I spent the first two weeks of my quarantine shitting in a portapotty in the parking area of my structure. It wasn’t great– however hey, at least it was constantly equipped with hand sanitizer.
I drove 300 miles in late March where I might at least be with my pregnant wife, and where at least I might shit indoors.
I returned house the other day to discover that the bathroom still wasn’t finished (however at least I might shower and shit now). Disappointed, I began to unload my things, and ended up listening to this new NPR Short Wave podcast, which oddly made me feel much better. It traces the history of indoor plumbing– consisting of the uphill battle of attempting to get people to understand that no, in fact, a centralized sewer system will be much better for your sanitation, and you shouldn’t stress over the shit from other individuals’ shit infecting your home. It goes on to discuss how things such as porcelain/tiling and first-floor “powder spaces” in fact served utilitarian functions, making it simpler for people to distance themselves from potential illness carriers, or clean things off after hosting visitors with uncertain medical histories.
To be clear, I’m not sure why this made me feel better about my frustrating restroom contracting experience. Or the fatal infection that continues to rave just outside my doors. It did. Or at least, I got me thinking about what other sort of strange innovations will be left in the long-lasting after this specific crisis finally ends. That, and I’m pleased that my bathroom is primarily tile now.
How Transmittable Disease Shaped American Restroom Design[Short Wave / NPR]
How Infectious Disease Specified the American Restroom[Elizabeth Yuko / CityLab]
Image: Public Domain through Pixnio
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