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How will the Covid-19 pandemic affect future home design?

worthy
6 days ago

Here's Ukrainian architect Sergey Makhno's take on the long-term effect of the worldwide pandemic on home design going forward.


In short: houses over apartments, bunkers over open plan, self-sufficiency over dependence. Cleanliness above all. Urban farming. Home Offices. (Works for me!)

Comments (40)

  • functionthenlook

    Maybe walls will go back up in homes. People will see that too much togetherness isn't all it is cracked up to be. Mom banging pot and pans cooking , kids at dining room table doing homework, and dad in living room watching TV all in one open area:(

    I can see more offices going in. People are now working from bedrooms, living rooms, any place they can find a space to set up.

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  • B Carey

    Larger Pantries and Cold Storage (both of which I’m already putting in my home)! We are building on a Hobby Farm. Will raise our own meat cows, in addition to getting meat and egg chickens again. A large garden, orchard, and eventually a greenhouse. This is our 2nd acreage. I’ve always had a desire to produce most of our own food. It is such a Relaxing and rewarding hobby for me.

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  • Kristin S

    I think the idea that "it doesn't matter how big my apartment is, I'm never home" and its close cousin, "it doesn't matter that the kitchen is tiny and nonfunctional, we always eat out," (both which I have heard expressed by city dwellers) are going to take a big hit.

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  • One Devoted Dame

    In the US, I'm hoping we see an increase in multi-generational/extended family living. We are not an isolationist species... We need each other. If we can create our own tiny "villages" within the greater community, it would make future quarantining a lot easier.

    And it wouldn't necessarily have to be folks related by blood... Very close friends could do this, and bring 2 or 3 families together. My 2 closest friends each have families of 6 and 8 kids, so combined with my 7, we'd have enough kids to keep each other busy -- and socialized -- within our own little village.

    In the short term, I'm hoping that my HOA relaxes restrictions on adding on to existing houses and ADUs. I could comfortably add 2 more bedrooms and a bathroom, if permitted by the HOA, which would help us accommodate my folks and/or in-laws, should it come to that. :-)

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  • functionthenlook

    I think people will be re-thinking the basement if they can have one. Puting in a finished basement in a new build , or finishing off their current basements, instead of spending the money on ball room bathrooms or snow storm kichens. Not everyone will stay home to work after this house arrest is over. Game rooms make great flex spaces to turn into what is need at the time.

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  • Mrs Pete

    Interesting article -- I agree with some points, disagree with other points:

    Houses over apartments -- I think this has been a trend anyway.

    Bunkers over open plan -- nah, open plan is practical for many reasons, and if your concern is spreading disease, it makes no difference. If you're living in the house with an infected person (regardless of how many walls you have), you're probably going to get it.

    Self-sufficiency over dependency -- pantries for bulk storage, solar panels, etc.? No, most people won't spend on these things -- not once the panic is gone. And tract home builders certainly won't spend on these things -- not when it would likely be at the expense of things like stone countertops, duplicate sinks and toilets-in-closets. People are going to choose those right-now status items over expensive self-sufficient items that may or may not be needed in the future.

    I hear what you're saying though: This time we haven't lost services, but no two emergencies are ever the same. We would be much less happy right now if we were at home without water or without electricity.

    Cleanliness above all -- sad that we need a pandemic to convince us to wash our hands.

    Urban farming -- eh, thinking about WW2's Victory Gardens, but gardening is real work and requires delayed gratification. Am I cynical to think a whole lot of people would give up on this idea? Having lived on a farm most of my life, if I were trying to convince people to add food to their urban landscapes, I'd push them towards dwarf fruit trees and shrubs (like blueberries); these are not all that different from planting typical trees and shrubs, and they are less work than tomatoes and such.

    Home Offices -- yes, working at home has been growing steadily, and I think this pandemic will be a big kick in the pants for this movement. Unless you're about to retire (like me), I think it'd be crazy not to allot for a small home office in your new build. Two home offices -- one for each spouse -- might not be crazy talk. I think that businesses are going to say, "Hey, this works. People like working from home. Let's increase that option."

