Wilson always needs soap, not just during a pandemic


Photo courtesy of Ethan Leifman

Ethan Leifman

It should not have taken the current outbreak of the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus to get soap in Wilson’s bathrooms. As a person who washes their hands after using the bathroom (which, disturbingly, isn’t everyone), I was pleased to read in a March 2nd email from DCPS that the school district is making an effort to have soap in school bathrooms because of the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus. After using the bathroom throughout the school week of March 2nd, I was elated to actually find soap in almost every bathroom I used. However, soap is always a necessity, not just when there is an imminent (and now actual) global pandemic. 

It seems for much of three and a half years at Wilson there has been a chronic issue of getting soap in the bathrooms, and in defense of Wilson and DCPS, getting soap is not as simple as it may seem. Numerous departments get involved, and it is a surprisingly bureaucratic process. 

However, the speed at which various local government agencies coordinated in order to provide soap to students means that this level of coordination was possible without COVID-19 being days away from reaching DC (as it was when the email was sent. As of now, coronavirus has spread to DC).
The rapid response to Wilson’s soap issues should have occurred prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Specifically, it should have occurred whenever the soap ran out in the first place. Soap is a necessity, not a luxury. Soap is a cost-effective and efficient way to prevent germs from spreading, especially in a densely-populated place like Wilson. Having soap in the bathrooms at all times is a simple and basic public health measure that DCPS could have taken months, if not years, ago. Neglecting public heath is never acceptable.