COVID and the Bathroom Dilemna, continues….
The Bathroom Dilemna, Continues:
As I mentioned in a previous article, https://medium.com/@kamalindenmusic2/summer-of-covid-the-bathroom-dilemma-bf30ad702380, Covid19 has surely changed what summer is like, wearing masks to go into your favorite grocery stores, 7–11, etc. But the one issue still remains: what do you do when you need to use the loo?
I had mentioned that at the start of the COVID situation, out of a “concern for people’s health”, places like STARBUCKS have signs that state: “out of safety for all of our employees and customers, we have closed our restrooms. Sorry for the inconvenience. Same is true for most restaurants, and even the NYC parks.
In general, if you are working out in the park, you need to figure out how to go down the hill and hide in the bushes. How can one wash one’s hands without a bathroom? I do keep hand sanitizer, but it is not the same. I keep toilet paper and 7–11 cups for emergencies in the car for such situations. But this is so WRONG! Causing people BLADDER INFECTIONS is not in the interest of “public health”!
Even the parks in Westchester county do not have bathrooms: Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Mamaroneck. I guess they figure that the park is used by residents who can go home and use their own bathrooms, but this is NOT always the case. I can now sometimes slip into one of the bars that have outdoor dining to use their facilities. But just try that in Manhattan! Nope!
I was in Brighton Beach yesterday. There was one scary, dirty bathroom open in a park on West 5th, and I was able to use that before my run. However, it was promptly locked at 5pm. I had walked up and down the boardwalk from Brighton Beach to Coney in search of an open bathroom. Finally, as Ruby’s was locking up, they said I could go to Nathan’s, and they would have one where they have outdoor dining. But that was a good 30 plus minutes of wandering around, wondering if I should duck under the boardwalk!
Jersey, although not perfect, was definitely better about allowing folks to use a bathroom. I could go to a Shoprite/Acme/Wawa and use a clean facility. But make sure you do that before heading to Seaside or Point Pleasant, as Seaside Heights and Seaside Park have very few bathrooms, and many will charge $1 PER USE! There is one free one, and actually, the line moves faster at the free one than it does at the paid ones by the bars. Make sure you wear a mask upon entering. All of the showers have bags over them. Plan to go home sandy, or I have a small bowl of soapy water that I carry with me, that I pour over my feet when I leave the beach so that my feet are clean.
Belmar is usually good about having the bathrooms open from 8am until 8:45pm, however, one Friday, after 3 hours in traffic from NY, I get to Belmar, and the 8th avenue bathroom was locked. In fact, ALL OF THE BOARDWALK BATHROOMS were LOCKED! I had to make use of my 7–11 cup. Backseat. Carefully filling the cup. However, when I went to put the lid on, the cup squeezed, and I made a mess. Thankfully, not on the upholstery or backseat, as I would have to sell the car. I have YITAMOR floor mats, as well as it spilled on a jacket that was washable, as well as on some sheets I use for the backseat, so I just had to wash those. Now I have been very careful that if I need to use the cup, just discreetly open the door partway and put the cup on the ground, then when I get out, I can deal with discarding the cup and its contents.
Point Pleasant has one bathroom by the Broadway side, which is usually open until about Midnight. But no more showers. Plan to go from the beach to the club, or home in sand. Last weekend, the bathroom closed early, so I had to make use of an empty lot. Thankfully, it was dark, and no one could tell.
Avon by the Sea has a LOVELY bathroom that is open from 8am until 10pm. Bradley Beach as well. The showers are functional, and you can clean off before getting back into your car.
Now that the summer is over, and I am in NY, I refrain from going to Manhattan to busk or workout, for fear of not having access to a bathroom. I am trying to start a Yoga and a CORE CLASS in Manhattan in Central Park (you can sign up at CYOP.com) on Sundays. But my main concern was having access to an open bathroom, as I come in from the Bronx. I just hope that I am not unpleasantly surprised on Sunday when I have my first class. Teaching any kind of ab workout with a full bladder is NOT FUN!
Having access to a bathroom is such a necessary thing. One should be able to go properly, and wash one’s hands afterwards. Bladder infections should not become all the rage, not to mention the OTHER diseases you can get if people have to use public spaces to relieve themselves. PLEASE let us have our BATHROOMS back! For everyone’s health!
Kama Linden is a singer-songwriter with 4 studio albums, the newest being, “Everything In Good Time”, releasing in Summer 2020. She is also an actress, fitness instructor, freelance photographer, and has a fitness book: “Healthy Things You Can Do In Front Of The TV”.