    I think people will be re-thinking the basement if they can have one.

    If they can. Basements will never catch on in my neck of the woods -- not practical with our geography and soil.

    Other things I think will change because of this pandemic:

    Our government is going to have to address the fact that we were caught with our pants down. We haven't faced a situation like this since Spanish Influenza in 1918-1919, and we don't have policies and procedures in place. We will learn from this -- and, honestly, another pandemic could be much, much worse than this one.

    A lot of people are going to be in trouble financially. This morning I watched a video from our big-big boss, and he shared a troubling story: he said he speaks to a certain neighbor every day as he walks his dog. The neighbor is a small restaurant owner, and he has already had to lay off his part-time workers. Some of those people have come to him and asked -- begged -- "Could I come back and just work for food?" The big-big boss teared up as he shared that story.

    We are seeing lower gas prices in our area -- I mean way lower. I guess this is temporary.

    My daughter who's an RN says more patients are turning to online doctor appointments. I could see this experience pushing us in that direction, and it seems like a good choice.

    Personally, when I look at my own preparedness, I haven't done badly, but I see some things I could do better: I have a big pantry with a good bit of food, and I have a stash of long-term storage food that we haven't even touched. I have plenty of flour and yeast, and we won't be without bread. We might not have exactly what we want to eat, but we would not go hungry ... for months. However, being stuck in the house, we are kinda stir crazy, and I can see that more junk food would be welcome. We have plenty of medicines, and we keep some cash in the house (in case of a disruption in banking). But we do not have any water storage (we do not drink bottled water because we do not want to put bottles into the landfill), and while that isn't a problem in this crisis, it could be problematic another year/another problem. My paper products storage is sadly lacking. We have plenty of toilet paper (especially since our daughter moved back from her college apartment, and she had an unopened case), but we are short on paper napkins and Kleenex. And I am going to add face masks to our stash; I had never considered that before.


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  • worthy

    I'm better at predicting the past!

    Modernist architecture was a direct development of the concern with tuberculosis, which ravaged the country right through the 1950s. This resulted in an obsession with exposure to the sun and fresh air, clinical clean white surfaces shining like a hospital, sparkling glass, metal, hard surface flooring. In other words, every modernist home you've ever seen.

    Covid-19 mortality figures are, so far, a tiny fraction of those of the Spanish Flu epidemic, which took 675,000 American lives in a population one third of that today. (Not to mention the seasonal flu, which took 34,200 American lives in the 2018-19 flu season.*) So, without a major expansion of the death toll, it may slide down a collective memory hole. And the after effects remain minimal. I hope not.

  • bpath reads banned books too

    I wonder if mudrooms will see sinks added, for washing up whenever you come in? Bonus, you can rinse dirty boots or drip-dry snow-encrusted mittens over them.

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  • worthy

    I wonder if mudrooms will see sinks added


    You mean there are mudrooms without sinks!

  • David Cary

    Yes, most "mudrooms" in the south do not have sinks. We have mud but not in most civilized situations. We use mudrooms as a place to store shoes and backpacks and jackets.

    Mud is on shoes so a sink isn't really helpful.....

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  • HkyLvr Buckeye

    Following

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  • Kristin S

    Mud is on shoes so a sink isn't really helpful.....

    You take the shoes off, wash them off in the sink, and then set them to dry.

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  • One Devoted Dame

    Am I cynical to think a whole lot of people would give up on this idea?

    They absolutely would give up. Growing things either has to be your livelihood, or your passionate hobby, or both, in order to stick with it for any appreciable amount of time. As you know, it's hard work, and frustrating at times. It's not like it's as simple as Just Add Water. lol

    Soil amendments via minerals, composting, and/or fertilizing; weed and pest control (insect infestations as well as deer, rodents, and reptiles); pollination (attracting pollinators or hand pollinating); digging up and dividing perennials; protecting fruits from birds so that you actually get some, especially if you only have 2 or 3 dwarf fruit trees on a postage stamp lot; harvesting, processing, and storing fruit; scarifying and storing seeds; overwintering delicate plants; clustering plants by soil pH requirements; watering schedules; acquiring and storing equipment, etc., etc., etc. The list is long.

