“To answer your question, (The guide gestures to his right at an exhibit that depicts a scene of volunteers dropping off food items at the door of an elderly person. The scene is created with wax figures that loosely resemble humans) many humans were able to overcome their inherently selfish natures to provide these invalids with the resources that they needed in order to help them survive.”
(Scene 1: We come upon a scene of a group of extraterrestrials gathered at the entrance of what seems to be a museum exhibit. They are led by a tall, spry-looking specimen holding a baton in its right tentacle and some sort of futuristic device in its left that seems to function as a microphone.)
Guide: Now that we have learned all about the terrible plague that fell upon the human race in the year 2020 ADE in the last exhibition, let us move on to the next topic of interest: a period of quarantine that was sanctioned by governments all over the human planet “Earth.” During this time, humans were confined to their homes, and unable to go out unless they were buying necessities from places called “grocery shops.” Now, can anyone tell me what that is? (a bookish, child-like creature timidly raises its tentacle). Yes! Little boy!
Child: I think it was a place where the humans could obtain their nourishment?
Guide: Correct! More specifically, it was a kind of trading post in which copious amounts of food would be stored. Humans would flock to these places – as dewbacks do to feeding hubs – and exchange small pieces of paper for nutrients. (Another older specimen raises its tentacles assertively.) Yes, you there!
Full-grown: What about the invalids? I read that the humans were quite fragile creatures, and spent most of their lifetimes trying to maintain their health. Which was useless because their ridiculous aging process thoroughly weakened them anyway. (The crowd begins to murmur amongst itself. Spurred on by the commotion he is causing, the creature speaks louder.) Some of them were even incapacitated from birth.
(There is a general crescendo in the volume of the crowd. Some of them have begun to exclaim out loud at the pitiful physical structure of the human race.)
Male Alien #1: Well no wonder their kind could only last for less than half of a megaannum. These humans must have been designed to die!
(The tension brought on by the shock of the human’s frailty is released, and the crowd erupts in small giggles and side comments.)
Guide: (waves his tentacles around) Ok enough! (directs his statement toward the young alien who asked the original question) To answer your question, (The guide gestures to his right at an exhibit that depicts a scene of volunteers dropping off food items at the door of an elderly person. The scene is created with wax figures that loosely resemble humans.) many humans were able to overcome their inherently selfish natures to provide these invalids with the resources that they needed in order to help them survive.
(The group collectively ooh and ahh at the exhibit, and flash pictures with what appears to be a sort of image-capturing device locating inside of their eyes.)
Guide: Let us now observe an example of how a young human woman might have spent her days in quarantine. (The guide gestures toward a diorama to his left. In the display, a girl is wrapped under comforters and blankets with a laptop on her stomach. Some of the furniture looks out of place, and there are some odd elements in the room, but that is to be expected from an extraterrestrial recreation of a teen girl’s bedroom.) This is a rendering of what we believe the average human female’s room might have looked like. If you look closely, the human is paying close attention to a sort of silver box she is balancing on her body. This is a prime example of the primitive form of technology that the humans managed to develop, despite their limited intellectual capabilities. It is comparable to the original electro-screen models that were first created by Kanakaberaka the Engineer a millennia ago.
Female Alien #1: What is she watching on that…thing? And is she trying to form some sort of cocoon with those wrappings?
Guide: We can’t be completely sure of all the details, but we believe that this particular human girl was watching something called “T.V” through her screen. And humans didn’t form cocoons, but they were extremely sensitive to the cold and often had to neutralize their body temperatures through such wrappings called “blankets.” Quite the undeveloped race, if I do say so myself.
Male Alien #1: How in Malacandra do you know all of this, anyway?
Guide: Well, all of this was based on one of the only remaining diaries of the human race, one that happened to belong to a human girl who lived during this time. In fact, if you look in front of the display, there is a plaque with an excerpt from this diary.
(The crowd quickly gathers around the plaque, curious to see what a human girl might have to say about her condition. Humans were an infamously superficial species, after all.)
Male Alien #1: As expected. The human girl has nothing to say other than the fact that she has only been getting fatter and fatter since she has been forced to stay home. Listen to her drone on and on!
Male Alien #2: I disagree. I think it wonderfully narrates the sort of monotonous dread that she was feeling because of the lack of outside stimulation.
Female Alien #2: Yes, I mean she clearly states that she feels she is blending into her bed and the air in her room as well as time itself. The human girl is losing her sense of reality and the structure of time but has just chosen a curious way to portray it. Humans aren’t always straightforward about the things they want to say, you know. (At the end of her explanation, Male Alien #1 rolls its eyes.)
(At this point, the guide, who up until now has been leaning against the railing of the display checking his reflection in a hand mirror, looks up.)
Guide: Right then, are we done? Let’s move on, everyone, come on, keep up…
(April 17, 2020)
Cailey’s Quarantine Story
Cailey’s Quarantine Journal Entry: Cailey Beck, Part 2
“I feel like I’m floating. Nothing has consequences or structure.”
“Koreatown has Californian skies but also Korean air. It’s just a weird place. It’s a strange place, but it’s a place that allows me to be unsure of who I am.”
The Heart of L.A.
“Gentrification isn’t necessarily a bad thing. [Koreatown] makes me proud that Korea is getting some recognition. We were this tiny divided country and we had so many issues. Korea has advanced so much.”