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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."

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Saudi dissident claims MBS said he could get "poison ring" to kill king

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attending the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, via video link, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Photo: Royal Court of Saudi Arabia/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A former senior Saudi intelligence official who worked with the U.S. on counterterrorism alleged to "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed in 2014 killing the kingdom's then-monarch.

Why it matters: The claim by the exiled Saad al-Jabri, whom Saudi authorities describe as "a discredited former government official," that the crown prince, known as "MBS," allegedly said he could obtain a "ring from Russia" to carry out the attack, is one of several serious but unproven allegations he made on the CBS show.