This week I really struggled with how to return to work after Covid.
Not just return, but return safely.
I work at a school and we started our first and smallest wave of people returning to work this week.
Unfortunately because of my position it was required I be there.
To put this in context, my son has some health issues that place him in the high risk category.
Because of this, we have been taking every safety precaution you can think of.
We do online orders for most everything, even groceries.
When we do have to go to the store for something, it’s just 1 adult with mask and gloves.
We asked our 19 year old son to request leave from his job, so he is no longer working around people.
If we can help it, we don’t put ourselves around others.
We’ve have had to turn down birthday party requests as well as turn away family who wanted to just stop by the house and visit because they were tired of being cooped up.
We also have our entire house taking 2 top-shelf, high quality antioxidant supplements every single day.
While expensive, these are the best that money can buy and the best is rarely the cheapest.
In addition, we also wipe down every item coming in the house.
But here’s how I see it.
If somebody in your family gets it, everyone’s getting it.
By doing all this, at least we won’t have regrets.
If somebody in my house does contract the virus and a death occurs, I’d don’t want to feel like there was anything more I could have done.
While none of these can guarantee prevention of the virus, limiting exposure and strengthening your immune system are the most actionable things I can think of to do.
All that being said, returning to work is my new stress.
Before getting into the nuts and bolts of how to return after Covid, we need to look at the different personality types who will be coming back to the workforce.
That will dictate some of your behavior and give you a good framework of what to expect.
Here’s what I found so far as people have started coming back to work.
The Safety Problems with Returning to Work
There are 3 types of people I’ve identified when it comes to the mindset of returning to work after the virus.
Group #1 – The Economy Matters Above ALL Else
These are people who are passionate about getting the machine we call the economy up and running, regardless of the number of deaths that occur.
They aren’t as concerned with how to return to work after covid as much as they are about returning quickly.
If it wasn’t for the death part of the virus, I’d be one of these people.
I fear what the world economy is going to look like after this pandemic.
I worry about another possible great depression.
I stress about the Feds printing money that our children and grandchildren are going to be paying for.
The fact is, printing money, doing bail-outs, and all that stuff sounds like a good idea when you do it, but mark my words, it’s not free money.
Nothing is free in this world.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about how the US economic system works, but it’s pretty much a ponzi scheme that will fall apart eventually.
The number of lives Bernie Madoff destroyed pales in comparison to what’s going to happen when our economy begin to unravel.
It is a house of cards and you can only build a house of cards so high before it comes crashing down.
We don’t know when it will happen… but it will happen.
The longer it goes, the worse it will be.
Anyway, back to the economy.
It’s counter-productive to start up and run any machine if we know it’s going to blow up, overheat, or be destroyed as soon as we fire it up.
I don’t care how often President Trump says “it’s going to just go away” or how much he believes it.
Mr. President… Get your head out of the sand.
You’re the freakin’ leader of the current superpower of the world and your comments make us look like idiots to the rest of the world.
It will not just go away.
The Spanish Flu had 3 waves and the first was the least deadly.
This virus is quietly growing beneath the surface, even with social distancing in place (kind of in place).
It’s like one of those famous pictures of an iceberg that shows just how big the iceberg is beneath the surface.
When the nation starts to go back to work after covid, I predict we will have 1-2 weeks of about the same numbers of new cases.
Then, after that dormant phase, cases are going to explode and the economic machine could shut itself down if it gets bad enough.
Just look at what has happened in the meat packing facilities.
Group #2 – Let’s Stay Home as Long as Needed
This group of people wants to stay home as long as possible.
I’m in this group.
We want to let data drive the return.
As I write, over half of the US states have already started to go back to work.
The problem is, none of them have even come close to seeing a two week decline or any of the other factors the white house suggested they wait for.
The longer we are at home, the more people suffer financially and the harder it will be to get the economy going.
The reason I’m in this group though is because I value human life above all else.
When I think about one of my children getting sick and having to go to the hospital (possibly completely alone) or dying, it’s a no brainer for me.
What are the chances of that happening?
We are constantly learning more and more about this virus.
More children have died in New York recently because of an inflammatory disease that is occurring in children with Covid-19.
The news (CNN, ABC, FOX, NBC, etc) is political propaganda at best.
I am hard pressed to find any news without an agenda that just presents facts.
All the news outlets seem more interested in presenting their views in story form than just presenting the facts.
