I'm Afraid to Use Public Restrooms During the Pandemic. Where Do I Go When I'm on the Road? | Ask the Rev. | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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I'm Afraid to Use Public Restrooms During the Pandemic. Where Do I Go When I'm on the Road?


Published February 3, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

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Dear Reverend, 

I recently got a job that requires me to do a lot of driving. I try to do my business before I leave my house, but I must have the smallest bladder in the world because, no matter what, I always have to pee. I'm afraid to use public restrooms because of the pandemic, but I'm also scared to go outside. I know it's not good to hold it too long, so what's a girl to do?

P.P. LePue (female, 26)

Dear P.P. LePue,

Aside from the usual non-COVID-19 cooties, public restrooms aren't particularly more dangerous than any other indoor space. Before you head out for the day, research possible stops along your route. If you would feel better about a one-person bathroom, gas stations are often good for that. Call around and inquire. Asking weird questions on the phone is always fun.

In a multi-stall situation, if everyone is masked and you're in there for less than 15 minutes, the transmission risk is low. Either way, the key is to make it quick, so try to save No. 2 for the comfort of home. Get in and get out. Touch as little as possible: Flush with your foot; turn on faucets and open the door with a paper towel. Wash your hands well and use a squirt of sanitizer when you get to your car.

I understand that may be easier said than done. If you absolutely can't bring yourself to use a public potty, there are options. Public urination is illegal, but as long as you're discreet, it shouldn't be a problem. That means don't do it in view of anybody. Luckily, we're in Vermont, and a wooded area is usually nearby.

Finally, depending on the parts you're working with, you may want to get a pee funnel. It's a device that enables a person with a vagina to pee without dropping their drawers. A bunch of them are out there: Go Girl, Shewee and Tinkle Belle, to name a few. With a little practice, you can use it to pee into a container in the relative privacy of your car ... or spell your name in the snow.

Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

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