COVID-19’s silver lining

The modern toilet seats have buttons allowing the user to make adjustments for greater comfort and convenience.

If you go to @Robinsons Galleria, try to visit its pay toilet. For P20, I think, you get to see how restrooms in places like Japan, which are very fastidious about cleanliness and sanitation, are maintained and what amenities they offer.

Although Robinsons has been upgrading the restrooms in its malls, making them truly comfort rooms for their clients, the Galleria pay toilet is a very impressive upgrade. Toilet bowls have built-in bidets that users can control through an “arm” attached to the seat. The arm has different buttons for various functions.

There are probably people who linger just trying to find out what those different buttons are for.

While Robinsons embarked on a program to upgrade its restrooms even before the corona virus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the pandemic has made many business and commercial establishments take a good hard look at their comfort rooms. 

Of course, there were a few who really factored in good restrooms as part of their commitment to service. I never worry about finding clean restrooms in @Ayala malls wherever they are. Staff is always around to make sure the rooms remain clean.

@Rustans Makati has a spacious ladies room that is always spick and span. You can just sit there for a nice break after shopping.

Of course, five-star hotels and fancy restaurants have restrooms to live up to their reputation.

A silver lining of the devastating and deadly Covid-19 that kept Filipinos confined to their homes as lockdowns and quarantines were imposed by the government is the realization by establishments that restrooms are as important as other parts of their offices, stores or restaurants.

Fears of infection with the highly contagious virus and the possibility that other new diseases might emerge have prompted establishments to redo their comfort rooms and make them safer for both staff and  clients.

Many comfort rooms are now regularly supplied with soap and hand sanitizer, toilet paper and paper towels or hand dryers; the flush is working and some establishments even have toilet seat covers.

Before Covid-19, many businesses just made sure their establishments had restrooms and did not care much about their maintenance or if they really offered “comfort”. Many faucets and flush did not work, some sinks seemed to have become trash depositories. Gasoline stations were notoriously unconcerned about the state of their restrooms.

People avoided going to restrooms unless they really had to. They would rather hold it if they could and avoid the  risk of catching some nasty bug in filthy so-called comfort rooms.

Many had to bring their own soap or hand sanitizer (in case there was no water) and tissue paper.

It was particularly appalling that many eating places did not have good facilities for people just to wash their hands.

Covid-19 might have been terrible, causing death and sickening many people, but it jolted establishments into being more fastidious about cleanliness and sanitation, particularly in their restrooms.

Hopefully, this will not be another ningas-kugon (flash in the pan) initiative that will be forgotten just as soon as Covid-19 is vanquished.

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