So it’s hard to know what to believe, what is true, and what is not.
One thing I know for sure.
If my family is home, their risk of infection and/or complications goes down even more.
Group #3 – Conspiracy Theorists (This isn’t Really Happening)
This is an interesting group that is passing misinformation.
No matter how you feel about conspiracy theories, this is not a fake virus.
While claiming its all one big worldwide conspiracy may make you feel better, the chances of you winning the powerball is greater than getting over 150 countries to work together to promote a fake pandemic.
In fact, if you’re in this group and you feel that is what is happening, you should be the most concerned of all the groups.
Because it would indicate something is being covered on such a scale that we’re probably all about to be dead already and don’t even know it.
I’m not going to spend any more time here.
How to Return Safely to Work After Covid
The reason we covered the three mindsets of the groups is because you’ll encounter them all as you return to work.
It’s important to understand that while we have to start going back to work, we are all going to approach it differently.
For the Covid conspiracy group, they will probably return like nothing is happening and may even try to get some to come to see their wisdom.
But if you’re in either of the other two groups, this article will give you some ideas on how to safely return to work after COVID (at least as safely as possible).
It’s important to think about because we are not actually going to return to work after COVID-19.
We are returning to work in the middle of the COVID pandemic, not after.
It’s still here and it’s still growing.
That being said, here’s the meat and potatoes.
How to Return to Work After Covid
(as safely as possible)
Stay Up to Date on CDC Recommendations
What we learn about this virus is changing constantly.
The first thing to do is make sure you are up to date on CDC guidelines and recommendations.
Disinfect Your Work Space
The first thing to do when you enter into your office or work area should be to disinfect the area.
The fact is, people move around and it’s possible somebody came into your area while you were gone.
I have my own office but it is cleaned every night, trash is taken out, etc.
I would not rely on the person doing the cleaning.
They may or may not see the importance of doing their job with extra zeal right now.
In addition, they may or may not be a carrier of the virus.
Whether you’re in a cubical, your own office, or whatever your work environment looks like… disinfect all areas and surfaces with high touch rates.
Hopefully you can get your hands on some Clorox wipes. If not, make your own or bring a rag with soap and water.
Something is better than nothing.
I first wipe down my phone in case I get a call and my radio.
If I get a call right when I arrive, I want to be able to pick them up without worry.
These have high touch and people speak directly into them.
Make sure you wipe down any door knobs, cabinet handles, microwave buttons, fridge handles, and desk surfaces.
You want to make sure if you touch anything in your safe space that you are, well… safe.
Practice Social Distancing
Human nature is not to social distance.
As people return to work I’ve noticed in my work environment there are quite a few people who have their guards down.
They stand too close, sometimes they touch each other, and they generally are just too comfortable assuming if somebody is at work and seem healthy, they probably are.
News flash: That’s not how this virus works.
There is an incubation period that can last up to two weeks AND some people can be carriers or dubbed by some media outlets as “super spreaders”.
Just because somebody seems healthy, doesn’t mean they are or will continue to be.
The only people that seem to be taking this as serious as me are those who have had people close to them be admitted to the hospital or die, as well as those who are very high risk because of previous conditions.
Wear Gloves When you Leave Your Safe Space
When you leave the safe work space you created by disinfecting the area, wear gloves and remove them properly after you’re done.
If you’re walking from one area of your building to another, whether this is to a common area, another office, or just arriving and departing from work, you will be touching all kinds of handles.
Handles that have been touched by others.
It’s easy to put on some gloves and then remove them when you are again in a safe space.
Most my co-workers are not doing this so you might be in the minority.
This is not the time to worry about what others think.
The fact that most are not is a key indicator that all those handles are higher risk because the people touching them are not taking all the safety precautions they could be.
I wouldn’t leave it to your employer unless you’re positive they have gloves for you.
If not, you can order gloves on Amazon.
If you are going to order, we’d super appreciate it if you use our family’s affiliate link.
Don’t Touch Your Face
I’ve found that one huge benefit to wearing gloves while out and about is that it reminds me to keep my hands away from my face.
It’s easy to forget that you just touched something that may not be safe to touch and then scratch an itch.
Be aware and keep your hands from your face.
Wear a Mask or Face Covering When in Higher Risk Areas
This is another one that my co-workers are not doing.
It doesn’t help that President Trump is too cool to wear one, even as the virus hits the white house.