    It takes time and education, not to mention patience and future-oriented thinking. Lots of folks aren't willing or able to make the crazy commitment required.

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  • Lisa

    I predict: no longterm change. Remember the gasoline and oil crisis of the past? Everyone bet that Americans would forego their love of large cars in favor of small eco cars. Well, here we are so many years and generations later; people are buying SUVs, which are light trucks. You almost can't even find a regular sedan anymore.

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  • chispa

    But you can get hybrid and electric SUVs these days and most SUV engines are smaller and more fuel efficient. Try fitting your average American family, their child safety seats, strollers, all their stuff and their dogs in a small eco car! Things have changed, we made the cars more fuel efficient.

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  • thinkdesignlive

    Levers vs knob debate - levers win.

  • live_wire_oak

    Real world changes:

    More motion activated items. Sensor faucets. Automatic doors. CA has led the way for occupancy sensor lighting. A lot of this is available now. Expect hands free anything usage to rise.


    Bathrooms will once again be as virtual wet rooms tiled wall to wall, with everything able to be sanitized. No more difficult to clean things like freestanding tubs. Everything built in, a hard surface, like a pedestal sink, and able to be hosed down. Maybe even a floor drain. The linen closet storage right outside the bath for the hall bathroom. And for the master, the vanity will again occupy a separate room like the 80’s hotel room style antechamber that was popular. That will bring about the larger toilet closet, with a sink inside it, so that your hands can be washed when and where they need to be washed. And bidet toilet seats will be the norm in new builds.


    For kitchens? A two sink kitchen will no longer be “only for rich people with big kitchens” as I had one poster tell me when I insisted that a more conveniently located secondary island sink to wash your hands and products while prepping would be a really good idea. In fact, 3 or more sinks may adorn larger kitchens. And pantries. And mud rooms. Restaurant hand washing station sinks in the garage. Outside. In the bedrooms, like rooms of yore.


    The flip side of this is not becoming more independent. It’s becoming more DEpendent. Dependent on the internet for the whole country as a right and protected by national security, and not an option that leaves out some economic classes. More public free WiFi. More cell phone towers for the remote areas for that connectivity, We will be also be even more dependent on delivered supplies. Emperor Jeff Bezos has that vision. It’s coming true. He has a virtual monopoly on supply lines and infrastructure since FedEx abandoned competing with him. Monopolies aren’t broken up by the government anymore. They’re rewarded.


    I’d like to think that Victory Gardens would make a comeback, but that won’t happen any more than air conditioning in the south being eliminated. Ironically, automated hydroponic gardening indoors under artificial light will continue to grow, aimed at a luxury market. If anyone caught the last season of The Affair, that’s what I’m talking about. Big GrowBoxes so that people can spend lots of money and feel like they’re doing something, without actually getting their hands dirty.

    More public disinfection stations and hand washing stations. Just like water fountains are everywhere now.


    And here’s the big social change that I’m hoping for, but won’t hold my breath. The janitors, garbage men, maids, and everyone that cleans up after everyone, or makes their food, or serves them in a “essential” establishment, get a higher status and more money. You’ve got plenty of these low status underpaid people having to report to work right now, risking their lives, so that companies can continue to operate. You know, sell geraniums, nail polish, and beer to the bored Karen’s and Chads.

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  • worthy

    everyone that cleans up after everyone, or makes their food, or serves them in a “essential” establishment, get a higher status and more money.

    In Canada, some retailers, including giant highly unionized Loblaw's have temporarily raised wages by $2 an hour and installed plexiglass shields at registers. As well, the minimum wages here are double those of many US states--e.g., $14 an hour in Ontario.

    internet for the whole country as a right and protected by national security, and not an option that leaves out some economic classes.

    Also, in the country above the United States, the three major parties promised high-speed internet availability across the country in the 2019 federal election.

