Working during a pandemic, especially a very hands-on job, can be daunting. You are constantly around different people and trying your best to stay healthy. My mom works for the post office and is considered an essential worker. We still need to be able to get our mail, but it is even more important that we take into consideration those that are delivering our mail every day. I decided to interview my mom, Christine, and understand her point of view and experience delivering mail during a pandemic.
Her Campus (HC): How long have you worked for USPS?
Christine (C): A little over 20 years.
HC: Do you enjoy working there?
C: I do, actually. I enjoy the customer service aspect of my job.
HC: How much has changed due to the pandemic?
C: Nothing really, the only that has changed is wearing gloves and masks. Customers also don’t have to sign for their packages.
HC: I know Amazon delivers their packages, but they have had a huge increase in orders. How has that affected USPS?
C: We have always delivered Amazon packages, and they deliver some of their packages. The number of packages we have got from Amazon has definitely gone up. We get a lot more packages now and a lot less letter mail.
HC: Are they providing you with materials to keep yourself safe?
C: They weren’t in the beginning, but they are now. We have gloves, masks and antibacterial wipes to wipe our trucks down.
HC: Have you knowingly delivered to homes with people who tested positive for Coronavirus? How did that feel?
C: I am not sure if I have delivered to someone who tested positive. It is nerve-racking delivering to their doors anyways, a lot of people aren’t respecting the six-foot distance. They will open their doors and just talk right in your face. You also have some people that are the complete opposite that will tell you not to go past a certain area. I also always worry about outgoing mail, people that probably lick their mail to close it. I always sanitize everything after I touch those.
HC: Have you heard of the white ribbon on your door to show you tested positive? How do you feel about that?
C: Yes, I have heard about it! I like the idea it gives us a heads up for us to take extra precautions if we have to approach the door. If I had to approach the door, I would just leave the package and probably not touch the door. I have seen it on my route, but I did not know if it is something that is 100 percent real. Either way, I just dropped off their package at their door and did not knock or anything.
HC: Do you feel safe having to work through this?
C: That’s a hard question, because I want to feel safe, but I do not feel fully safe. We are touching so many letters and packages all day that other people are also touching. I just take a lot of extra precautions to try and make myself feel safer. I’m sure every post office will feel different. Since I deliver in South Florida, where it is high risk with a lot of cases, it is scary.
Having to work through a time like this, when we are all at risk of getting sick, makes it so much more important that we are respectful of our own and other people’s boundaries. Appreciate those that are essential workers during this time and stay inside as much as possible. If you know someone who is considered essential right now, thank them for their hard work and dedication to their jobs.