It's been four months since COVID-19 first hit Minnesota and shelves began emptying of essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

My wife and I went grocery shopping over the weekend, and I was shocked at the basic items we (still) could not find in stores. Target's shelves were completely empty of hand soap (save for a few very expensive bottles of the organic, all-natural-type soaps we didn't want to pay an arm and leg for); Aldi, too, was completely out of Graham Crackers. While my wife was less than impressed that she couldn't find soap, I had to laugh and guess at the reason for both item's absences; perhaps Minnesotans are out camping or roadtripping or just enjoying a bonfire at home, making s'mores and washing their hands afterwards! It's no surprise, of course, that we continue to see the effects of  COVID-19, even four months later, though the effects themselves seem to occasionally be a surprise.

Curious to know what other items and products other Minnesotans haven't been able to find, I took to the station's Facebook page to find out.

Turns out, there's been no shortage of...well...shortage. Here are what Minnesotans say they've been unable to find in local stores (or where they turn to find certain items):

"For a long time there was hardly any pancake mix or bacon," says Wendy. "Slowly it's coming back into stock. I don't think Walmart has disinfectant wipes yet on their online grocery."

"No lunch meat at Aldi, string cheese at Coborns, anything antibacterial and the bacon that we usually eat," wails Crystal.

Nicole can't find Easy Cheese or steaks. Carol can't find Taco-flavored Doritos. Patti can't find her favorite spaghetti sauce (no word on which one that is).

"Clorox or Lysol wipes," says Kim. "Haven’t been able to get for months."

"I usually find stuff I can't find other places at Dollar General," offers Tina.

"I wasn't able to find graham crackers either," shares Christina, "so I just use the fudge striped cookies then you don't have to buy the chocolate and the graham cracker separate or you can just put the chocolate out and make it an extra chocolate s'more."

One of the missing items that seems to have people most upset is Chicken Gumbo Soup.

"I was craving Sloppy Joes & had to improvise," says Joan.

"Me too!" agrees Sara. "I can't even find it online."

"OMG yes! Brainerd is out everywhere too. And Joan, you CAN'T improvise!!" insists Rene.

"Yes! We even called Campbell's directly!" says Terrie (they asked for an address and said they'll "take note," by the way).

As you can see, life -- or at least our shopping trips -- is far from normal for many of us right now still. What items or products have you been unable to find in stores?

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