A postman from Co Kildare has called on everybody in Ireland to “rally together” during the coronavirus outbreak to support older and vulnerable people.
An Post postmen and postwomen have been checking in on older customers as strict restrictions on movement remain in effect.
They’ve also been helping connect anyone feeling lonely or isolated to the charity Alone’s coronavirus helpline.
Postman John Doyle from Newbridge spoke to Susan Keogh on Newstalk Breakfast about how he’s being working during the outbreak.
He said: “It’s a very nervy time for everyone - not alone older people or vulnerable people, but everyone.
“I’ve never washed my hands as much in my life before, but we have to do it - keep our distance, but [also] talk.”
John said an important thing for postal workers at the moment is to keep a smile on their face when they meet someone on the road, and to “just stop and stay hello”.
He suggested: “A few words go a long way.
“We just have to rally together, everyone - young, old, middle-aged - we all have to mind ourselves and look after one another.
“Call into a person that’s lonely, knock on the door, stand back and say ‘are you alright?’ and put a smile on their face.
“If young people and middle-aged people did more of that - stand back and realise the way old people live now - it’d be a better world."
Meet John Doyle. My Postman. Although the title doesn’t quite cut it these day. Like many of his @Postvox colleagues John is going above & beyond to help older & vulnerable people cocooning from #Covid19
He’s one of my guests on #NewstalkBreakfast in the morning. From 8am 📻 pic.twitter.com/R2NZUWSFFV
— Susan Keogh (@susankeoghnews) April 3, 2020
John explained that he has three customers that are vulnerable and aren’t able to come out of their homes at the moment.
He observed: “They’re OK for shopping - but they just love the newspaper. I’m delivering the newspaper to them even if I haven’t got [any] post [for them].
“They love to see it coming, because they’re actually locked in.”
John has been working across different companies for nearly 40 years, and says he has never seen anything like the current situation.
However, he considers himself “part of a family” in the community - saying the people he meets in the course of his work “are just fabulous”.
John also wished all frontline staff in hospitals and nursing homes the best of luck - saying they’re keeping the country going.
The Alone coronavirus helpline can be reached on 0818 222 024.