Masks and other similar PPE have become the symbols of the COVID age. They have also become a source of political controversy, as many people push back against the restrictions the disease has imposed on our lives. But, as businesses open up and as people get back to work, it’s crucial to remember the importance of wearing the proper PPE both in and out of the office. 

As people start to ease into more interpersonal contacts, masks represent a key safety precaution to prevent a renewed spike in infections. The CDC has issued guidelines about its use and many state and local governments require people to use PPE in certain circumstances. 

The fast-moving nature of the outbreak has made it difficult to document the efficacy of masks for fighting coronavirus with absolute scientific rigor. However, a broad look at the evidence shows that masks likely reduce the spread of disease. As we try to get the economy back on track, masks provide a critical intermediate step between “shelter in place” and a return to pre-COVID patterns of interaction. 

With that in mind, here’s why it’s important to wear a mask in and out of the office as the country gets back to work: 

Maintain Compliance with Regulations 

In certain situations, you don’t have a choice of wearing PPE. Your employer might require it at the office. Retailers and restaurants might insist you keep a mask on in certain situations. The government might have specific regulations in effect. Whatever your personal feelings about these restrictions, you can’t fight every battle. It’s best to comply and focus your energy on other concerns. 

Get Back to Normal As Fast As Possible 

Yes, wearing masks is strange. They are uncomfortable and they hinder communication. It makes sense if you want to avoid putting one on. Ultimately, though, resisting PPEs is counterproductive. Only by reducing infection rates and getting the outbreak under control can we return to a normal routine. In other words, using the proper precautions now will make them less necessary in the long run. 

Prevent a Second Wave 

In many regions, coronavirus infection rates have declined to the point where something approaching normal activity can start again. However, a return to a pre-COVID routine might not last if people toss aside every safety precaution. With experts warning about a potential second wave of infection, masks become an important preventive measure. Widespread PPE use could stave off another round of restrictions and quarantines.  

Protect Your Loved Ones 

When working in the outside world during an outbreak, you become a potential vector of infection. You don’t just risk your own health. You can carry the virus back to your home and family.  

In this way, masks don’t just protect you and the people you interact with during your workday. They also protect the people you live with. By wearing the proper PPE, you minimize the chance that you’ll bring COVID home with you from the office. 

Facilitate In-Person Business 

Without any protective equipment, face-to-face discussions are virtually impossible. Worries about infection make them too dangerous. With masks, however, some in-person encounters are back on the table. In this way, your willingness to use PPE opens the door to potentially productive meetings, allowing everyone to get the most out of the workday. 

Safety should represent a top priority for any workplace. Now, more than ever, that includes a focus on COVID. By teaming with a strong recruiting partner, like SmartTalent, you can find employers that will keep you safe and give a boost to your career. 

Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.