From lab coats to jail blocks, our Scottish courier sees it all during lockdown deliveries

DAY 8 of our Covid Courier’s lockdown journal with fresh insight into the weird and wonderful places work takes her

Eagle Courier's hybrid electric Mitsubishi vehicle

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

BY ALISON McKELL

AFTER A couple of rather samey days, Wednesday brought along some sharp reminders that the world is currently a troubled place because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

My daily routine, starting at 7am, always begins with the collection of essential documents and paperwork to be delivered to a number of major Glasgow law firms.

However, today that job was cut in half – because part of the pick up from a Royal Mail sorting office wasn’t possible. As well as reducing its normal working hours, the mail sorting facility is no longer opening on a Wednesday. Another reminder that the lockdown is affecting all businesses – even the 500-year-old Royal Mail.

That freed me up to take on a different job at 8.15am – making a delivery from the hospital on Govan Road in Glasgow to Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock.

However, when I got there, staff were carefully monitoring who was and who wasn’t allowed in – all part of the painstaking efforts to maintain social distancing and to do as much as possible to prevent further spread of Coronavirus.

For me it meant a 25-minute wait while trying to organise the right person to come and meet me at the main entrance to arrange a safe handover of the delivery. All of the different hospitals have different rules to abide by.

Another reminder of Coronavirus awaited me. While in Greenock I was dispatched to the NHS Sterile Services Department to pick up 14 large boxes of protective gear to be taken back to Inverclyde Royal Hospital. Yet another stark reminder of the risks many NHS staff are taking to be on the front line of the fight against this virus, which has caused such havoc to all of our lives.

Another NHS-related job was next to keep me busy, this time to visit an NHS labs hub and collect samples to be delivered to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley. The only upside to this lockdown is that the traffic-free roads meant all of these jobs were turned around far more quickly and efficiently than is possible during normal times.

Returning to Glasgow, my next assignment was at the Sandyford clinic in Sauchiehall Street. Among its many roles Sandyford looks after reproductive health for patients across Greater Glasgow. I collected samples to be transferred safely to the virology department in the Lister block at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

After a lunch break, I found myself back on the motorway to Falkirk, bound for the offices of the Procurator Fiscal service. There I picked up urgent paperwork to be delivered to Polmont Young Offenders Institution.

 

Staying in Central Scotland my next assignment was on behalf of the Scottish Ambulance Service at Grangemouth Road in Falkirk. That was to pick up a box for overnight delivery to Dundee, which I safely deposited with an Eagle Couriers depot to arrange the next leg of the delivery.

Again, all of this work was made considerably easier than normal by the lack of traffic on the roads right across the central belt of Scotland.

And there ends an out of the ordinary Wednesday at Eagle Couriers.

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