I’ve Worn A Mask At Work For A Week, And I Actually Prefer It
June 9, 2020
I’ve been back working from the office for a week now. Part of the many measures we have put in place at work has been to wear masks when dealing face to face with the public, either in the showroom or at properties. The showroom is by appointment only right now, as you can understand, but footfall has been as low as you would expect now anyway.
There has been some debate around masks. The British government guidance is to wear one when going to the shops for example, or where six-foot social distancing isn’t possible. The way we’re now carrying out appointments means maintaining six-foot distances from people isn’t hard to do. You still get a few people who have no concept of personal space, so you need to politely take a step back.
For the appointments I’ve been on so far, I have worn a mask when with the customer. And it has been absolutely fine. No drama at all. Some have decided to wear masks when speaking with me as well, which is also absolutely fine.
There is evidence that wearing masks helps protect people from catching viruses and other bugs. Although it’s not a perfect solution, and can’t guarantee anything, I am seeing more and more people choosing to wear masks in their daily life. Outside my window I see walkers and cyclists wearing them more often now, even though they’re in the open air. The last time I went to the supermarket I would say about half of the people in there were wearing masks, including myself.
I don’t think people are wearing them in the belief that they give you medical immunity from disease. It’s more an act of reassurance for the person wearing it, and a sign to others that you care, that you’re showing compassion for the cause. As I said, I have worn one for every appointment since we went back and every single homeowner has been fine with it, some choosing to wear one themselves. It’s almost an act of kindness toward the other person.
It’s not about spreading fear. Other societies in other parts of the world have become used to wearing masks for a while now; think of many countries in Asia, and people simply get on with their lives as they would.
Personally, I do find it more reassuring to wear one. I am still very worried about catching the virus, as is my wife, and we certainly don’t want to bring it home. So, before I leave the car I put on my mask and gloves before I introduce myself to the customer and explain how we’re going to do the appointment. Reactions from customers have been pretty positive and impressed that we’re taking these steps. Some homeowners have commented to me that some companies when visiting are behaving as though the past three months haven’t even happened.
If I were to step into someone’s home right now, even for a few minutes to measure something upstairs, without a mask or gloves on, I would feel very uncomfortable about it both for my own health perspective and the homeowner. Just because we are back to work doesn’t mean this thing has gone away. It’s easy to fall into that false sense of security. We’re nowhere near done with this, which means until there is a vaccine or new effective treatment, we’ll be social distancing and working this way for quite a long time.