• Mallory Garber

Corona Calls for Capsules

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

Create memorable relationships with the future. Build a living history time capsule. Your experience matters, don’t let it go to waste.

As I sit here writing this blog in an N95 mask, flinching every time I hear a cough or sneeze, I can’t help but think, 

“how did we get here?” 

Never in my life would I have thought my most judgmental thoughts would be towards those who do not wear a mask that covers their nose. Who have I become? Who have we become? We as a society have undergone an extreme change in the way we live our day-to-day lives in such a short amount of time. Covid-19 has made a larger impact on our world than any of us could have imagined. It’s like we are characters of the latest dystopian movie where the plot line stems from a pandemic changing everyone’s lives. If that were the case, directors can you please call “cut?” I think we are all a little tired of this scene.

As scary as it has been, not everything Covid-19

has brought us has been necessarily bad. The human race has a funny way of entertaining themselves. One of those ways is making time capsules….and banana bread. 2020 has had the largest spike of registered capsules with the International Time Capsule Society since 2000. This organization was established in 1990 to encourage the intricate study of time capsules. Its essential goal is to document all types of time capsules throughout the world, and right now Covid capsules are the star of the show. Like most things during quarantine, time capsules have become something that of a trend, except this one is timeless.

Having actually had corona, I can personally say I will definitely be capsuling my experience. At the time I was living alone in Miami and had to isolate myself for 14 days away from my friends and family. As painful as it is to reminisce on my solitude, I never want to get rid of my momentums. I can still recall the day I received my test results. I remember reading them and thinking there must be some kind of mistake, only to realize there are not many ways to interpret “COVID-19: POSITIVE” in bright red colors. When it finally sank in, I sat on my couch defeatedly thinking, “what now?” Thus began my two week isolation…how fun!?

My camera roll is filled with bored selfies and making fun of myself for not being able to taste the beautiful dinner I “cheffed” up for myself out of pure boredom. I even started writing a quarantine journal, explaining how I felt every day and what I did with my time alone. I was actually a lot more productive than I thought I would be. I learned how to make baked brie! And it tasted amazing…I think (I made it a month later so I could taste it and can confirm it was indeed great). I learned a lot about myself during that time through plenty of books and music. My isolation happened during a time that I conveniently needed to work on myself and grow, and corona gave me the time to do that.

I can’t wait to look back when this is all behind us and be able to compare my experience to when we knew nothing about the virus. We are just in the beginning of our understanding for Covid-19. Think of all the knowledge and power we will have however long from now telling us all the things we did not know. It is important to acknowledge how vital the time we are living in is for our history. It’s a crazy concept to think our society will be in textbooks one day, but that is the reality we are living in.

Time capsules give us a way to humanize our experience and create relationships with the unknown future. Think back to the Spanish Influenza in 1918. Imagine if they had the technology we have now. As morbid as it seems, all we have to look back on that horrific experience is old print and faded, black and white photos. When people hear about Corona 100 years from now, I want to be more than just another number. People should know what we went through on a personal level, not only to carry on the legacy of ourselves, but prepare them for anything that could happen like this again. “Time capsules allow us to step back from our complex and often overwhelming present to sketch its essential outlines,” says Nick Yablon, author of “Remembrance of Things Present: The Invention of the Time Capsule.” He goes on to explain that, 

“By adopting the perspective of the future recipients, we acquire a kind of distance from the present that allows us to attempt to summarize, or historicize, it.”