Just as it’s commonly practiced in our villages and some cities with water supply problems, people still trek miles to fetch water for cooking and washing from rivers, streams and neighbors with borehole in their premises.
A similar scenario played out in London and many other developed cities we now call saner climes, until the cholera outbreak in 1854. In the middle of a cholera epidemic in London, Dr John Snow an epidemiologists found out more death were recorded with people living around water well hand pump with No. 37 Broad street as a first case study. He made a map of the geo-spatial distribution of cases, and found out that more deaths were concentrated around house closer to source of water . When the pump handles were removed, the cholera epidemic stopped immediately. Dr. Snow was the first to make a verifiable positive correlation between human waste and spread of disease.
Consequently, The parliament passed the Metropolitan Water Act to “make provision for securing the supply to the metropolis of pure and wholesome water”. This means every house must have water in the building and the public pumps were replaced with pipes to every house and this single act changed the face of toilets all over the world starting from London. It’s assumed as the greatest undervalued gift of a lifetime to the human race.
However, every blessing a times comes with a dose of curse, water consumption sky rocketed and people who were previously consumption confined to the amount of water they can fetch now have the luxury of consuming more by just opening a tap. From about 30 gallons per day per person to 100 gallons per day per person. Also rich people previously made more money from sewage as they usually have bigger household and more sewage been generated and evacuated by night soil men for onward sales to fertilizer companies. More water in sewage meant more work too, resulting into more overhead cost and less profit for fertlizer company and less money for the rich then.
Some countries like Japan argued that the toilet and bathroom/washroom were not supposed to be in the same room and we can still see the trends in some old buildings here in Nigeria. Builders, Engineers and Landlords of the late 19th century were as confused about what to do as the GERM THEORY was gaining popularity and acceptance, and some installed wash-hand basins in their rooms just as COVID-19 has forced most of us to wash our hands frequently. But the pain of having to travel some distance out of the rooms to access the toilets made plumbers/engineers to develop the concept of ”WATER CLOSET”.
Another interesting epidemic was the SPANISH FLU in 1918 between January 1918 to December, 1920. Confirmed cases were at about 500 Million and deaths well over 17 million more than the population of present day Netherlands; the second largest food exporter in the world. Just like Covid-19, The Spanish Flu had huge impact on business and many lives were lost. The picture below shows police men on the right using face mask and a bus car, equivalent of present day commuter buses denying entry cause the passengers did not have their mask on.
Although it heralded the usage of nose mask by citizens, it didn’t have much impact on business like the Cholera outbreak the previous century.
We can argue that for every global epidemic (pandemic) the world always come out with better ways of managing what caused the epidemic and greater heath care practice. The 1854 Cholera outbreak resulted into having water run into homes and water closets installed in toilets. However, one thing is certain new types of business will emerge that were not in existent before, many will commence to ensure business continuity plan and better hygiene.
I see disinfectant chambers as important as toilets going forward. Every building most especially commercial ones will have one.
Offices will also have in situ and everyone would be subjected to being sanitized before commencing the days works.
Banks will require their customers to be disinfected before offering them service. Churches and Mosque will spray antiseptics on theirs worshipers before congregating. Schools would go online and lectures would be delivered online in quantum manner, online shopping would increase etc…
On a light note, the population of the world will skyrocket. There were 1.3 Billion in the world in 1960, by 2018 it was over 7 Billion, in the next 2 years, the continued lock down is increasing the sexual activities of humans and even animals during lock down, so expect a geometric increase in world population in the next 3 years as a result of continued copulation.
The list is endless, teacher-student, husband-wife, dating and all other types relationship will also be affected. No business is immune, as this will impact all verticals of our lives.
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