Christmas Delayed Mail

FILE - A U.S. postal worker delivers packages, boxes and letters Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, along her route in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, just three days before Christmas. Some Christmas gift-givers discovered their presents didn't arrive in time for the holiday despite ordering weeks ahead. The U.S. Postal Service says it faces "unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19.” (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

In the time of a Christmas like no other in recent memory, there are unsung heroes who did the best they could to bridge the gaps between families kept apart by the Covid-19 health pandemic. We are talking about the men and women of the U.S. Postal Service.

It is unfortunate that, despite their best efforts, many may see them as villains of the holiday, as the Grinches who, no matter how unintentional, stole Christmas.

The reality of the situation is they did not, and their work is not yet done. Unprecedented demand for their services in a year when the USPS itself is suffering employee shortages due to the surge of Covid-19 meant many packages did not arrive on doorsteps in time for Christmas. Hundreds of thousands of USPS employees went right back to work to get packages to their destinations on Saturday after enjoying, hopefully, a one-day reprieve from the grind.

Why single out the USPS when other deliverers also saw record package volume? Companies like FedEx and UPS were able to do what the USPS did not — institute shipping limits. That helped them to avoid overwhelming their employees or exceeding their limits. The USPS on the other hand does not refuse mail or packages, and it will work around processing plants that can no longer accept new mail shipments due to employee shortages. That means longer routes for some packages, leading to longer delivery times.

The men and women of the USPS will deliver those packages as soon as they can. All that’s needed is a little patience and to remember that Christmas is not what’s in those packages.

Thank you, USPS employees, for your dedication and effort. You are appreciated.

Klark Byrd

The Paris News Editorial Board publishes editorials on topics of local relevance on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

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