August 01, 2020 - Joe Rodgers
Thank you for the hard work and long hours you have had to endure since the beginning of this dreadful pandemic. I know it has been draining both physically and mentally.
While visiting stations across the city, I have observed too many carriers not wearing masks. Personal protective equipment (shields, masks, and gloves) is available in every unit. Please encourage everyone to use these preventive measures.
I fear that in hearing 131,000 Americans dead is viewed simply as a statistic. We have become desensitized to this staggering figure, unless we know someone personally who has lost their life. Sadly, 67 postal employees have died from the virus. Remember, complacency is not an option.
In the early morning of July 4, 2020, I received a call informing me that retired branch officer, Raymond "Doc" Dougherty, died from complications due to COVID-19. Doc was a great guy. Salt-of the-earth, Philly style. He was the team-leader for the branch when it came to route inspections. Doc didn't need a calculator; all the numbers were in his head. He was amazing. All of us at the branch will miss Doc. He belonged to us. He was one of us. He was our friend.
It is my hope, Doc's passing will serve as a reminder to all of us that COVID-19 remains a deadly, highly infectious disease. If we are to survive it, we must work together to stop its spread. We must wear our masks every time we are on the workroom floor. In Pennsylvania, masks are required when we venture out. Studies continue to affirm that wearing masks helps slow the spread of the coronavirus. As my mask protects you, your mask protects me.
During these difficult times I hope everyone enjoys some time away from the job, having fun with family and friends. But, be cautious! Visiting relatives out-of-state, in areas where the virus is currently spreading rapidly, may not be the prudent and responsible undertaking at this time. Stay safe my friends.