Truckers risk exposure to coronavirus to deliver critical medical and food supplies
As medical professionals and public health officials work to slow the spread of the coronavirus, truck drivers are also working around-the-clock to deliver critical medical supplies, food and other essentials to hospitals and grocery stores nationwide.
Deb LaBree and her husband, Del, of Joplin, Missouri, haul vital medical supplies to hospitals. They are independent owner-operators, who own Castle Transport LLC, and are leased to Landstar. They typically run from Colorado to the East Coast.
Deb LaBree considers truckers “unsung heroes” who rally in times of crisis to get the job done, even if it means putting their health at risk.
“We got into trucking 13 years ago, and specifically the pharmaceutical division, to help people in times like this because we know they need their medication,” she told FreightWaves.
Deb LaBree said she’s not on the “panic wagon” yet but understands the importance of remaining healthy to deliver medicine to help those affected by the coronavirus, which is now a global pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.
As of Friday, more than 2,000 people have been confirmed to have the virus, resulting in 41 deaths in the U.S., according to an NBC report.
“We haul medicine that has to move no matter what,” she said. “No, we can’t quarantine ourselves 100%, but we have always been conscientious of sanitary practices — but we are even more so now.”
The LaBrees constantly wipe down the steering wheel with Clorox wipes and use hand sanitizer after using touch screens at the fuel pumps or touching other metal surfaces. They are also trying to stay more “self-contained” in their truck by eating meals they prepared at home. To read more, visit Freightwaves.
Posted: March 17, 2020