Face masks save lives and jobs across Washington

Face masks save lives and jobs across Washington

Wearing a mask saves lives and saves jobs.

And all across the state, Washington employers are leading by example in the fight to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

From Seattle to our small towns, workers are masking up before starting their shifts on manufacturing floors, in restaurant kitchens, construction sites and hardware stores. This simple tool is even more powerful when customers do their part as well — and wear a mask before coming inside.

Culturally, we are adjusting and building new habits. Face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer have joined wallets, phones and car keys among the necessary items to have before leaving our homes. Some masks are plain, and some have the logos of our favorite sports teams or other patterns. Either way, they have become part of our daily lives.

Initially, face masks were encouraged primarily as a way to protect those around us. But now researchers from around the world are looking into the possibility they also provide protection for the person wearing the mask. Recent studies indicate people are 65% less likely to be infected if they wear a mask.

And Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said he believes the pandemic could be brought under control in four to eight weeks if “we could get everybody to wear a mask right now.”

Our state needs this team effort to keep people from getting sick — and help our economy stay open and avoid more closures. Masks help companies open up and stay open. The economy has a great degree of fragility. We need to do everything possible to avoid going backward. Wearing a mask can not only help keep you and neighbors healthy, but they can also help you and your neighbor collect a paycheck, not an unemployment check.

Washington’s economy shut down in March. Lives were saved as we stopped the spread of the coronavirus. But our economy took a major hit when customers stayed home and demand dropped. Many businesses are still recovering, and some are already gone forever from this once in a lifetime event.

Since then, our state has reopened slowly and carefully. Employers have made major investments in personal protective equipment, safety training, and by rearranging store layouts and factory floors. This work is all the more remarkable considering that hundreds of Washington manufacturers have shifted their operations to make this personal protective equipment to both save jobs and help our state reopen safely.

Now, COVID-19 cases are trending upward in Washington and around the country. But we have come too far to turn back. This point is being driven home by the Stay Safe Washington Coalition, which has launched a new public awareness campaign to highlight the benefits of using a mask. The message is simple: If we all wear a mask in public places, we can stay safe and stay open.

This broad coalition represents contractors, ethnic businesses, bankers, grocers, Realtors, the retail, hospitality and food industries, AWB and more. We are proud to be part of this team effort to protect public health and help keep our struggling economy open.

And we are asking all Washingtonians to continue to do their part. Frequent hand washing, physical distancing and face masks are some of the best tools we’ve got right now as we fight this virus and attempt to rebuild our battered economy.

It might not seem like much, but a simple piece of fabric can help save a job, protect a life and — hopefully soon — defeat this virus.

Kris Johnson is president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s chamber of commerce and manufacturers association.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

T
Best of Federal Way 2021 winners/finalists share insights into success

The Mirror recently announced our Best of Federal Way 2021 winners and… Continue reading

Cash Cards Unlimited partners, left: Nick Nugwynne, right: Cassius Marsh (photo credit: Cash Cards Unlimited)
Former Seahawks player Cassius Marsh cashes in on trading cards

Marsh and his friend open physical and online trading card store as collectibles boom amid pandemic.

Teaser
First large-scale, human composting facility in the world will open in Auburn

“It’s what nature meant us to do. We just do it faster.”

Owners of Manic Meatballs, Carrie Stalder (left) and Chad Stalder. (Photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Federal Way family owns Swedish meatball drive-thru restaurant near JBLM

A Federal Way family owns what has to be the only Swedish… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Fastsigns Federal Way (32610 Pacific Highway S. Suite b-4 in Federal Way).
Shop Local campaign supports FW business community

A local business campaign has now grown into a go-to site for… Continue reading

T
Tantalize your taste buds with these winning restaurants in Federal Way

Yes, it is possible to eat your way through Federal Way. While… Continue reading

Most of the Brickyard Pub staff members pictured at the bar's Christmas party in 2017. Photo courtesy of Celeste Locke
Brickyard Pub is here for a good time and a long time

Neighborhood pub voted Best Bar/Nightclub in Federal Way.

Northshore Automotive and RV Repair staff pictured (L-R): JR Moergeli, Jason Frank, Derek Carter, and front, Art Rood. Photo courtesy of Ryan Hoover
Northshore Automotive and RV Repair wins first Best of Federal Way award

The local repair shop is dedicated to serving their neighbors, owner says.

Five years of winning (and counting) for some Federal Way businesses.
Five years of winning (and counting) for these Federal Way businesses

Five is the new lucky number for several Federal Way businesses. The… Continue reading

Whole Foods grocery store entrance (Shutterstock)
King County considers grocery store worker hazard pay for those in unincorporated areas

The King County Metropolitan Council will vote during its next meeting on… Continue reading

Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Two businesses celebrate grand openings in Federal Way

Old Navy, Azteca Mexican Restaurant now open.