Calling the plumber in times of Covid-19

Dear internet,

So our kitchen sink drain started draining super slowly. To the point that the only way we could drain the sink was to run the garbage disposal.* We spent a day or two in denial (“It’s fine! We just need to run the disposal more!”) But after two days of a drain that kept stopping up, we realized we had to act.

We have two plungers, one for sinks and one for the toilet. However, the sink plunger is really wimpy. it is smaller than the average American reusable water bottle. Like it doesn’t even fit over the drain.

I bought another plunger on amazon, but, and this is incredible, but amazon doesn’t have same-day plunger delivery. Of all the things you could want the same day, a plunger is #1.

We waited a day for the plunger to arrive. In the meantime, I read all about plumbing problems, and then read some delightful accounts of people’s lives in places with limited water and how they adjusted their dishwashing rituals to accommodate. We ate off paper plates and it felt like picnicking in my own home.

The big day came, we got the plunger in the mail, tried plunging and…nothing. Both of us tried, I think I strained my armpit plunging, but still nothing.

So it was time to call the super. And as soon as he showed up, and tried to plunge it himself, he was like, “oh shit.” To give you an idea of how incredibly clogged our sink was. He and his beleaguered assistant said they’d be back, and then brought a giant vacuum which they used to break up the clog and then spray it all over our kitchen floor.* They wiped up a lot and sprayed everything down with disinfectant, including our doorknob before they left. And then we spent an hour disinfecting the kitchen and the bathroom (they poured some wastewater in the toilet). But at least we had a functional sink! Which is really a luxury.



*At least I could feel less wimpy that our plunging was for naught.