JOPLIN, Mo. — Supply shortages are everywhere these days. One shortage is leaving some families looking for answers when a loved one passes away.

There’s always been a short lag time between laying a loved one to rest, and how long it takes for the headstone to be placed on the burial plot. That’s no longer the case, and yes, the pandemic is to blame.

“We just need our families in our community to know that yes, we’re doing everything that we can, it’s kind of out of our hands, so basically when a loved one needs to get their deceased loved one a headstone, just kind of be aware there is that six month minimum time frame to get it done, uh it used to take us much quicker, of course our turn around was sometimes less than a month.” says Joplin Granite Co. Manager, Eric Green.

Why so long?

Headstones are made out of granite, which has to be extracted from the ground, then get cut into shape, engraved, polished and eventually set in place. Eric Green says the pandemic has done a number on how long it takes that process to be completed.

“The quarries are having their problem with the worker shortage, uh we are having the problems with getting it from the quarries because of those reasons, and just the excessive because of the situation with COVID and the excessive deaths um yeah, it is a complete supply and demand issue.”

He says it could take two years for the process to go back to the pre-pandemic time frame, and because their suppliers have had to resort to transporting the stones out of the quarry themselves to cut out the transportation middle man, he says it may only be a matter of time before prices are affected.

“So currently, you could spend anywhere between 500 to a 1000 dollars for a stone, but if the supply and demand keep going the way it’s going, yes, that could significantly increase yes,” said Green.

In Joplin, Stuart Price, KSN Local News.