(CNN)When Mariel Balaban drove across the United States in the middle of the pandemic, she knew that avoiding public restrooms was not an option for her young family.
"Traveling with a toddler and being seven months pregnant means lots of 'potty stops,'" said Balaban, a communications professional who moved from San Francisco to the Philadelphia area in early April. But Balaban worried that finding safe, clean public restrooms was going to be a challenge.
To mitigate the risk, she packed masks and disposable gloves. When stopping at gas stations, the family tried to avoid touching anything unnecessarily.