I work at a market with outdoor seating. Between every customer, we sanitize the table and the chairs. Because Covid is a respiratory disease, it’s unlikely that somebody touching a table will spread it someone else. But I’m OK with this precaution because who knows — maybe one customer sneezed on the table and the next customer licked the table. I’m even ok with spraying down the back of the chair that customers may have touched to move their seats. What really amuses me though is that we spray and wipe the seats of the chairs. For anyone to get Covid by this vector, it would have to be stuck to the seat of the pants of the first customer and then travel through the pants of the second. Butt Covid.
The main problem, and the reason humanity is fucked, is that we always want to address appearances way before addressing real problems. We want people to think we’re “on the job,” regardless of how much our efforts miss the point. Thus, I have to protect people from Butt Covid while allowing them to take off masks and eat in social gatherings… even indoors, as the pandemic reaches new heights never dreamed of during the peak of the early lockdown.
Here are some more examples of the absurdity of our public safety efforts:
- In Tehran, the government has been fumigating streets against Covid even though the World Health Organization recommends against this pointless and toxic practice.
- The six-foot distance rule is not based on recent science. Is there something magical about this distance? Would seven feet be better? 12? No one seems to know, but we have glommed on to six feet.
- In Massachusetts, we have more daily cases than during our shutdown, but bars are open. Don’t worry though, they have to stop serving at 9:30 pm, when the coronavirus wakes up.
- When you go into a restaurant and sit down, I guess an invisible shield protects you and everyone around you from the virus while you are eating. That’s why you aren’t required to wear a mask while seated. Either that, or it is because when sitting you are at too low an altitude for the virus to survive.
- Schools in New York City are being closed, but gyms will stay open for another month because, you know, sweaty, panting people working out in a room together… no threat there. Not until December, when the virus will reemerge form its Thanksgiving overeating and hit the gym.
Of course, schools don’t pay taxes — they spend taxes. Perhaps that has someone thing to do with how easy it is to close schools but not bars and gyms.
In the end, what does it matter if some of the measures we take serve no practical purpose other than reassuring the public that they are safe? Well, if you are going out to eat at a place that has protected you from Butt Covid, you may extrapolate to think that there must be all sorts of mindful practices implemented at this establishment to ward off the disease. So, you may downplay the real risk you are taking and imposing on others by eating in a restaurant during an unparalleled surge in a disease that is infecting record numbers of people and killing more and more every day.
When the pandemic first started, I was afraid to pick up a scrap of paper from the ground to recycle it, and I’m a recycling maniac. There are daily stories about Neanderthal DNA making you more or less likely to contact the disease, the relationship between blood type and Covid, smoking and Covid, the dangers of Covid infecting your penis… but nothing on catching the disease from casually picking up trash from the sidewalk. So, while I am careful to buy any tomato I touch in the store instead of putting it back for the next customer, I have started to recycle and throw away trash again. I just wash my hands when I get home.
You can keep yourself reasonably safe without becoming irrationally fearful. The ill-informed majority of Americans also used to think they could contact AIDS through toilet seats. I guess the point is your need not worry about Butt Covid or any other Butt-borne illnesses.