How to equip a collective bathroom in post-pandemic times
The restrictive measures needed to halt the Covid 19 pandemic have created an unprecedented situation of fear and uncertainty. In two articles that we would like to highlight entitled: “Coping with the stress” published by the CDC and “Emotional, Behavioral, and Psychological Impact of the COVID-19” published by the Medical Research Laboratory of the University of Medicine of the Faculty of Meráis in Brazil, it is being analyzed and clearly described what are, are being and what will be the psychological and emotional impact and consequences of the passing through of the pandemic and post-pandemic in the general population.
Yes, we are talking about the population at large; as they mention that it is not only unique to certain groups which appear to be at greater risk of experiencing this type of impact on mental and emotional health, such as front-line health workers, the elderly, children, university students, the homeless and economically vulnerable, rural communities and psychiatric patients. But it is something that also, to a lesser or greater extent, all of us are susceptible to suffer.
Which psychological and emotional impact are we talking about?
Both articles reflect a significant increase in feelings of functional impairment, frustration, anxiety, boredom, fear, stigma, worry, phobia, frustration and anger. One fact which is highlighted and proves the seriousness of the above-mentioned feelings is that those affected by emotional, behavioral and psychological disorders tend to be more numerous than those affected by COVID-19. What has been amply demonstrated is that the emotional and psychological consequences of the pandemic are closely linked to the intrinsic changes that restrictive measures that have been brought about in lifestyle and socio-economic conditions.
In this sense, wearing masks and gloves, limiting and restricting social gatherings, maintaining constant hand hygiene, respecting the safety distance between people, using screens at work, limiting our freedom of movement and time, are just some of the habits that we have been forced to internalize in our lives in order to try to stop contagions and gradually beat the pandemic.
Motivation and shopping habits also change
In view of this situation and the facts exposed, we would like to say the following: what else could we hope for?! First of all, we are people and it is normal that in situations of long periods of endured stress (for more than a year and a half), the consequences and impacts mentioned above may occur.
We are people who live, work, relate, have hobbies, travel, read, feel, think and get excited, among many other things. We have to think that all this has been greatly influenced by the progress and effects of the pandemic. What else could we hope for?!
And people are also customers, customers who buy products and services. Therefore, like the lifestyle habits already mentioned, the habits and motivations to buy have also been profoundly conditioned and modified by this Covid-19 tsunami.
Customers, like the people we are, move by emotions and beliefs when it comes to deciding on our buying process. Emotions and beliefs have changed, just as habits, preferences and motivations to buy have also done so. All these are changes which have already taken place, and have come to stay for a long time.
A study published by the international consulting firm Accenture confirms this and shows us how consumer attitudes, behaviors and shopping habits have changed, and many of these new ways will remain in post-pandemic times.
How does all this affect the design of a post-pandemic public bathroom?
In a public bathroom, where “security alarms” go off and people leave the “comfort and security” zone provided by home or a more private setting, it is important to provide a space that invites them to enter and where they will feel comfortable, safe and protected at all times.
From Mediclinics, as expert manufacturers of hand dryers and other accessories for collective bathrooms, we wanted to mention those aspects, with some guidelines to follow, that we believe should be taken into account when equipping a post pandemic public bathroom.
-Health and hygiene:
Undoubtedly, in a health crisis and pandemic such as the one we have experienced, health and hygiene have become a primary aspect to offer in any public space. Therefore, any bathroom that we have to design, install or refurbish, must have a technical equipmentperfectly prepared to offer the necessary hygiene and health measures. Especially in those accessories where users have to interact with their hands, such as taps, hand dryers, soap dispensers and baby changing stations, mainly. In our view, they should have at least the following characteristics:
Touchless technology: By not having to touch the machine, element or accessory at any time, since it is activated automatically, users feel safe and protected against the risk of contagion. Very suitable for hand dryers and soap dispensers, we also recommend its application in multifunction taps such as the All in One.
Biocote technology inhibits the bacterial and virus growth on the hand dryer surfaces and diaper changing tables.
Hepa Filter Medium. Already used in the aeronautical and hospital sectors, it is the flagship measure that must be equipped where the filtering and expulsion of this air is completely free of impurities, and also of viruses and bacteria. We are basically talking about hand dryers and hand washing and drying stations.
Ion Hygienic Technology. Another of the great technical innovations we suggest for hand dryers, multifunction taps and baby changing stations is the incorporation of an ionizer. Thanks to the release of negative ions by the ionizer, and the positive ions contained in the air surrounding the microorganisms, a very potent chemical reaction is produced which inactivates all kinds of viruses and bacteria.
Touchless, Biocote, HEPA Filter Medium and Ionizer are 4 key points which we recommend to be present when recommending a good bathroom equipment for your customers or for your company.
-Cleaning and disinfection:
In addition to good ventilation of the bathroom space, it is recommended to carry out a constant and thorough cleaning and disinfection of it. For users of a public toilet, with the passage of the pandemic, this aspect has become one of the main reasons whether to use or not a public toilet. Therefore, it must present a visually and functionally neat, disinfected, and clean appearance. As a complement to the recommendations that health organizations such as the CDC gives us for this, from Mediclinics we offer you two small tips (there are many more) to have a cleaner and a more cared for bathroom space:
The first, for example, is present in some hand dryers, such as our Dualflow Plus. Thanks to its water tank or kit for direct connection to the drain, it prevents the water from dripping onto the ground and thus avoid the formation of small and annoying puddles that dirty the surface.
The second would be the preferential use of automatic hand dryers to the detriment of paper dispensers, if possible, since these help to maintain a clearer bathroom environment and clean of unwieldy and unpleasant papers and other items, which have often been improperly deposited in the trash bin or are simply overflowing and exceeding their own capacity.
-Keeping an order:
In addition to the aesthetic issue, the need of people to have a previous control on the space to be shared where they will have to enter and move, to prevent being infected, means that presenting an ordered space like a public bathroom has become a key element. Keeping an order helps to enhance the concept of cleanliness and provides that security and control of the situation to the users of public toilets.
So as to achieve this in a better way, we recommend creating more minimalist style and barrier-free bathroom spaces. In other words, having equipment that, with the same performance, allows to save space, as in the case of the All in One multi-functional stations, or the behind the mirror solutions.
The passage of the pandemic, in addition to having led to an unprecedented health and health care crisis, has given rise to another one less talked about and not less important: the epidemic and economic crisis. At Mediclinics, we believe that this is a compelling moment to present solutions that will alleviate the economic needs of our clients and help them save money.
One of them is the use of eco-fast hand dryers that are much more energy efficient (it consumes 90% less than conventional dryers) and allow a great saving on your paper and electricity bills. Just to give an example, and if we use our calculator, a business with an average traffic of 250 people per day could save about 1,600 euros a year if it used our Machflow Plus hand dryer instead of paper towels. Quite a lot, isn’t it?
Another very important aspect to consider are the savings on the costs of maintenance and cleaning of the bathroom. In this sense, the use of brushless motors in hand dryers (there is no need to change brushes, resulting in an improvement in the performance of the motors and the extension of their service life) and the plug-in system (a system that allows easy and quick installation/maintenance), are two great alternatives to bet on, among many others. With both systems you get significant savings in machine maintenance.
These are just some recommendations that Mediclinics has wanted to share with you, so that you can take into account when equipping a collective bathroom with guarantees of success in post-pandemic times. We know that there are many other topics to deal with, such as the environmental aspect and the IOT (Internet of Things), which are factors that have had a great boom in the last year, but that today, for reasons of time and space, already more than fulfilled, we have decided to publish in future articles of our blog.
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