Some Chicago workers relish return of colder weather

Being outside for a short time is not safe when Chicago conditions are like this. Doctors say frostbite can set in just a few minutes, but what if you have to be outside for your job?

“You keep moving, you got to keep going get your heart rate up there and so your skin doesn't get too cold too quickly,” Joe Cielecki, a USPS letter carrier, said.

For 33 years, Cielecki has been braving the cold for those in Evergreen Park.

Rain, shine, snow, sleet or hail it doesn't matter - he is a United States Postal Carrier. The December drop in temperatures hasn't made him bitter, he said it's better than summer. 

“The heat just zaps the energy out of you, whereas the cold you are just invigorated,” Cielecki said.

On Wednesday, with wind chills in the single digits, Cielecki is sporting two layers, a hat and only one pair of socks. Doctors recommend three layers of loose clothing.

"Ideally, a hat, gloves insulated boots and waterproof boots," Dr. Sindhu Kurian of Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care said. 

Dr. Kurian said they've already seen some cold weather injuries.

"We are seeing a little bit of the frostbite, already people are walking outside to the bus stop are seeing it on their ears, toes and extremities," Dr. Kurian said.

Cielecki said he drinks lots of water and eats things that give him energy like granola bars during the day, but he has one more piece of advice: surround yourself with good people.

“I have awesome customers. They take care of me. I get coffee hot chocolate cookies, this is like my second family right here,” Cielecki said.