travel, fills us in on what to expect when booking.

A lack of lesbian bars

A return to normal means a return to nightlife. For many, bars and other venues offer personal affirmation through community. But a drop in the number of lesbian bars is making it difficult for the community to create those safe spaces. Bill Radke speaks with Filmmakers Erica Rose and Elina Street about their work with The Lesbian Bar Project.