What he should be doing is setting aside his pride and leading by example.
Managers manage. Leaders Lead. President Trump needs to manage less and lead more by setting an example.Managers manage. Leaders Lead. President Trump needs to manage less and lead more by setting an example. Click To Tweet
Again, don’t count on your employer.
Like gloves, they go fast, but you can order face masks through our Amazon link as well.
Prepare Yourself for Social Peer Pressure
This one surprised me.
I thought more people would be concerned with the safe return to their job after this pandemic.
That didn’t seem to be the case.
Peer pressure isn’t just something that happens in middle school.
At my workplace, we were actually doing something because of the coronavirus that we would not normally be doing.
Because of that, everyone thought it would be a good photo op for social media.
I had a mask, everyone else did not.
In addition, very few people were practicing social distancing and for the picture somebody actually said “make sure you’re six feet apart for the picture, I don’t want us to get into trouble”.
How about actually staying away from each other because there are worst consequences than getting in trouble.
But I digress.
As we were taking pictures I was told I was messing up the pictures with my mask.
To this I stated that they better get used to it, because it’s going to be around for a long time.
Besides, I said, somebody needs to set the example for people who want to wear a mask but don’t want to be an oddball.
This is your chance to lead. Inevitably, there are others at your work place who are uncomfortable without a mask.
Unless somebody has some courage, steps up, and is willing to go against the grain, those people might not be willing to wear a mask even though they really want to.
Social Pressure can be powerful.
Beware of Cross Contamination (especially with your cell phone)
When a group is working together to accomplish a task, often they will all be touching the same things.
Whether it is paper, tables, utensils, etc…. there is a chance of cross contamination.
Picture this, somebody with the virus touches a surface.
Another person touches it a few minutes later and it continues to move around from person to person and surface to surface.
This is another great reason to use gloves.
Your cell phone is a prime candidate for cross contamination and a high risk area because you have it by your face and in your hand multiple times throughout the day.
When it’s in your purse or pocket and it rings or you get a text, make sure you don’t pick it up with a hand that is not clean.
This is probably one of the most powerful ways you can protect yourself when you return to work after covid.
Boost Your Immune System with Antioxidants
Lastly, you should be doing everything you can to boost your immune system.
Most people don’t get the variety or quantity of fruits and vegetables that they need to ensure their immune system is as strong as possible.
Also, many fruits and vegetables we get here in the US simply don’t have the nutrients they should have.
I used to work at a Wal-mart distribution center when I was younger.
We had thousands of green bananas in a cooler and I remember being confused and wondering how we timed getting bananas to stores right when they turned yellow.
So I asked my supervisor.
He laughed and responded, “We don’t. We spray them with a chemical that causes a reaction that changes them from green to yellow”.
That’s when I realized that as a nation we are harvesting modified fruits and vegetables before they’ve had time to naturally ripen.
So they don’t have the nutrients, antioxidants, and Phytonutrients they should have.
Who knows how many of those bananas you would need to eat to get the nutrients a normal, organic banana would have.
That’s why I’m a huge fan of top-shelf all natural nutritional supplements.
While quality supplements aren’t meant to cure or treat any illness, they do strengthen your immune system.
I’m a firm believer in them.
There are two supplements my family is currently taking.
They aren’t the cheapest… but they are the best and the best is rarely the cheapest.
The first is Eternal by Vasayo, which has liposomal delivery on a cellular level.
Eternal is a mix of the most potent known antioxidants and polyphenals in the world including:
(2) Grape seed and skin extract
(3) Coenzyme Q10,
(5) Superfruit blend of polyphenols
(6) Acai berry extract
You can get Eternal here.
Sometimes they even have specials and the more you order at one time the more you can save.
We take this product year long and have been for years.
To add another layer on top of it, we have started our family on Monavie.
The easiest way to get it is to just sign up as a distributor, I think it’s free or $1 for as of this writing.
Then you can order it anytime you want.
Again, the more you order the cheaper it is.
How to Return Safely to Work Conclusion
There you have it.
These are my top tips on how to return to work after Covid (and do it safely).
As a society, we need to move in that direction but we need to do it extremely carefully.
You can’t control the safety measures other take, but you can control what you do and how you do it.
The worst thing that can happen is not that you get the coronavirus or Covid19.
The worst thing that can happen is that you get the virus and realize you could have done much more to protect yourself and your family.
Stay Safe and God Bless.