Money is nasty. If you’ve ever watched a documentary or short news report on the substances found on most dollar bills and coins, you’d never touch money and then your face or food again. Let’s just say that it appears that at some point most money has been used to clean the floors of public restrooms.
But now we’re facing a weird shortage of the stuff. Banks across the United States don’t have enough coins during the coronavirus crisis. The U.S. Federal Reserve rationed distribution and directed the U.S. Mint to boost supply.
In his Congressional Testimony, Fed Chair Powell said:
With the partial closure of the economy due to the coronavirus crisis, “the flow of coins through the economy has kind of stopped. We are working with the Mint and the Reserve Banks and as the economy reopens we are seeing coins beginning to move around again. We all don’t want to wake up to headlines in the near future such as ‘Banks run out of money’.”
Since we’re not out and about like before, we’re not circulating coins like we used to, but people are still buying through delivery services and other means. We still hand vendors a $20 and expect change, only now they’re having a hard time getting it.
The situation is temporary, but it brings up good questions like, why do we use pennies anymore anyway? Army commissaries overseas did away with them decades ago because they cost more to ship than they were worth.
We could just stick to credit and debit cards. They probably aren’t squeaky clean, but at least the germs are our germs.