SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Your local mail carrier, like grocery store workers, healthcare workers, and first responders, are considered essential workers during these difficult times.
News 8's Abbie Alford went on a ride-along with San Diego U.S. Postal Office worker, Mia Gabriel, to see the precautions she is taking to not only keep the public safe, but also her family.
“[I] Usually [would] stop by, talk or hug, but now I see everybody on their balcony or driving by making sure I’m safe,” said Mia.
On her route in Point Loma, Mia is well known and loved. Residents walk or drive by and yell "hi Mia" from afar.
“I've known them for years and we usually are close and do chatting,” she said.
Mia has worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 31 years. She said COVID-19 is tougher than delivering mail in the rain.
“I work safe all the time, but it's thinking of it that is a little harder,” she said.
Mia wears a mask and gloves. She remember to not touch her face. She knows her job is important because she delivers essential items such as mail prescriptions.
“I feel safe. The only thing I worry about is coming home to my loved ones,” said Mia.
She even added an extra layer of protection in the back of her vehicle.
“This is my washing station I made because I took it upon myself to keep safe on my own. I’m not going to depend on other people to keep me safe,” said the letter carrier.
Each day she fills a container with water and washes her gloves first and then her hands. Mia also sanitizes her vehicle.
“This is the soap our management has given us,” she said.
While the CDC has stated there are no cases of COVID-19 being spread through the mail, they do recommend washing your hands after handling the mail.
To keep mail carriers safe, customers have kindly left sanitizing wipes and wiped down shared mailboxes.
“Keep the mailboxes clean. If there is more than one person checking the mailbox wash it down,” said Mia.
While Mia knows this isn’t the normal, she hopes she can bring some normalcy to an uncertain time in our lives.
“We are here for you guys. We are here for everyone - for my family and everyone,” said Mia.
The retail area of the post office now has Plexiglas between the workers and customers. There is also tape to mark a six feet distance between customers in line.