Smithville, Texas is not the sort of place you’d expect people to be jerks over someone testing positive for a virus. But that’s exactly what happened to Pamela Bilbo, 65. She’s been fighting the Coronavirus now since April. On Thursday, she found a note in her mailbox that advised her that she would no longer receive mail because she tested positive for COVID-19. That note seriously added to her stress from the disease.
“A little two inch by two inch post-it note from my carrier was in there. That said they could no longer deliver my mail, because someone had tested positive for COVID-19 at this address…My mailbox is out on the street away from my house. I called Smithville Post Office and they couldn’t tell me why except Bastrop Police told them to stop my mail. I don’t know why they thought they had the right to shut my mail service off.” Pamela Bilbo to KXAN
The post-it note worried her because of the bills and her sister’s cancer medications that come in the mail. After KXAN investigator Arezow Doost got involved, Ms Bilbo started receiving her mail again.
Bastrop police responded that they don’t have jursdiction over the US Postal Service or Smithville, and did not give such “guidance.” Someone screwed up. Was it just someone’s excuse to be a jerk, or did a carrier really think they were supposed to follow that kind of “guidance?” This is why none of us should be sheep that just do what someone tells us we have to do. Ms. Bilbo should never have had to experience this situation. It was bad enough that she was suffering from the virus.
The Smithville Post office released this statement:
“The notice to the customer regarding their mail delivery was left in error. We apologize for any inconvenience that may have been experienced by our customer. As soon as local postal managers were made aware, they took steps to resolve the issue and have confirmed that mail delivery has resumed…
The Postal Service has a dedicated Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Command Response leadership team that is focusing on employee and customer safety in conjunction with operational and business continuity during this unprecedented epidemic.” Communications Specialist Becky Hernandez in an email to KXAN investigator
Pamela Bilbo told KXAN that she hoped this would not happen again for anyone. When she finally received her mail again over the weekend, there was a note on the top of the pile of mail that said, “I stand with you.”
We hope to shout.
Featured photo: screenshot via KXAN