When COVID-19 broke out earlier in the year, I was concerned how it would affect my job at Nice Guys. As a delivery driver, I interact with dozens of people every day at work, and as such, my profession is considered “high-risk.” Given the severity of the outbreak and how contagious COVID-19 is, I wasn’t even sure we’d be allowed to continue operating until the pandemic was under control.
Thankfully, cannabis dispensaries were deemed an essential service by California officials, and we quickly implemented several safety precautions to adapt our new reality. The office was immediately stocked with surgical masks, latex gloves and hand sanitizer — which was an impressive feat on the part of management, given that there were nationwide shortages of all three during the early stages of the pandemic — and were each given a non-disposable cloth mask as well.
I was initially nervous about the prospect of delivering orders and handling customers’ cash, so I initially played it as safe as possible. Before starting my day, I always made sure to have several masks, several pairs of gloves, and several containers of hand sanitizer in my car. I wore a mask and gloves for every delivery and, in what was probably an unnecessary bit of overkill, used hand sanitizer on my gloves after touching cash. (The CDC eventually concluded that wearing gloves isn’t necessary to limit the spread of COVID, but we still keep them around the office, as some employees simply feel safer wearing them.)
Although we’re not required to wear gloves, drivers are required to wear masks — both on the road and in the office. In addition to masks, we’re given hand sanitizer and sanitary wipes at the beginning of each shift, and have had several HEPA air filters installed at the office as well. We also began offering contact-free payment options — namely, credit cards and bank transfers — to create as much physical space as possible between drivers and customers during deliveries.
Thanks to these safety precautions, I gradually began to feel more comfortable doing my job in the age of COVID. I take great comfort in the fact that, in the nine months since the pandemic began, none of our drivers or dispatchers have contracted coronavirus, and I’m confident that our staff & management will continue doing everything in our power to ensure that nobody does. Our safety procedures are now second nature to me, and the fears and concerns I once had around doing my job have since completely disappeared.
Navigating this pandemic has been difficult for all of us. We’ve all had to adapt to a different way of living and doing things, and that’s as true at Nice Guys as it is anywhere else. Thankfully, we’ve found ways to do this without compromising our central mission, so that we can continue providing safe, high-quality, affordable cannabis to the residents of Marin County.
At Nice Guys Delivery, the safety of our customers and employees is our first priority, and in response to COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve overhauled our delivery protocols to ensure our ability to continue providing quality, affordable cannabis to Marin County. In addition to following all state laws and safety procedures outlined by the Centers for Disease Control, Nice Guys has also implemented several changes to our delivery procedures to do our part to fight the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of our customers and employees.
At the beginning of each shift, all drivers are given a pack of sanitation wipes and a bottle of [99.99%] hand sanitizer; we also provide our drivers with gloves and disposable surgical face masks, though many drivers prefer to use their own masks. Every driver begins the day by washing their hands and wiping down the car’s steering wheel, parking brake, temperature controls and other surfaces with sanitation wipes. While on the road, our drivers use hand sanitizer before and after every delivery, and always wear masks when in the presence of customers or coworkers.
Drivers make every effort to keep as much physical distance as possible between customers during transactions. Depending on how you’re paying, this can take a few different forms.
Customers who prepay for their orders via the free PayTender app will always have a 100% contact-free delivery, as PayTender requires no physical interaction. If you’re paying in cash, you can leave your payments in an envelope or a mailbox for drivers to collect to maximize social distancing (although in accordance with state law, our drivers must make visual contact with customers before completing an order). Likewise, credit card customers may read their card information to drivers in order to avoid any physical contact.
Of course, maintaining a safe work environment is just as important at the office as on the road. Nice Guys headquarters is fully stocked with hand sanitizer, surgical face masks and gloves, and the air is constantly being filtered through three newly-installed HEPA air purifiers. All employees are required to wear face masks at all times while indoors, and are instructed to stay home if they feel the slightest hint of any single COVID-19 symptom.
Thanks to these safeguards and others, we’re happy to report that none of our drivers or dispatchers have tested positive for COVID-19.
Although navigating this pandemic has been difficult for all of us, we’re committed to doing everything in our power to stop the spread of this virus, and continue providing safe, high-quality cannabis to the residents of Marin County.