You know what had a resurgence in popularity recently? The United States Postal Service. With COVID-19 managing to shut down life across the country, there was still one normal thing that people could do. And that’s buy things online.
Unless, ya know, maybe you’re old fashioned and send letters instead. Either way, with limited ways to communicate and shop, USPS became a life-saver during some people’s quarantine.
To be fair, you can argue that the US post office, could never close down. And to that, I say… not exactly.
So, USPS has not exactly been doing well. Let me clarify that: in the first quarter of the year, USPS cited a 748-million-dollar loss. 2019? An 8.8-billion-dollar loss. There’s an array of factors that play a role here.
For example: the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many of Postal Service workers have been getting sick with the pandemic. It’s up to USPS to supply its’ workers with masks, gloves, and all necessary safety equipment. And it’s costing them.
This isn’t to say the Postal Service doesn’t want to fund safety equipment and PPE for its’ employees. Albeit, all of these costs have to come out of existing funds, that frankly, the Postal Service does not have.
Also, the post office hasn’t been just sitting around twiddling their thumbs. In the past, cuts have been made in staffing and other areas in order to make ends meet.
Still, the post office has not been doing well financially for years now. I mean, not a lot of people send letters anymore, and even bills can be paid online. Truly, the difference is that this year’s pandemic has exacerbated the issue.
Lowkey holding it together on their own
This was immediately cut within the Senate. Instead, Congress responded with a compromise of “a $10 billion line of credit.” This is not going to be enough to sustain the Postal Service, according to a letter written by six House Democrats and Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
The letter also states, “As the coronavirus continues to worsen, the Postal Service projects a possible 50% decline in mail volume between now and the end of the current fiscal year.”
Friendly reminder the USPS is not meant to be profitable. It’s designed to ensure every American has access to mail services regardless of location. If it didn’t exist, profit mail services would undoubtedly disproportionately neglect individuals from rural and poor communities.
— christine (@_ChristineLam) July 21, 2020
Just a bit sus
In an upcoming election that will primarily depend on mail-in ballots, the Postal Service is vital. According to the National Pew Research Center, “more than 46 million voters cast ballots in some manner other than at a traditional polling place on Election Day in 2012.”
During a pandemic such as this one in 2020, it would be surprising for those numbers not to increase.
Prior to this, many small businesses and online retailers on websites such as Etsy, Depop, Ebay, Shopify, and so many more utilized USPS. The Postal Service is still one of the most accessible means to transport goods in the United States.
This is especially true in rural areas of the United States, that are quite away from cities and harder to access. It’s also one of the most affordable options to send mail.
Losing the Postal Service hurts everyone; it is ever crucial, especially during a time like this. Luckily, there is action to take.
Petitions are still floating around, and there is always the option to contact your Senator. While these may seem small, they snowball quickly.
Accessible mailing is something that has always been available, and it shouldn’t come at the cost of Postal Service workers’ health. United, we stand…right?