After a summer season that saw a run on picnic tables, bikes and pool floats, Americans are facing the prospect of a winter in which Covid-19 is still a threat, social distancing measures remain the norm and indoor gatherings are restricted or banned — all of which have made hot tubs, fire pits and patio heaters literally hot commodities.
Brienne Volpe, an accountant in New Windsor, N.Y., said she hasn’t been able to find patio heaters in stock anywhere.
“The only one that wasn’t on backorder had horrible reviews,” she said. “We’re going to keep looking,” she said, since her two daughters would be able to play outside even when it gets cooler, and she and her husband would be able to socialize in an outdoor and socially distant setting.
“If this goes through the winter, not everybody’s comfortable going inside,” she said. “We actually have a few friends who