    After weeks--or even months--of confinement in their 300 sf cubicles, I'd predict the allure of downtown condos could lose a bit of its lustre for the millennial crowd. (I'm not completely out of touch; I had to explain to mrs. worthy who Billie Eilish and Lizzo are.)

  • live_wire_oak

    Here’s the “employee protection” zone forcing social distance for the lower country. All employee DIY. But they do get 14?days of leave, if they wade through the 3rd part claims handling “no-sayers” looking to deny for some undotted I.

  • David Cary

    Wegmans raised wages $2 an hour. While based near Canada, still a US company with stores down here in the South. And lets not pretend that a Loonie is worth a US dollar.

    Harris Teeter (based in NC) is installing plexiglass.

    Costco has plexiglass (at least here in NC)

    I doubt bathrooms will be wall tiled. Nothing about the pandemic is going to decrease the cost of tile labor in the US. It is wicked expensive. I don't find the need to overclean my own bathroom. I, for one, have done nothing to prevent interfamily/interhousehold transmission. I don't have a public bathroom so why would I need to clean it more?

    In the US, 99.73% have access to broadband. How many actually use it is a confusing picture but 73% of households have it and 17% have a smartphone instead getting us to around 90% with broadband access. So technically, there are more people in the US going hungry than don't have broadband access and there are probably more without health insurance (but that is pretty close and depends what numbers you use).

    The real challenge that I see is that increasing urbanization is good for the environment as house areas are smaller and transportation energy is less. But pandemic(s) will encourage less urbanization.

  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes

    A great question and a thought-provoking article. Who can resist an invitation for wild speculation?

    I think we'll see more incremental changes to residential designs than radical ones. Mudrooms or "drop zones" are becoming both larger spaces and more common in new home plans. Ditto for walk-in pantries. We'll see ways to make them even more functional per unit area.

    My teen age daughter is now in week two of what is likely to be a two-month long case study in distance learning. The fact that she can do that successfully-- even part time-- should cause us to rethink brick-and-mortar schools-- but that's a subject for another thread. With respect to home design, I think there is value in a well-organized center for printing, storage of printing supplies, recharging and sanitizing hand-held electronic devices, etc.

    We've got more stuff in the freezer and pantry than we typically do. I've found myself assigned to dig around in order to answer the question "do we have that?" and "how many?" If there is convenient and inexpensive technology for barcode scanning items in and out of the pantry and freezer linked to my phone or computer, I'd buy it. Southerners should never be at risk of frostbite.

    I also predict future residential designs will include a center for home alcohol production. You can drink the stuff, you can use it as a sanitizer, you can put in your gas tank, and you can burn it in lamps if the lights go out. The only thing that comes close to that many uses is that floor wax that's also a dessert topping.

  • vinmarks

    What I would like to see is good high speed internet throughout the country. Our internet is garbage. Our only saving grace lately has been my husbands mifi puck he has through work but it is not affordable for the everyday household. I have college age kids whose school went to online classes. I told them to stay in their apartment up at school because there is no way our internet here could support my work, their online classes, DD's remote internship and work.


  • K H

    Hope no one burns their house down with all this alcohol production!

    We live on a farm but I grew up in the city. I forget that people go to the grocery store daily to pick up what they want to cook for their evening meals so I think that will probably change. People will try to keep a larger stockpile at home. I currently buy for long term because we don't live close to a grocery store so I have been shopping normally through this stay at home period. When we planned our custom home we put in a mud room because it is necessary when you live on a cattle farm and we planned a large pantry and closets for storage. We have been living in a small trailer for close to 8 years saving up our money so we could build, and there are 2-2 ft x 1 ft "linen" closets for storage! So large closets were a must for our new build. I don't think mudrooms are going to be put in unless there is a need. The only thing I think will increase is storage space.

  • Mrs Pete

    They absolutely would give up. Growing things either has to be your livelihood, or your passionate hobby, or both ...

    Yes, you get it.

    hours agoI don't find the need to overclean my own bathroom. I, for one, have done nothing to prevent interfamily/interhousehold transmission. I don't have a public bathroom so why would I need to clean it more?

