Masks in the Workplace

By Destinie Harrington

Wearing a mask throughout the day is already a task, but we are able to take them off once we are in a safe environment. Having to wear a mask in the workplace is another very difficult task for some people. For some wearing a mask for a long period of time can become a health concern.

But for people who are full-time workers can have some trouble. For instance, you may feel as if you can’t breathe, or feel constricted, or even stop breathing normally when your mask is on. So just imagine yourself wearing it within the workplace from 9-5 without really getting a break to pull it down. 

Essential workers such as grocery clerks, waitresses, doctors, and nurses have been putting their lives on the line, working countless hours with their mask on so that the world can continue to function.

I spoke with a single mother named Allision Wade who is a bus driver for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, and a manager at Harris Teeter. During our interview via phone, she talks about her struggle with wearing a face mask for practically the time she wakes up for work until she gets off.

“My jobs consist of me wearing my mask all day,” Wade said. “Normally I wake up around 5:30 am to get me and my children dressed and then to daycare by 6:30. With being a CMS bus driver I drive around and deliver meals but a mask is required for the safety of the food and the other employees on the bus as well. Once that job is complete I’m on to my next job at Harris Teeter where a mask is required to shift there as well.”

Through hearing her story, she has opened up many concerns for the other essential workers and how they go out every day to satisfy and help the needs of other people. During this time essential workers should get a raise until the pandemic is over. 

As for me being a college student, I even struggle with having to wear my mask for a long period of time. I struggle with not being able to breathe correctly depending on the mask I wear. Trying to breathe while wearing a mask and also having to have it covered over your nose as well, but this is our “new normal” and something that we will have to get used to.