Update: Nevada recently reinstated an indoor mask mandate in counties with “substantial or high transmission.” So, this new policy at Gigafactory 1 may be more reactive than proactive.
Tesla is taking proactive measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and all of its variants at its Gigafactory in Nevada. The virus is spreading like wildfire across the U.S., and here in Louisiana, I’ve heard that hospitals are running out of beds again. Not just here, but Florida as well, which has the most cases ever in the U.S. and recently broke its daily record several days in a row. Other states are also struggling to care for those who either haven’t been vaccinated or the rare cases of those who are vaccinated and are still having strong symptoms.
In Nevada, Tesla informed its employees that they will need to start wearing a mask indoors regardless of their vaccination status. Previously, employees who were vaccinated didn’t have to wear a mask, while those who weren’t vaccinated were required to wear one. Now, everyone is required to wear one.
Most tend to forget that in 2020, Tesla was one of few American companies that were impacted by the start of the virus, as it resulted in manufacturing shutdowns in China, including at Tesla’s Shanghai gigafactory. Tesla and other manufactures worked closely with the government to ensure the safety of employees and Tesla brought that outline here to its factories.
The effects of early mishandling of the pandemic in the United States are still hitting strongly. Former President Trump brushed off the virus for months, and today, many of his right-wing followers still refuse to get vaccinated because he called it a hoax at the beginning. Given that we had a leader that didn’t take this virus seriously and spread conspiracy theories, it’s no wonder that many thought that it wasn’t that serious even though hospitals were running out of ventilators and PPE gear. However, some on the far left also hold anti-vaccine sentiments, so the blame for inadequate vaccinations and spreading virus isn’t all on one side.
Last year, Tesla stepped up to the plate, providing ventilators to hospitals in need, and was even about to help my own often neglected state of Louisiana when our governor announced that we’d wound up not needing the extra ventilators that were sent from other states after all.
It was a pretty intense period back then, but still so now, and seeing how people are still acting today over wearing masks and taking other precautions for their own health is disturbing. Here in Louisiana, several of my neighbors who are not vaccinated came down with Covid recently and I’ve also been exposed. However, I’m one of the few in the state who are vaccinated, and yes, I’m taking precautions. Last year, I thought I had it, then I didn’t, then I did, and later I was diagnosed in the ER with it. So, naturally, I was quick to get vaccinated once vaccines were available. I think we should all be proactive about our health and take this virus seriously. Even if you don’t think it’s that serious, being sick is never fun.
Since many people are still ignoring the stern advice of health experts, though, we need businesses to step up. They can take critical steps at this stage to help. It’s great to see Tesla taking these proactive measures, and I’m sure other factories will follow suit if they haven’t already.