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Gratitude essential for essential workers

On Sunday, people showed support for the U.S. Postal Service by buying stamps and sharing tributes to mail carriers.

CHASKA, Minnesota — Before COVID 19 changed life, we passed by them everyday. The men and women we now call essential workers. The healthcare workers are on the front lines of essential ... but there are others one man doesn't want us to overlook. And Donta Hughes says there are so many ways to show appreciation, but sometimes 'Thank you' says it best.

On a Facebook post, Donta Hughes thanked the essential worker closest to his heart: his wife. Hughes said she works for the United States Postal Service.

"She is a super woman. She works in the annex so she separates all the mail for the carriers. Sometimes she will deliver if it is that busy," he said. "It is really easy for us sitting at home to forget about the sacrifices they are making. A simple smile can change someone else's day completely."

Researchers discovered COVID-19 can live on cardboard for 24 hours, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Researchers didn't examine how long it stays active on paper. Hughes says he's afraid of the unknown and worried about his wife's safety. 

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"It's a big sacrifice on her part. I'm proud and afraid at the same time," Hughes said. "It bothers me a lot because I don't want anything to happen to her."

On Sunday, people showed support for the U.S. Postal Service by buying stamps and sharing tributes to mail carriers. This after the U.S. Postal Service said it has seen a "devastating" drop in revenue. It needs funding from Congress to ensure mail and packages get to people sheltering at home. 

On social media, a mail carrier based in Indianapolis posted a video call to action so life continues even if mail deliveries stop. 

"You may want to start having direct deposit if you don't have it. You got to get it. If the post office shuts down, then you are not going to have no way to get your money," she said. "That means you can't pay your bills or buy groceries." 

The USPS hasn't received cash in the stimulus plans geared toward helping other types of U.S. businesses. Hughes says that is another example of why gratitude is essential.

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"For all of the workers, I just want to say 'Thank you,' because a lot of things couldn't move without you. We would be standing still without some of these essential workers," he said. 

He also said now is the time to give people flowers while they can still smell them and tell them they are appreciated while they can hear. 

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The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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