Friday, July 31, 2020

Toilet troubles worsened by COVID crisis

     Tim Pyle, executive director of the American Restroom Association, recently got an urgent email from Wichita alerting him that the bathroom at the bus station downtown was closed to the public; could the ARA help?
     While the Baltimore-based group is not intended to address individual shuttered toilets across this great land, Pyle responded sympathetically.
     “Municipalities and governments have dropped the ball in the past 20 years, and have abdicated their responsibilities to store owners, gas stations, and eateries,” he wrote. “Now that COVID has hit, it is more important than ever for ‘public’ facilities to do their part and keep them open.”
     Which is separate from the issue of whether people should even go into public restrooms that are open. Public bathrooms are perfect virus spreaders. Strangers gather in the smallest space possible. They perform functions that are then rendered into whirling vortexes of airborne contamination, thanks to flushing toilets, and blasted through the room by hand dyers.
     Two related problems then: keeping bathrooms open, and improving their safety.
     “When you think about delivery drivers, folks on the road, if there aren’t bathrooms available because everything is closed, where are they supposed to go?” Pyle said. “What COVID has done is highlighted weaknesses in the restroom infrastructure.”
     Well, that, along with highlighting the fault lines spider-webbing through every aspect of American society: health care, government, the economy, as well as the cracks latticing the heads of many of our fellow citizens, who can’t seem to grasp the whole wash-your-hands-and-wear-a-mask thing until they themselves are, you know, dying. The psychology of bathrooms adds another layer of difficulty.


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4 comments:

  1. As a child with a shy bladder the urinals at Wrigley Field were the scariest things in the world to me.

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    1. Wrigley Field should have given away the beer and charged for the pee -- would have made twice as much money off of me anyway.

      john

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  2. I'm curious, what does the Parthenon replica in Nashville have to do with public toilet

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    1. It's for Saturday's post, a play on "Biscuit." Nashville. Biscuits. Maybe a stretch (The Loveless Cafe, which I picture, is in Nashville and known for its biscuits, and rightly so).

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