What to Know about using Bathrooms during the Pandemic

Many people currently avoid public restrooms, but that isn’t always feasible.  With many people traveling with kids, public restroom stops will need to be a thing, and some may want to pack disposable gloves and of course avoid touching anything that they don’t have to.  You should make sure that you disinfect your hands when you go to the car and wipe down those “high touch” areas that contain germs.

But, that still dose pose a risk.  Some may not realize that even just flushing the toilet pushes germs into the air.  Plus, COVID-19 can be excreted in feces too.  If you don’t have to use a public restroom, don’t’ do so.  That of course is an obvious thing to know, but the thing is, you won’t be able to always avoid this. however, we’ll go over how risky they are in this article, and what you need to know.

Public toilets are definitely hard to navigate, since they are small, and you can’t always socially distance. They also aren’t totally ventilated, and of course, with toilets being flushed, that can send particles into the air.  Hot air dryers also are another part of it, since they can disperse the virus around.

Finally, there is the hazard of course of the doorway, and if you touch those surfaces, it may spread the virus as well.

Toilet shot in detail in a white subway tile bathroom

However, the biggest issue, is the close contact, so you should try to use a single stall restroom if you can’t that you don’t’ need to share. But, wearing masks and social distancing can mitigate the risks as well. They are the most effective way to stop this, especially if people aren’t wearing masks.

Wearing a mask is mostly to protect others, rather than shielding yourself, but if others aren’t wearing them, that isn’t protecting you.  Some may also have different things in where they will taper off the sinks or urinals to space out visitors.  If you see that the restroom is crowded, try to wait until they’re done, especially since you reduce the risk of these particles in there.

Do make sure that you wash your hands as well as you can.  This is definitely something that you have to do, since this is one of the few low-tech remedies that we have, and something you can stick to. If you do have disposable gloves, wear them when in the restroom, throwing them in the trash when you leave.  You can even use a plastic bag over your hands. But, if you are going to wash your hands, do this for 20 seconds with soap and hot water afterwards. Dry with paper towels and try not to use the air dryers as much, since they can spread the coronavirus around, and that may put you at risk too.

Finally, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet, and then throw it away. Public restrooms are definitely still risky, but when you’ve gotta go, you gotta go, so; make sure you understand the risks when you do use them, and of course what this may mean for you as well.