Going back to school amid COVID-19 outbreaks means uncertainty and fear for students and teachers, but staying home presents problems too.


It’s not just pepperoni, coins and Clorox wipes that are hard to find lately.

As many parents are finding out, there are also shortages on desks and chairs in some parts of the nation with more students starting the school year virtually. Select office furniture is in short supply or backordered depending on price, region and item.

It’s the latest in a long list of COVID-19 fueled shortages that started with toilet paper, hand sanitizer and face masks.

“Supply and demand have been at tremendous odds this year, and back-to-school is no different,” said Sarah Hofstetter, president of analytics company Profitero. “The biggest difference is that it’s easier to find crayons and whiteboards than it is to find the less obvious yet most necessary items for