I gotta go! And a public bathroom is the only option. How do I stay safe?

Infection and Spread Staying Safe Travel

A(short): Public bathrooms aren’t exactly paragons of cleanliness and sanitization even in the best of times, and pose additional public health challenges during the pandemic. But you can reduce your risk by WASHING THE HECK OUT OF YOUR HANDS, wearing a mask, and avoiding touching surfaces as much as possible. And please don’t be scared, just careful! In the wise words of Johns Hopkins infectious disease physician and scholar Dr. Amesh Adalja, “the coronavirus isn’t spreading around the world in public bathrooms.”

A (longer):
Other expert tips (which, along with Dr. Adalja’s quote, are sourced from an excellent article in BuzzFeed:

(1) It’s best to use a paper towel or Kleenex to turn the sink faucet on and off

(2) Carry hand sanitizer with you as a back-up

(3) If possible, wait to use the restroom until others are out. If not possible, keep the max amount of physical distance from others

(4) If there’s a seat lid, close it prior to flushing

(5) Avoid hand dryers, which can “blast fecal bacteria in the air” (yuck!)

Additionally, businesses are racing to upgrade the sanitization and structuring of their bathrooms to promote both improved cleanliness and physical distancing. Interest in innovative “female restroom alternatives” is also growing at quite a clip, with products such as the “SaniGirl” and “Feminal” seeing a big jump in sales. [Editorial note: If you’re interested in reading more, see this NPR article. Potentially of note: their most loyal customer bases appear to be road trippers and backpackers.]

Innovative products aside, good old-fashioned hand-washing remains our best line of safety. When paired with mask-wearing and common sense there’s absolutely no need for anxiety.

Link to original FB post