Awaking to the morning of March 11 with the information of Turkey’s very first confirmed COVID-19 case, many individuals throughout the nation started to show the signs of an sickness related to COVID-19, the illness attributable to the mysterious novel Corona Virus. What was much more shocking was that this sickness was additionally seen in the U.S., Asia and Europe, and it was spreading like wildfire, worsening by the minute. What was it, you ask? Hoarding is its title.
As quickly as the first victims of COVID-19 have been taken into isolation and China introduced a city-wide lockdown to stop the additional unfold of the virus, a lot of the world turned embroiled in a blind panic, stocking up on every little thing they may get their arms on – disinfectants and cleaning soap, packets of pasta, dry and canned items, and rolls and rolls of toilet paper. One might see why folks have been stocking up on merchandise corresponding to liquid detergents and hand sanitizers; they have been the most rational selection of the bunch as the virus’ level of assault is the mouth, eyes and nostril – all cavities from which the Corona Virus might enter the physique after touching any contaminated floor. Then, after all, got here one other good selection: meals, which was additionally smart contemplating a potential lockdown and curfew on leaving properties. But toilet paper left many puzzled, as explosive diarrhea was not one in every of the signs of COVID-19 nor did it set off a nostril working like Niagara Falls. Yet that didn’t cease anybody from deciding to buy packs and packs of toilet paper, leaving the aged and the chronically unwell in dire conditions.
Plenty of scientific proof suggests uncertainties, emotions of helplessness in addition to tales of shortage can feed into the panic-buying frenzy, making stockpiling a wonderfully comprehensible response. Nevertheless, the toilet paper craze nonetheless appeared a bit irrational.
This conundrum finally spurred on-line memes and tongue-in-cheek calculators exhibiting folks how a lot toilet paper they really wanted. Contrary to fashionable perception, you solely want a number of squares each time you go and if the common two-ply roll has about 500 sheets, every individual solely wants a roll or two per week. Things acquired so heated at one level that social media was flooded with movies of individuals combating over the final pack of toilet roll, beginning full fights with a number of hairpulling and physique slamming.
Then got here catastrophe eventualities and pessimists who have been fueling the panic by making folks doubt there was sufficient toilet paper to go round. “If all inventory runs out, what is going to we use?” folks began to ask, on a quick observe to turning into unhinged.
There have been anticipated solutions corresponding to previous rags and washcloths that also preserved dignity together with a number of uncommon and inventive ones sprinkled in, like sponges and corncobs (gross previous tips), banana leaves and even snow.
While all of this was taking place round the world, there have been some nations – at the very least the aged and/or extra conventional amongst them – that have been simply sitting again and watching the chaos ensue. The Turks have been one in every of them.
You see, Turks have long-standing traditions pertaining to defecation and cleanliness. When some Europeans have been drowning in their very own excrement in the streets of huge cities in the darkish Middle Ages, the Ottoman Turks have been evolving towards a extra developed toilet tradition. Ottoman amenities at the very least had the traditional or conventional floor bogs, and there have been no shared sea sponges on a follow wipe (ahem, Romans).
In Ottoman instances, particularly according to the teachings of Islam, utilizing water for cleansing turned the norm. Prophet Muhammad famously mentioned, “Cleanliness is half the religion,” which turned a lifestyle for Muslim communities.
Soon got here the good previous bidets (bih-days). Nowadays bidets both come built-in with the toilet or as a separate fixture subsequent to it. It options water jets or nozzles just like kitchen sink sprayers which are used for private hygiene after utilizing the toilet, providing a way more thorough clear than the use of paper alone.
Of course, the Turks weren’t the solely ones who opted for water over paper. Mediterranean international locations like Italy, Greece and Portugal, Asian international locations like China, Japan and Korea in addition to Muslim international locations corresponding to Pakistan and Malaysia even have a practice of utilizing bidets or bidet showers in bogs. But of all of those, one has to confess that the Japanese have us beat on toilet tradition these days; from seat heaters to temperature- and pressure-adjusted squirts, and even a drying perform, they provide the most high-tech and in-depth cleansing choices on the market.
Even although these days the follow of utilizing a bidet and the sight of it’s diminishing in Turkey, the private cleaning methodology is making a comeback, and we’ve the Corona Virus pandemic to thank for that.
Who is aware of, maybe the remainder of the West may even catch on quickly.