Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, we are all history in the making


I can’t help but think about the duality of historical archives as we go through a pandemic

Maybe one day we'll read about us

By Jasleen Kaur  May 15th, 2020

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Ruin Bars, Hungary
Bridge of Sighs, Italy
Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany

How apart, but its rather peculiar how these very different locations across the globe provoked in me the duality of historical archives, each time I visited them. While, I do believe that recorded history is nothing but essential facts and statistics. Per contra, I do also think there are always two sides to each story, frames of reference that might or might not have been recoded. While the history is in making, I am sure little do the then humans realize how vital an era they are living in. I wonder, if Anne Frank would have known about her diary going to press and millions getting hands on it- would she have written things any differently? What if Freud were to know his cozy home would once become crowded with tourists- he would have frowned upon the idea!

I have, somewhat similar feelings being a partaker in the biggest lockdown of the century. We are all history in the making. We all will end up having our versions of struggle and agony, our own tales of adaptation and dissonance. While some of us will pass down the stories of a greener planet to our grandkids, others might talk about the bleeding economy. Time will still be a notional currency. Who agrees with me that COVID19 will become a big marker on the economic-divide in the chapters of world history textbooks? Were you struggling to get your hands on the essentials’ supply, or indulging in the gourmet meals sipping your smooth Merlot after having hoarded those non-fancy basics of life?

I fear what if those beautiful household stories fade out in front of Trump’s collapsed strategy and China’s conspiracy theories. I see so many people doing things they felt they would not be able to manage in this lifetime, to say the least. Families talking about nutrition and preparing fresh meals; mothers spending time with their babies as much as not spent in the last one year. Fitness and workouts are not distant dreams anymore.

Macro news would still rule the content in the museums and historical records but there will be one thing very unusual for anyone studying about this pandemic and that is its concurrence with being the most connected time in the world. This is the age of social media- everything would be so easily dug. Who then will worry about not having enough voices?

Will my inquisition of ‘duality of historical archives’ still be an ideology? I think about this, as I make my Dalgona coffee and plan to put it on my Instagram story.