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Post Office Perseveres Through Pandemic

Wed, 12/30/2020 - 08:08
Larry McCue has been a mail carrier for 45 years.
Christine Sampson

We've known for a long time that neither rain, snow, heat, nor gloom of night can stop the United States Postal Service from doing its job. Add "pandemic" to that list. The region's post office clerks, mail carriers, foremen, and other employees have been doing some of the heaviest lifting of all: processing and delivering a record-breaking volume of packages and mail for more customers than ever.

"To me, everyone in the post office is working heroically," said Larry McCue, a well-known mail carrier here who has been with the U.S.P.S. for 45 years.

When people flocked to their vacation homes or sought refuge on the East End during the pandemic, they brought with them an increased demand for postal services. Suddenly there were long, long lines and new residents scooping up the available post office boxes.

"Normally, we'd have 15 to 20 parcels in any particular week," Mr. McCue said of the pre-Covid package volume on the mail routes. "Now, we've been handling hundreds and hundreds, and we're facing what everyone else is facing with our health. All that stuff is on our minds."

In his eyes, the post office is working on its third Covid-19 surge. "There was the early spring, the summer with the extra people, and now, Christmas," Mr. McCue said.

Mr. McCue likes working for the postal service because "you get the feeling that you're doing something good. It's a vital service to the people." His route includes pharmacy deliveries and, once upon a time before debit cards were a thing, Social Security checks.

However, he does have a couple of requests for the public at large: Have patience with your hard-working post office employees, and clear the snow and ice in front of your mailbox after inclement winter weather.

That sounds reasonable, don't you think?

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