    I was thinking the same thing -- extra sinks here and there are just more to keep clean. Washing your hands more often in the kitchen isn't going to help prevent disease. Germs in your house are going to "get you" whether your bathroom is all tile /easier to clean or not.

    The real answer is keeping the germs from entering your home.

    But pandemic(s) will encourage less urbanization.

    This pandemic is awful, but -- at most -- it's an event that happens only once or twice in a lifetime. I think people may change their food storage (and toilet paper) habits slightly, but they're not going to choose to live a different lifestyle in case something similar rolls around again.

    Mudrooms or "drop zones" are becoming both larger spaces and more common in new home plans. Ditto for walk-in pantries. We'll see ways to make them even more functional per unit area.

    A mudroom or pantry -- nice as they may be -- doesn't keep you any safer from the virus. If you've been out and breathed the virus, and if the virus is on the coat you've been wearing for an hour and the bag you've had scootched up under your arm, you're probably going to catch the disease -- even if you have a pretty, well-laid out storage area. Even if you have soap and Lysol and hot water ready at the door.

    My teen age daughter is now in week two of what is likely to be a two-month long case study in distance learning. The fact that she can do that successfully-- even part time-- should cause us to rethink brick-and-mortar schools-- but that's a subject for another thread.

    Disagree. We've been told to assign our students no more than 30 minutes of classwork per day -- I typically see my students 90 minutes per day AND give homework. Standardized testing has been cancelled because we know the students aren't going to be as prepared as previous classes.

    And this is all acceptable in the current situation -- many of our high school students are babysitting younger siblings, are concerned with health, are concerned with finances. School is coming second at this point. Also, it's really tough to change horses mid-stream.

    If there is convenient and inexpensive technology for barcode scanning items in and out of the pantry and freezer linked to my phone or computer, I'd buy it.

    I know exactly what's in my chest freezer because I have a clipboard with a list hanging on the wall beside it. Technology to manage my food storage doesn't appeal to me.

    What I would like to see is good high speed internet throughout the country.

    Yes, improved internet may be something that'll come out of this situation.

    worthy thanked Mrs Pete
  • vinmarks

    I have to agree with the growing things being a livelihood or passion. We grow a small garden and if we had to rely on it to survive we'd be dead. The only thing I can successfully grow are herbs.

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  • Kristin S

    I just remembered a conversation some of the parents had a pickup on the last day before our school closed. It was about difficulty finding toilet paper. One person who was there was making the case for Toto washlet type toilet seats to avoid the scramble for toilet paper. I predict that those will rise in popularity, especially if the toilet paper scarcity continues.

    Similarly, I think people may start to return to cloth napkins, dishcloths, rags, dish towels, etc.. They may be forced into it by supply shortages, but then they'll realize how much better it actually is for many thing.

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  • K H

    I missed the comment about brick and mortar schools. I’m also a teacher and believe that if learning was left up to all students and it was strictly online the retention would be poor. There have been many studies showing that.

    Our local nursing college hired instructors to replace their online course load because they were finding that their online students that got into the nursing program couldn’t recall important info. They compared this to their pre-online days.

    Online learning might work for some but the studies show the majority don’t retain the information. Even if the curriculum is identical.

  • B Carey

    I am trying to work from home right now with my 3 kids. Only blessing at the moment is I'm letting my 14 year old sleep in. My 9 year old is always super busy with project after project. She has been singing all day (It is 10:00 now). She made rice krispies treats (both regular and chocolate) with my 12 year old already. Try focusing when they open about 43 plastic bags with a serrated knife ever so loudly to accomplish this. My kids are very fast with homework anyway, so are under an hour a day working on the teacher's activities. Add in a workout, and we still have umpteen hours to fill in the day. I don't think there are many parents who want at home schooling for more than a short "sick" period. I also recall taking only a few online courses for my degrees. I always felt sort of cheated on those courses. But, I was an odd one who loved school!

