At a time where almost everything feels uncertain, one thing that is certain is the smile that one man is putting on people’s faces whilst doing his essential job of delivering parcels and letters.
Kevin Ruby has been a postman in Mallow for the last four years.
This week, he has been delivering his post with the help of his friend named Tedeen.
Tedeen, who is holding Mr Ruby up while he carries out his duties, has been giving young and old alike something to smile about in the mornings.
Mr Ruby said that he wanted to do something to “brighten things up a small bit”.
He said his own two young daughters made him realise how easy it is for children at home to feel bored and wanted to cheer them up.
“The small lads here at home, they’d be video calling their cousins and stuff and sure the minute they’re off the phone then the head goes down and they’re fierce sad.
“It was just to brighten things up a small bit, even in work. They’re staggering our work hours, there’s half us in early and half us in at eight o’clock so it’s a bit gloomy in there so I said I’d give them a bit of a surprise.”
He said that elderly people are enjoying it even more so than the younger children and he said he gets his best reactions from the elderly.
“There’s one lad, I suppose he’d be in his mid-70s. I always call to him and say hello to him, if he’d be inside the kitchen window, but he came out to me and when he saw me he said ‘Jesus, Kevin I thought I was after getting the fever or something’.
“He was in stitches. There were actually tears rolling down his eyes. It’s lovely to see it.
“It’s tough on them, even they’re own relatives who call to them, they can’t go out to see them, it’s as tough on the older people I think as it is on the kids.”
He said that the reaction since he started wearing the teddy costume whilst delivering the post since Friday has been “overwhelming”.
Mr Ruby’s plan is to wear the costume every second day. He is changing areas next week so he said he’ll wear it again then to give “other kids something to laugh at as well”.
He said that hours at An Post’s Mallow delivery office have changed to allow for social distancing with less people working at the same time.
“There’s about 35 of us working in the Mallow office and some of us are starting at five and some of us are starting six, they’re kind of staggering it. As soon as that half are gone, the other lads come in at eight o’clock so they’re later going out on their delivery just to reduce numbers inside in the one area.”
He said that An Post staff are “busier than before all this started” because there are a lot more parcels and letters to be delivered.