After the coronavirus pandemic exploded, mail carrier Krysten Wilson realized just how valuable she is to the people along her route, particularly her isolated elderly residents.
An older gentleman who came up to me and said, ‘I really hate to ask you this. It’s so uncomfortable, but I’m not able to get out and go get toilet paper,'” says Wilson, 28, who delivers mail to some 900 stops in Canton, Georgia.
“I found some that day and wouldn’t let him pay,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday. “You don’t realize how much your mail carrier cares and is aware of your needs.”
As Wilson tries to stay safe on the job with sanitizer, gloves and masks, this single mom of a 7-year-old son is worried about picking up the deadly virus, and made the difficult decision to move him in with her mother, who lives nearby.
“I don’t want to bring the germs back to him,” says Wilson.
While she is grateful that her son is safe, the move comes with sadness when she notices his empty bedroom filled with untouched toys. Now she communicates with her son through FaceTime or her mom’s car window when he’s brought by for a socially distant visit.
“It’s honestly like in a movie where we’re sitting there with tears in our eyes because we want to touch each other and hug each other and it’s hard,” Wilson says. “He’s very intelligent for a 7-year-old, but it’s still trying, he doesn’t understand the situation. It’s very, very difficult.”
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Many of Wilson’s fellow mail carriers feel the same, as they too have also separated themselves from family members.
“I’m very grateful to have my job, but it comes with other hardships,” she says. “The people that I work with, we would love to be home with our families, but we’re out here to be there for everyone’s families.”
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