By Ron Libman | June 30, 2020

July 2020

Wishing everyone a wonderful 4th of July Holiday. May it be happy, safe and peaceful. My family and I are traveling to Kansas for a wedding. Talk about a challenging time. Are the photo’s going to be taken with masks on? I just can’t imagine a wedding at this time, but I am grateful to have a chance to attended and participate in the challenging but good life moment.

My mother who will be turning 80 this month, is a resident of a nursing home. Now replacing the in-person visits that we all enjoyed, my family and I all meet at the nursing home, at a window, just next to the loading dock and look up at her 3rd floor window and wave. We wave until we can’t wave anymore and it feels like our arms are going to fall off. Crazy times! But it’s the simple things; isn’t it? The look of joy on my mother’s face is remarkable. Seeing her that happy over something so simple brings our family both joy and sadness. Joy because our act caused a smile and sadness that we can’t provide more. Entering into phase 4 of the COVID-19 opening stages, promises some in person visits with proper social distancing. Again, good to be part of these challenging but good life moments.

Many of us are getting closer to our families even though we aren’t able to visit. We are concerned. For the first time “concern” is our primary emotion.  It’s our deep concern for the health of others that is keeping us awake at night or bringing stress to our daily thoughts. Our immediate families, those within our households are similarly affected. Although it is said the divorce rate will go up once the courts are fully functioning, many people will look back upon these challenging times with some degree of fondness. You have spent more time together and in doing so, you have noticed more about each other. Some things irritated you while you found other things endearing. The good will prevail.

One of our staff members, Tommy who works in our On-Demand Messenger Department has an interesting story. Young man, great family. Wife, beautiful young children. Currently working from home doing an amazing job. Even uses some idle capacity time to help with special projects. Great worker, great guy.

Tommy’s sister in law Tina is an essential worker in the Healthcare industry. A front-line worker. Here again, young lady, 2 young kids. About 6 weeks ago, Tina had a night shift. Grandma, lives just a couple of miles away and loves to have the grand kids to her house for a sleep over – all is well. That night, Tina’s cell phone rings while she was at work. It’s the Fire Department. “Your house is on fire”. Tina calls Tommy’s house; Tommy only lives about 2 blocks away. Tommy runs down the street at 2am to see Tina’s house totally overcome by flames. A total loss of property but the family was safe at grandmas.

Tina and her two children now temporarily live with Tommy’s family. It is certainly more than a full house.  Everyone is grateful on the night’s grandma takes the small brood to her house for a cousins sleep over but one thing is for sure, they love each other, they have each other. Even this tragedy, as life changing and difficult as it is, has the silver lining of good memories forged creating future Thanksgiving conversations.  Remember that time………..

I am thankful to say that there are not a lot of stories like Tommy’s at U.S. Messenger, but there are a lot of great stories about family as I am sure there are in your work and home life. We would love it if you shared them with us. What are you going to talk about at your next Thanksgiving?

As of today, U.S. Messenger has carried over 31,000 Corona virus sample for COVID-19 Testing. To bring the story full circle, my mother’s most recent tests were delivered by U.S. Messenger to a laboratory and Tommy’s sisters’ facility also sends their test via routes with our Scheduled Services Department to a client’s testing facility.

Thankfully, Tina and my mother have both tested negative several times and are in good health. I can also report the good health of our office and field teams. All reported exposers have quarantined and thankfully everyone has returned to work either remotely or at a U.S. Messenger site. There are no current exposures reported. Mitigation techniques and supplies thought through and provided by our CEO have worked and we are grateful for it.

Our clients are reporting their operations are slowly returning to their offices in compliance with the CDC’s phase recommendations and requirements. Our business is slowly increasing although 30 of our 35 staff members are still working remotely. Like all Chicago businesses our organization is employing mitigation techniques and devices to ensure a safe return from these challenging times to the next phase and our collective new awareness. U.S. Messenger is completely operational while maintaining complete compliance with the CDC.

-Ron Libman