Should You Flush This Coronavirus Theory Down the Drain?

Destinations are opening back up. And gas prices are still fantastically low.

This combination has lots of folks taking to the highway to break free of lockdown.

And if your sights are set on a faraway locale, one thing is certain. There will be a need for a pit stop.

And with that pit stop comes a word of caution…

Down the Toilet

In March, a study published in the journal Gastroenterology reported that the coronavirus can spread via feces.

Now headlines are shouting that we may not even have to come in direct contact with a particularly gross toilet to be exposed to the virus.

A new study – published in the journal Physics of Fluids – found that the coronavirus could be transmitted simply by using a toilet… especially one that gets a lot of visitors, like at a rest stop.

Here’s what that means…

Water and airflow can create “droplet clouds” that contain viruses and bacteria… that we can breathe in.

The study looked at two common toilets: those with a single water inlet (that create a straight-down flush) and those with two inlets (that create a rotation when flushed).

Flushing a single-inlet model creates a vortex. And that vortex can send invisible droplet clouds nearly 3 feet into the air.

In other words, whatever was in that bowl could reach mouth or nose level.

In the double-inlet model, the rotation of the water can cause nearly 60% of water droplets to rise above the toilet seat… sending who knows what all over the place.

Less Than Meets the Eye

But before you call off your travel plans…

It’s not proven that the coronavirus can spread this way. But that doesn’t mean the media isn’t going to blow this new information out of proportion…

Because, really, there are simple ways to protect ourselves.

We’re all tired of hearing that we should keep a safe distance from each other.

But it’s probably not a bad idea to keep a safe distance from a flushing toilet.

(And that’s the case whether there’s a pandemic going on or not.)

But the easiest way to mitigate risk is actually pretty easy.

Before flushing, just close the lid. That will tamp down any droplet clouds…and keep you out of the path of transmission.

And wear a mask… If you find yourself in a restroom with toilets that don’t have lids, it could come in handy.

The mask can protect you from breathing in potentially harmful bacteria.

Again, the media is having a field day with this one…

Killer toilets found at rest stops? Find out on the 10 o’clock news.

But you don’t really need to worry too much about this one as long as you take even the simplest of precautions.

Are you ready to hit the road as states open back up? Are you worried about traveling? Let us know your thoughts here.

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