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Museums saving Covid items, exhibits start


Behind the scenes of world history, museums are already hard at work collecting the artifacts and documents of the coronavirus pandemic, and one museum in Prague has even opened a new, and growing, exhibit  of face masks.

In the U.S., the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has set up a task force to lead its collection of objects and information for a collection that will be a permanent part of the collection. It's working with similar committees at its other museums, including the National Museum of African American History. The effort is focused on the events of the period and their effects on business, work, politics and culture.

The recently-opened exhibit at Prague's National Museum features a display of masks created by leading fashion designers, home crafters and others. The Museum's spokesperson told reporters that “If we want to leave a legacy for future generations, this collection of face masks says only positive things about us. That as a nation we are able to face a challenge in a positive way and we are able to stick together. The face masks are a clear expression of that.” 

The Czech Republic has been relatively lightly affected by the pandemic, with fewer than 10,000 cases and just over 300 deaths. Officials credit that to making mask wearing mandatory early, along with other measures and enforcing them strictly.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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WHY???? I really don't understand why anyone would ever want to remember this crap we are living through. It's bad enough now, why would people want to pay to go and remember this? I know medically it needs to be recorded and analyzed, but other than that, NEVER. Besides, I think it's too early. There is still so much unknown, and we still don't know what the pitiful excuse known as the Chinese government will do next. Just my two cents, lol

I think I understand why it is important for museums to be doing this work now, when materials are available and it is possible to collect many perspectives as well. If the sources are not there, future scholars won't be able to help us with accurate understandings.

As it is, this year, many lessons of prior pandemics such as the 1918 flu were only brought forward after they would have been most useful.

One of the things we do need to remember is the hurtfulness of assigning blame to people of different countries for things like viruses. Covid-19 is no more a 'Chinese virus' than the 1918 pandemic was a 'Spanish flu.'

But while no people are to blame for its existence, many governments—the U.S., China, Russia and the UK at the top of any list—are responsible for acting ineffectively and irresponsibly in controling it. And that is something that the collected history and artifacts will help us see.

But do we need an exhibit of masks in the middle of the pandemic? Maybe not.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Last edited by PHeymont

Many would say that the most difficult times - plague, war, tsunami, genocide - are precisely the sort of historic events that should be & are memorialized, to comfort the effected now, and to teach in the future.  What better time to begin than now?  Like you, it wouldn't occur to me to start so soon but fortunately there are those with foresight & education to do it for us.

Last edited by PortMoresby
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