A video of a FedEx delivery worker is being shared across the country for all the right reasons.
In Boca Raton, Fla., an unnamed FedEx driver was caught on camera last week taking the time to sanitize a package after he learned a girl living in the home has an autoimmune disorder.
The girl’s mother, Carrie Blasi, first shared the story last Monday on her Twitter account.
“We have a sign on our door for packages/mail as our 11-year-old daughter is a Type 1 Diabetic,” she wrote. “Our Federal Express delivery guy wrote this on our box: ‘I Sanitized your box once I’ve seen the note on your door.’” She added that she could tell he had used sanitizer wipes to help clean the box.
Blasi was so impressed by the gesture, she continued tweeting about it the next day: “If everyone would follow in his footsteps…act of true kindness…there is hope!”
Blasi’s home security camera confirmed the delivery worker’s good deed—which she has since shared on YouTube. In the footage, the driver arrives on Blasi’s front door with the package before noticing the sign; he then goes back to his truck to retrieve wipes so he can try to disinfect the package.
As People Magazine reports, a friend of the delivery worker reached out to Blasi after seeing the video appear in news outlets picking up the story. She was able to chat with him recently via video conference.
“He is such a good-natured man,” Blasi told People. The two bonded over their daughters, who are both at high risk for the virus.
The driver’s act is all the more commendable for the conditions FedEx drivers themselves face as they continue to work through a global pandemic. Last month, the New York Times reported that some package delivery employees have been going to work sick because they are worried they’ll lose their jobs or be punished for calling out. And as NBC News recently reported, FedEx workers, in particular, say they haven’t been getting the same protections offered at other delivery companies like UPS, Amazon and the U.S. Postal Service.
As of April 2, drivers said the company hadn’t provided them cleaning and sanitizing supplies or additional sick leave. Because many of them are contractors, they also haven’t been receiving health insurance or hazard pay, despite working long hours and delivering high volumes of packages to many Americans stuck at home.
It should be noted that public health experts say the odds of a sick truck driver or warehouse worker infecting a package recipient is low. One study recently published in The Lancet Microbe revealed that the virus can live up to 24 hours on cardboard surfaces, but shipping conditions likely drive that time down even lower. If package-transmission were viable, we’d also have seen the coronavirus spreading across the world much more quickly.
As Elizabeth McGraw, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Pennsylvania State University, told Business Insider, “If we had transmission via packages, we would have seen immediate global spread out of China early in the outbreak.”
Still, the FedEx driver’s gesture was a simple, refreshing, and visible act of kindness and concern, especially at a time of so much uncertainty and sickness. The Trump administration has been a mess, and acts of racism and xenophobia in this country and across the world have been demoralizing. But if you assess your circle, your neighborhood and your city, you’re probably surrounded by people just like this delivery worker. Folks who are organizing mutual care groups, essential workers who are showing up to back-to-back shifts doing grueling (and invisible) work and people who are willing to go the extra mile to make sure those around them are just a little bit safer.