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By Jimmy Warden
NAPS New York Area Vice President
I want to thank all of you for your leadership during these unprecedented times. We are facing difficult and scary times right now, worrying about ourselves, as well as loved ones.
Many of us are nervous and tense in regards to work—even just going to the local market for the essentials in life such as food. An event such as the coronavirus can make ourlives come to a halt. We may become confused, stuck and feel like we can’t move forward.
It is challenging to be confronted with an enemy that is invisible until it strikes. These circumstances are unlike other enemies when we came together to overcome 9/11, anthrax, Super Storm Sandy, Hurricane Maria and the recent earthquakes in the Caribbean. Also, hurricanes in the South, tornadoes in the Midwest and fires in the West.
Those were events—occurrences that affected lives. For the most part, we saw them coming, they occurred and we rebuilt. What we are facing now is a pandemic. We don’t know how long it will last or who may be affected.
The United States government has declared the Postal Service an essential service. It is relying on us to get information to our citizens regarding this pandemic with an information card from Vice President Pence that was sent to every household.
In an attempt to keep our economy afloat, stimulus payments will be mailed. Our customers rely on us to receive much-needed medications. How many people would survive if they were not able to receive their critical medication in the mail, by a letter carrier? This is the main reason Congress mandates six-day delivery.
I know firsthand that CVS Pharmacy has been sending their customers information on having their prescriptions automatically mailed to them as to not have any disruptions. Many citizens are relying on the Postal Service for communication.
During Super Storm Sandy, it was the Postal Service that went into areas on Staten Island and Queens and opened communication so folks would know their family and friends were okay. In the South, it was mail delivery that first reached many, as well in the West where first communication with family was through a letter. The same occurred in the Caribbean as a result of Hurricane Maria.
I can speak from experience that, if not for the Postal Service, my wife and I would not have been able to find out if family survived the storm. There was no communication in the small towns other than the Postal Service.
These are among the many the reasons the government declares the Postal Service an essential service. Stopping mail delivery simply would completely shut down the United States of America. Shutting down the Postal Service would endanger the life, health and personal safety of the entire population.
I am asking everyone to stay safe! Now is not the time to be a hero, but it’s the time for leadership—your leadership. We need to be in this together! I ask you to empathize with your employees as your employees should empathize with you.
Understand what they are going through, as your boss should understand what you are going through. Realize that many employees, as well as management, go to work to get away from the stress and tension they have daily in their personal lives.
We have a mission to deliver the mail, but we must do it safely as to not endanger ourselves. Use the resources in our control to deliver the mail. I know many of you feel alone in this battle. You shouldn’t! We need to move forward with positive and consistent effort.
It was your leadership working together that got New York safely through 9/11, anthrax and Super Storm Sandy, to name a few. The leadership of NAPS working together in the Caribbean got residents through Hurricane Maria and the recent earthquakes. Leadership in the South worked to get everyone through hurricanes and, in the Midwest and West, got them through tornadoes and massive fires.
We used the resources in our control to ensure the safety of our employees, as well as ourselves, and still delivered the mail and kept our country running. This all was accomplished because of your leadership! And that is something all of you should be proud of as we are called on once again.
We have been through many tough times together; we always have survived because of your leadership. I truly appreciate all you are doing to hold down the fort during these trying times. I’m sure you have heard some of our members have contracted the virus.
I have been in daily contact with some of them in the New York Area; they are progressing positively. Should you have someone who has tested positive for the virus, please keep in contact by calling them. It would mean a great deal to them. Let them know they are not alone or forgotten and that we are in this together!
Please keep in touch with the elderly who you know live alone. Check on them once in awhile to make sure they are okay and see if they need anything. Ask your carriers to let you know if mail is being left in a box where an elderly person lives. Report these instances to local authorities so they can do wellness checks.
This pandemic cannot shatter hope, corrode faith, destroy peace, kill friendships, suppress memories, conquer our spirit, invade our souls or silence our courage. It should not hamper our leadership! I truly thank all of you for your leadership.
Please stay safe!