A FB friend finally posed the question: just what purpose DO those paper toilet-seat covers actually serve, anyway?
Food for thought, indeed!
For lo, they are not an impermeable barrier, and therefore will not protect thine bum from anything moist on the seat (ew!), and as they are nearly microscopic sheets of tissue paper, what actual protection from germs do they offer?
A brief Google search yielded several fairly knowledgeable sources (an infectious diseases expert, etc) pooh-pooh’ing the idea (see what I did there?) and stating that it was mostly psychological — reducing the “ick factor” more than anything else.
It turns out that toilet seats are actually about fifty times cleaner than common items that are handled often such as telephone receivers, computer mice, and office desks. And, unless the skin on your backside is compromised, you’ve already got a built-in barrier to anything icky that might be lying in wait on that seat.
And, just to put your mind(s) further at ease, STD bugs can’t survive outside the human body for long, just minutes really: so unless you’re having unprotected sex WITH the toilet seat AND a person carrying such diseases, your pink bits are safe.
I personally had always doubted the usefulness of a such wispy paper product. Plus when I was younger and in possession of somewhat less fine motor control as I now enjoy, I found that it was impossible to get them to stay neatly on the seat and not slip around when you sat down, and speaking as a semi-compulsive who frustrates easily this was SO NOT OKAY with me. So I’ve been sitting with impunity (after a brief check of the seat for cooties), or in the case of scary foreign toilets with evident soiling, hovering inaccurately above the seat (particularly when drinking or on moving trains, or once, spectacularly, drinking AND on a moving train). And, no unexplained social diseases so far!
I take it this is one of those personal decisions, but I rather like to leave them in the holder behind the seat, where they might serve as emergency toilet paper in case of outages. They’re strangely non-absorbent when used for this, but any old port in a storm, am I right?