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.