The other day my sister told me she hadn’t received her mail from the bank, which I had received a couple of days prior. She lives in a rural area, so I made a joke with the snide remark. “You do live where a MAGA-head postal worker might be striking until the Trump logo in DC is history.”
She replied, “Actually our mail has been a mess, two of our delivery people were out. One had Covid and one was in quarantine.”
That got me to wondering: What fraction of United States Postal Service (USPS) work force was impacted by covid?
Back of the Envelope Calculation
The United States Postal Service has 500 thousand employees.
The United States has 330 million people. Meaning the USPS is 1/660 of the United States.
To this point, 15 million have contracted covid of 330 million total. That’s almost 5% of all people.
So, a good first estimate is 5% of all postal employees have contracted covid. That’s 25,000 employees.
Of 100 thousand covid patients in hospitals, around 170 are USPS and far from being able to complete their routes, much less whether rain, snow or sleet.
Of 300 thousand covid deaths in the US, about 550 were postal workers.
Small Post Offices
The impact of covid is most noticeable in rural postal areas with small staff. It’s there that, by ill luck, when a worker catches covid there is less staff to pick up the slack. Delayed deliveries are inevitable in those offices.
Picture of Post Office from WikiMedia Commons by Faolin42