Lockdown disruption makes itself felt for our Covid Courier in Glasgow

DAY 11 and our veteran driver’s lockdown journal brings reminders of just how disruptive Coronavirus has proven

Control room staff at work in Eagle Couriers

Control room staff at work in Eagle Couriers, Scotland’s biggest independent courier company

By ALYSON McKELL

WHILE I’ve grown used to driving on empty roads and a new routine built around mostly NHS deliveries, today served up a number of reminders of just how disruptive Coronavirus has been.

Everything in my day started pretty normally, when I arrived at Eagle Couriers’ Glasgow depot to collect my vehicle which has been charging overnight – the much-loved Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) that I’ve been using since 2017

Straight away I head off on the main job which starts all of my working days – picking up mail for a number of legal firms. It’s a little known fact that lawyers in Scotland have their own dedicated mail system, called DX Mail, to ensure important paperwork is guaranteed to be delivered between different law firms.

Even though many law firms are closed, there are those that still want or need their paperwork delivered to their offices. Others even want documents delivered to lawyers who are working from home. I pick up the relevant paperwork from DX Mail in George Square and make the city centre drop offs.

This is when I get my first reminder that things are not normal. Usually at this time I would also pick up more legal paperwork from the Royal Mail sorting office on Baird Street. But starting last week, the facility is no longer open on Wednesdays because of lockdown, making the start to my day feel oddly out of kilter.

Instead I head over the M8 motorway to Queenslie for another regular part of my daily delivery and pick up run, a stop off at the sizeable depot of a UK-wide overnight delivery network.

From there I find myself heading to make a delivery at one of Glasgow’s best-known industrial landmarks – the Provan Gas Works at Blochairn Road, Royston, a familiar sight for anyone who regularly drives on the M8 through the city.

Next up, I am headed to a residential address in Marywood Square, Strathbungo, to drop of equipment which will enable the recipient to work from home effectively while the Coronavirus ban on normal office work remains in place.

My next surprise was when I made my usual daily visit to the Marie Curie hospice at Stobhill Hospital. Every day I drop in here to collect samples which have to be taken for testing at various labs which are part of Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Today there are no samples to be collected. While that is unusual, what is even more uncommon is the surprise I get when stopping at the Infirmary – because they have no results, medicines or other paperwork to be taken back to Marie Curie. I can’t remember another occasion when that has happened. We truly are living through strange times.

Medical supplies delivered by Eagle Couriers in Scotland

Eagle Couriers works with the NHS in Scotland delviering vital samples, medicines and other supplies

Some sense of normality is restored at my next NHS job, a stop at the Sandyford clinic in the city centre to collect samples also destined for the biochemistry and virology labs at the Royal Infirmary. Once they are safely dropped off with the lab staff, it is time for my lunch break.

Immediately after lunch I am dispatched to Gartnavel hospital to pick up a package which needs returned to our depot so that it can be forwarded on for overnight delivery to another part of the country.

Indeed, the next few pick-ups – from a range of different places – are all packages which have to be processed for overnight delivery. They include a package form Springburn Health Centre being send to Edinburgh; a package from McGhee’s Family Bakers destined for Norwich; and important material from the haematology department at Glasgow Royal Infirmary on its way to London.

After this morning’s surprise when there was nothing to be ferried between the Marie Curie hospice and the Royal Infirmary, the afternoon sees some semblance of normality restored, when I collect medicines at the Infirmary to be delivered to the Marie Curie.

My final run of the day is back to the Eagle Couriers’ depot, where I safely deliver all Take all of the overnight parcels I have collected, to be logged on the overnight system for the next leg of their journey

All that leaves me is to finish my daily paper work,  plug in the PHEV in to charge and then I can head home – and get ready to do it all again tomorrow.

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