StoryCorps: Postal Workers Fight Fear To Work During Pandemic Mail carriers Craig Boddie and Evette Jourdain spoke for a remote StoryCorps conversation about how the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. has added stress to their essential jobs.
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'We're Like A Lifeline': Postal Workers Fight Fear To Work During Pandemic

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'We're Like A Lifeline': Postal Workers Fight Fear To Work During Pandemic

'We're Like A Lifeline': Postal Workers Fight Fear To Work During Pandemic

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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It is Friday, which means it's time for StoryCorps. And today, we meet two postal workers in Palm Beach, Fla. Their jobs come with risks they never imagined. Evette Jourdain and her fellow mail carrier Craig Boddie talked about how their work has changed in the pandemic.

EVETTE JOURDAIN: Life was pretty hard for me before I came to the post office. I'd lost my dad, I'd lost my brother, how I became homeless, and I just didn't have nobody.

CRAIG BODDIE: How did it feel for you when you first got your uniform and you put it on?

JOURDAIN: I felt damn proud. When you put that uniform on for the first time, you got your nice shiny shoes, you got your brand-new satchel, you know, you feel good. How does it feel for you to be in this pandemic?

BODDIE: My wife has autoimmune disease, so because of that, I fear whenever I leave the house. How do I cope? Well, of course, you know, we wear our masks. Soon as I get home, I'm stripping, jumping in the shower, cleaning myself from head to toe to make sure that the day is going down the drain. Every day, I wake up and just wonder, like, is this the day that COVID-19 is going to come home with me?

JOURDAIN: My anxiety levels are always on 10 because I'm scared. I pray on my way to work. I pray on my lunch break. I pray when I'm at the box. What keeps me going is the fact that I need to keep going.

BODDIE: That's one of the tough things with the coronavirus. We're like a lifeline getting these people their medicines, their supplies. And I can't even imagine if there was a person who passed away on my route and I did not get a chance to say goodbye or see them for the last time.

JOURDAIN: I had a customer recently, on my route, pass away. His son came outside and told me that my father said, tell my friend Evette that I say goodbye. And I lost it. I couldn't - I didn't even know it was going to affect me like that.

BODDIE: Because it does get to us, yeah.

JOURDAIN: I'm glad that we became friends, and I appreciate you. I cherish the friendship that we have because I couldn't do this by myself.

BODDIE: That means a lot. It really does.

INSKEEP: That was Evette Jourdain with her friend and fellow mail carrier Craig Boddie. They recorded their conversation with StoryCorps Connect, which allows loved ones to interview each other remotely. Their conversation will be archived at the Library of Congress. Find out how to do your own interview safely at npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF BLUE DOT SESSIONS' "SAGE THE HUNTER")

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