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Opinion: The COVID-19 exhibit at the Royal BC Museum will be a hellish nightmare

Some of us aren't going to be ready for it for a long time

It's been announced that the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has obtained the vial that contained the very first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine administered in the USA, which has got me thinking about how important it is that our Royal BC Museum get its hands on the vial from the first dose injected in our province. It's also got me thinking about when they end up launching a COVID-19 exhibit I will avoid it like the plague.

There have been rumblings that the museum may get their hands on official pieces of our province's coronavirus response, to keep in their holdings so that future generations will be able to learn about this very strange and unsettling time we're living through.

I have no knowledge of what a future exhibit may look like or when they might plan to launch it, but I have a pretty good imagination. Here's what I picture opening to the public in the year 2071, the year of our bicentennial:

As you enter the lobby of the museum in Victoria, instead of being greeted by the sight of John Lennon's Rolls Royce that's often on display, there's a series of a large, white, canopy tents with plastic windows.

You walk into one and are greeted by a person dressed in what looks like a cheap hazmat suit, wearing an N95 mask, a plastic face shield, and booties over their shoes. They approach you gingerly, clipboard in hand.

Pointing to their masked face they say "I'm smiling," and make a semi-circular motion with their index finger, in an attempt to put you at ease.

They ask if you have a fever, if you've recently been in contact with anyone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, and if you've been out of the country in the last two weeks.

If you say yes to any of the questions a springboard launches from under your feet and propels you hundreds of feet into the air, over the border, and onto San Juan Island, Washington - home of the International COVID Colony (the ICC) that was established by president Arnold Schwarzenegger way back in 2032 after the seventh wave hit the USA.

If you say no to all of the questions they squirt hand sanitizer into your hands. It reeks like vodka for some reason, and your heart rate instantly goes up a couple of beats per minute when you smell it.

A friendly woman approaches you. She's wearing a blonde wig and pink Fluevog brand shoes. She ushers you into a waiting roller coaster car and, in a calming voice, says "Be kind, dear," and pats you on the head as she secures your lap belt that you're unable to remove on your own. You try.

Yes, this exhibit is a literal roller coaster ride, true to the actual experience of living through the coronavirus pandemic that happened decades ago.

The ride begins to move and, after a few moments, you're in the main exhibit space.

Your car slowly rolls by a wall of flat-screen televisions, all playing old-timey newsreels from January of 2020. The largest of the screens is rolling raw aerial footage showing heavy machinery putting together one of the 1,500-room COVID-19 hospitals that China constructed before the WHO declared the pandemic.

Your fear begins to rise, as the murky threat begins to crystallize.

The roller coaster picks up speed and you roll by a holographic projection of a family wearing makeshift masks constructed of large water bottles. You almost have time to chuckle at the absurdity of it all before the thing takes off at 200 km/h, slamming your head back and pinning you to your seat.

Scenes of summer, then fall, and winter flash by at what feels like light speed, yet also somehow a snail's pace, then the car comes to a dead stop in a quiet, empty room where you're left to sit with your thoughts.

You remain there for what feels like an eternity, squirming, wondering when it might be over. Every so often the voice of former premier John Horgan pierces the silence, assuring you that he just needs you to hold tight for a couple more minutes.

Hours pass, then Adrian Dix (the real one; somehow he hasn't aged, and he is still B.C.'s health minister) pops out of nowhere, yells "Telus screwed over our vaccination plan!", then aggressively sticks a syringe into your arm.

Adrian disappears and your mood suddenly changes as you wonder what was in the needle. You feel so calm that you assume it must have been some sort of anti-anxiety medication.

Your car then slowly glides toward a doorway and then outside of the building, where every single member of your family is waiting for you with their arms extended, ready for hugs.

Your lap belt gives way on its own and you step out of the car and into the sunlight.

Worst ride ever.