Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

GM workers collaborate as we all will some day: wearing masks. Photo: Joann Muller/Axios

Whether you work in a factory, a retail store, a restaurant or an office, you're going to have to get used to wearing a mask at work for the foreseeable future.

Why it matters: Until there's a vaccine for the coronavirus, or enough people have been exposed that it's no longer a threat, masks will be advised, and likely required, in public.

Context: I visited a former GM transmission factory Thursday that is now a hub of mask-making activity.

To be allowed inside, I had to practice all of the new health safety protocols that GM is instituting at its factories and which are likely to be similar for any workplace.

  • I sanitized my hands and then put on a mask.
  • I had my temperature taken, and answered a health questionnaire.
  • I did not sign in; instead the security guard signed me in from behind a cordoned-off visitors' desk.
  • Inside the clean room where GM is making the masks, I donned a gown and a hairnet for added precautions.

My thought bubble: It was exciting to be out of my house, and doing my job for a change, but I was anxious about touching anything, or letting people stand too close.

The whole point of wearing a mask at work, however, is to allow safe interactions with colleagues.

  • The break area, on the other hand, was a lonely-looking place: one chair at each table, all facing the same direction, placed six feet apart.
  • The orientation area had footprints painted on the floor, telling workers where to stand during meetings.
  • After a masked interview across a large conference table, a GM employee quickly sterilized the table and chair where I'd been sitting.
  • This must be the new normal, I thought.

Gerald Johnson, GM's executive vice president of global manufacturing, says people just have to get used to it.

  • "It took us decades to learn how to wear seat belts. Today nobody questions it."

Go deeper: Automakers lay out back-to-work playbook for coronavirus pandemic

Go deeper

Gohmert suggests without evidence that wearing mask contributed to contracting coronavirus

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on Wednesday released a video statement about his coronavirus diagnosis, suggesting without evidence that wearing a mask may have contributed to testing positive.

The big picture: The congressman, who has largely been resistant to wearing a mask around Capitol Hill, said that he "can't help but wonder" if adjusting his mask "put some germs in" it. While the CDC has said it is possible that coronavirus can be transmitted after touching an infected surface, it "is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads."

The rebellion against Silicon Valley (the place)

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

Silicon Valley may be a "state of mind," but it's also very much a real enclave in Northern California. Now, a growing faction of the tech industry is boycotting it.

Why it matters: The Bay Area is facing for the first time the prospect of losing its crown as the top destination for tech workers and startups — which could have an economic impact on the region and force it to reckon with its local issues.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
53 mins ago - Economy & Business

Telework's tax mess

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As teleworkers flit from city to city, they're creating a huge tax mess.

Why it matters: Our tax laws aren't built for telecommuting, and this new way of working could have dire implications for city and state budgets.