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  • skmom

    I think people will buy more in bulk for awhile and want to stay stocked up on food, toiletries, cleaning supplies and the like. I don’t think anyone liked the feeling of not being able to buy whatever we wanted whenever and wherever we wanted. I already buy in bulk, I have for decades now because I have a larger than average sized family and it makes sense, so I wasn’t really caught in the throes of panic when all this happened. But even I have felt uneasy about seeing so many empty shelves when I do my regular shopping! I think pantries and good (closed) storage space in homes/dwellings will become a little more important to buyers in the future now.

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  • vinmarks

    We already bought in bulk too. Closest grocery store to us is 30 minutes away. Sams and Costco are 1 hour. DH went out to Sams the other day and I asked him to pick up toilet bowl cleaner. We usually buy multiples of packs being we live an hour away. They had limit of 1 pack. I guess people are going haywire cleaning their toilets. Even with having a decent amount of supplies you have to wonder if we will ever be able to get toilet paper and paper towels again. I think if people would just do their normal shopping and stop hoarding there would be stuff on the shelves.

  • worthy

    In the US, 99.73% have access to broadband.

    Fixed broadband access and having a subscription to broadband are two different things. Not everybody's interested or can afford it. And it's not clear where smartphone access is measured.

    US families with broadband subscriptions (2018) 87%

    Canadian families with broadband subscriptions 2017) 89%

    lets not pretend that a Loonie is worth a US dollar.

    Just before the current pandemic, C$ was in the US75¢ range. Which still puts the minimum wage well above most US jurisdictions. Not that I think that is a particularly good idea when Canadian manufacturers, despite being a declining part of the economy anyway, are competing with Deep South competitors. (BTW, 20 years ago the C$ was up to 10% above the US$.)

    pandemic is awful, but -- at most -- it's an event that happens only once or twice in a lifetime

    Not according to the CDC: 20th Century pandemics

    This is not to mention polio epidemics in the 1950s until the development of vaccines. Nor HIV-Aids. Also, more localized epidemics, such as SARS, which took more than 40 lives in our city alone.

    Since 1977, H3N2 and H1N1 viruses have taken approximately 36,000 American lives each year.

    The mutation of these viruses and others and the transfer of wildfowl viruses into the human food chain is not fully understood.

    Furthermore, increasing intrusion with natural environments in southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America guarantees more pandemics, more frequently.

    We're buckling down in our bunkers!

  • A S

    I don’t think it will impact future home design much at all. This will eventually go away and people will resume their normal.

    I do think it has the potential to create more work from home options long term and expand the scope of learning offered to kids which can’t be bad. I don’t think online will ever replace in person but more choices are good.

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  • One Devoted Dame

    My teen age daughter is now in week two of what is likely to be a two-month long case study in distance learning. The fact that she can do that successfully-- even part time-- should cause us to rethink brick-and-mortar schools [....]

    Families in all 50 states of the US already have the legal ability to home educate their children (although some states are particularly onerous, like NY), and perhaps the closure of schools will give a small handful of away-school kids' parents the confidence/opportunity to teach their kids themselves, but there are a ton of families for whom homeschooling just isn't an option. Valid reasons abound.

    I don't think institutionalization will be questioned much. It may be *changed* but there are too many family-centered institutions that are culturally ingrained/important to American culture (good, bad, or indifferent). If away-schooling is questioned, so too should nursing homes be, perhaps even more so. Yet, there isn't going to be a rash of empty nursing homes once this thing is over. Most folks cannot/will not provide geriatric care for their loved ones; it's not a cultural norm for us.

    I was just reading the other day about pregnant women caught up in this mess.... So many mothers are afraid that hospitals will be overwhelmed and that they will be forced to give birth at home. I'm already a home-birther, so for me, come late September, nothing will change my plans. However, I feel for those women who are incredibly anxious, and who feel for their safety and the safety of their littlest ones. I don't think we will see a sudden demand for midwives and homebirths.

    I fully support home education, caring for family at home, and birthing at home. BUT I acknowledge that I am in a great position to do all of it, while most others are not, or simply have no desire to do so.

