Empty roads, blood deliveries and palliative care medicines – life in lockdown Glasgow

DAY 3 of the Covid Courier’s insights on delivering vital supplies for the NHS through the Coronavirus crisis

Deserted roads across Scotland during lockdown

Deserted roads in Scotland

BY ALYSON McKELL

TODAY it has really struck me just how eerily quiet the roads are.

I’ve seen more of a police presence than I’ve noticed previously, but the reality is that the roads are dead.

Which suits me just fine, because I’ve got another day with plenty of work to on behalf of the NHS, as well as some other clients.

That starts of with a regular aspect of our work at Eagle Couriers, collecting samples from Sandyford, the specialist sexual health service for Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Those need to be safely delivered to the labs at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Next up it is a trip to a care home in Stepps to collect a prescription for vital palliative care medicines. That prescription is taken to Boots to collect the medication, which is then safely delivered back to the care home.

Mitsubisih Hybrid Electric Vehicle operated by Eagle Couriers in Scotland

The hybrid electric Mitsubishi vehicle driven in Glasgow by Eagle Couriers. The vehicle is normally used by veteran courier Alyson McKell

One benefit of the quite roads is that this journey is an extremely quick turnaround. No snarl ups, traffic jams or other delays. It seems evident that people are heeding the warnings to stay at home and to avoid non-essential journeys.

While many businesses are shut down, others are continuing their work, albeit it that most of the staff are working from home. My next job is to collect documents on behalf of various legal firm from a Royal Mail sorting office, then drop them at each firm’s city centre offices.

Likewise, there are still a small number of schools open, for the children of essential workers. Those kids need hot meals at lunchtime. One of my most satisfying jobs of today is collecting those meals from the Cranhill school food hub and delivering them – still piping hot – to a school in Riddrie.

One of the contracts we are proudest of at Eagle Couriers is our long-standing work with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service. Indeed, the SNBTS provides us with documentation to prove that we are essential workers during this lockdown period.

Today’s job for the SNBTS involves collecting blood from Gartnavel Hospital in the West End and ferrying it safely to the blood transfusion labs at Monklands Hospital in North Lanarkshire.

Throughout this – and all deliveries and collections – I practice strict social distancing procedures. Deliveries are placed a safe distance away, before the recipient then collects them.

What I can say with certainty is that everywhere I visit, there is only one topic of conversation – the current virus crisis. While the distancing rules are there to protect us all, I do find myself wondering how long they will be in place for?

Later I have a series of deliveries to make on behalf of businesses – laptops and other remote working essentials to the homes of workers who can no longer visit their usual workplaces.

Other deliveries for today included paperwork that I delivered to  a major wholesale cash carry, helping the to stay open and keep us all going with the food and other essentials customers need.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

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