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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, September 24, 2007

This is only a test...

So, the postal service teaming up with law enforcement can quickly and efficiently deliver life-saving drugs if the United States is hit with an anthrax attack.

Count me as well, er, skeptical.

Forget my belief that the postal service is quite capable of messing up a one-car funeral. Let's look at the reality of human nature and what will happen when or if such a natural emergency takes place.

First, there's the question of how many letter carriers will actually show up for work. That's not a slam on them -- that's a reflection of reality that in every occupation -- trash collection, hospitals, hedge fund trading -- some people will stay home with family and try to avoid catastrophe and panic.

Then there is the other piece of human behavior that dictates a large number of people will not wait for home delivery -- but will take to the streets in panic to hijack supplies.

That was the rationale for police officers accompanying the postal workers on their appointed rounds.

Are there enough cops to shadow every letter carrier? Is that the best use of their time and skills in an emergency?

Then there is the natural ability of letter carriers to mess up.

At buildings with narrow mail slots, the boxes were left on the stoop.

In Philadelphia, carriers skipped those residents and people complained.

We all know how effective complaining to the postal service is.

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