  • Mrs Pete

    I just remembered a conversation some of the parents had a pickup on the last day before our school closed. It was about difficulty finding toilet paper. One person who was there was making the case for Toto washlet type toilet seats to avoid the scramble for toilet paper. I predict that those will rise in popularity, especially if the toilet paper scarcity continues.

    Similarly, I think people may start to return to cloth napkins, dishcloths, rags, dish towels, etc.. They may be forced into it by supply shortages, but then they'll realize how much better it actually is for many thing.

    I agree that the Toto washlet would be very nice right now with TP being in short supply; however, I don't think most people are aware of its existence.

    While I personally try to avoid filling landfills with single-use items (including cleaning items), I don't think turning to cloth in case of another pandemic is a realistic solution. Why? Because whatever our next crisis is, the details will vary. Our next crisis might have to do with electricity, and we might lack the ability to wash cloth items. That's the hard thing about preparedness: you prepare without knowing for certain what will happen.

    I missed the comment about brick and mortar schools. I’m also a teacher and believe that if learning was left up to all students and it was strictly online the retention would be poor. There have been many studies showing that.

    Yes, and that mirrors my personal experience. I fully accept that right now we have to do what we can for our students -- but as a long-term solution, this isn't a great choice.

    I don’t think anyone liked the feeling of not being able to buy whatever we wanted
    whenever and wherever we wanted.

    Yes, we are very spoiled today -- popping into the grocery store to pick up whatever convenience product and out-of-season fruit -- and we don't even stop to think about it. If there's a silver lining to this thing, perhaps that's it: it forces us to be grateful for just how much we have.

    In terms of creature comforts, the poorest American lives a pretty cushy life compared to all the generations who've come before us.

    I think if people would just do their normal shopping and stop hoarding there would be stuff on the shelves.

    Absolutely true, but I do understand the fear: I may not be able to leave the house to get more. We may be sick, and I need to be prepared to take care of my family's basic needs.

    worthy thanked Mrs Pete
  • worthy

    I don’t think anyone liked the feeling of not being able to buy whatever we wanted


    I'm so craving a bag of un-shelled peanuts and hot chocolate! (I've never been accused of being a man of sophisticated tastes.)

  • bpath reads banned books too

    More soundproofing? While our own household is quiet, now that it’s spring the roar of leaf blowers is heard by everyone working and studying at home.

  • One Devoted Dame

    More soundproofing?

    Maybe we'll plant more trees/hedges/foliage to absorb some of that sound *before* it reaches the windows? :-D

  • just_janni

    I have been pretty self sufficient during this pandemic. I've not been to the store in 2 weeks. I already had toilet paper, so I am not scrounging - I tend to buy the big warehouse pack when I am at Costco because of brand preference (and the Costco version of Charmin is wider than the BJ's warehouse version...). Same on paper towels.


    I likely need fresh vegetables now - but can deal with frozen veggies for a while.


    I can work from home, and hubby works from home when he's not traveling (and hasn't been since late February) so having space to do that is really nice.


    New house can fit most of the discussion - we planned for a pantry to store goods because when we started this extravaganza, there wasn't a close grocery... side benefit to being slow - there's one within a couple miles now!) Easy to clean surfaces, low maintenance, self sufficient, mudroom entry with a sink, all toilets have sinks right next to them (no water closet - but a 1/2 bath instead). We can actually quarantine from each other with the shop! LOL!


    That been said - I don't think that there will be (m)any changes because we're not going to see those wholesale changes from the production builders, and the true customer house market is likely to suffer a LOT on the backside of this pandemic, I am afraid. The custom house market will drive this first and filter down to the production- (and that's gonna just take a lot longer....)

  • Trish Walter

    makes me happy about my large pantry with tucked away office...still have a 'too open' floorplan probably but will have a full basement so people can separate from each other...



  • A S

    With my three kids downstairs in the walk out basement I’m wishing we put a door on the room! They are sorting LEGO and listening to music and it’s so loud. First world problems

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