I spent the first 2 weeks of my quarantine shitting in a portapotty in the parking area of my building. It wasn’t fantastic– but hey, at least it was always equipped with hand sanitizer.
I drove 300 miles in late March where I could at least be with my pregnant wife, and where at least I might shit inside.
I returned house a few days ago to discover that the restroom still wasn’t finished (however a minimum of I could 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 struggle of attempting to get people to understand that no, really, a central sewage system will be much better for your sanitation, and you shouldn’t fret about the shit from other peoples’ shit infecting your house. It goes on to explain how things such as porcelain/tiling and first-floor “powder spaces” really served practical purposes, making it easier for people to distance themselves from prospective disease providers, or clean things off after hosting guests with unpredictable case histories.
Or at least, I got me thinking about what other kind of unusual developments will be left behind in the long-term after this specific crisis finally ends. That, and I’m grateful that my restroom is mostly tile now.
How Contagious Illness Shaped American Bathroom Design[Short Wave / NPR]
How Contagious Illness Specified the American Bathroom[Elizabeth Yuko / CityLab]
Image: Public Domain by means of Pixnio
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