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What Will This Year Bring?
By Tony Dallojacono
NAPS Mideast Area Vice President
As 2020 came to an end, we have seen many changes—postal and nonpostal. When 2020 started, we thought it was going to be a typical year that included an election and a leap year—just normal things that happen. But then we had the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter
Gianna, the stock market crash and, in March, the market’s largest, single-day point drop.
There were Black Lives Matter protests to end police brutality and racial injustice. Also, the invasion of the Asian giant hornets and wildfires on the West Coast that displaced hundreds of thousands from their homes and burned millions of acres. President Trump faced an impeachment trial and was acquitted. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, as well as other famous people, too many to mention.
Joe Biden was elected the 46th president; Kamala Harris was the first Black and Asian woman to be elected vice president. This year saw the first nationwide vote-by-mail election. Postmaster General Megan Brennan retired and Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman resigned. New Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was sworn in and made major changes that impacted service and, as a result, faced Congress a number of times.
Of course, you are wondering about the one event that affected everyone’s lives. I did not forget about COVID-19—the worldwide pandemic that has changed the way we live. We still wear masks every day. If we come in close contact with someone who has tested positive, we must quarantine according to CDC guidelines.
Many have lost loved ones to this virus; many have gotten extremely ill. Postal Service employees are considered essential workers, meaning we must go to work as scheduled to perform our duties. We neither can stay at home and wait for our mail to come to us nor wait at home for our packages to come to us.
This is the career path we have chosen, whether we agree with it or not. We saw a rise in parcels in 2020 never before seen. The Postal Service managed to show the public we are there for them. During earthquakes, hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes and every other catastrophe that has occurred throughout the years, when the public sees their letter carrier delivering the mail, they feel they will get back to normalcy—maybe not immediately, but it will happen.
We have had many changes in our NAPS organization, as well. We did not have state conventions; the 2020 National Convention was postponed due to the pandemic. There have not been many in-person meetings unless there was social distancing and everyone wore a mask.
Everyone still is learning how to use Zoom or other online meeting applications. The NAPS Executive Board held its fall meeting via Zoom. Is this the future or the temporary norm? No one can say for sure what our future holds.
Some have lost loved ones throughout the year due to COVID and other issues. Some were NAPS members; others were friends and family. We do not know what lies ahead for 2021 or the years to come, but we will remain strong and hope and pray things get better.