Imagine you’re an alien that visits Earth. Your species keeps a low profile because you know just how violent and destructive humans are. You secretly watch Earthlings so they don’t know, and you come to the conclusion that they are not all violent and destructive.
You start taking their side when your fellow aliens say things like, “It’s only a matter of time before we’re forced to wipe them out.”
“There’s good in them, too,” you say.
“Prove it!” they say back.
Finally you come up with a way that just might show the rest of the aliens your opinions have some weight. You decide to plant a monolith in the deserts of Utah.
“See,” you say, “It’s been up for a couple years and no one has taken it down.”
But the other aliens know the tricks of humanity. “That’s because they don’t know it’s there. Watch what happens when we bring humans to it.”
With the help of some bighorn sheep the other aliens bring some humans to the monolith. All the humans do is take pictures and admire the monolith.
“See,” you say. “They didn’t even break off a piece as a keepsake!”
“Wait,” say the others. “Soon the rest of the Earthlings will know.”
Once let in on this wonder it only takes a few days for the Earthlings to tear down the monolith.
So a monolith is also put up in Romania and California. These monoliths only last a few days, too. “Luckily we just gave them a monolith to destroy. Imagine if we let one of us loose to be found by the humans. It would probably be war in a few days.”
So all the aliens become jaded and bitter because of the actions of the Earthlings.
That, said, you really can’t deny that the monolith has become the visual symbol of 2020. I propose to keep that link. Inevitably we will wish to make a monument to the people who were taken early by Covid 19. What other shape and size than than a prism monolith that is 3.5 meters tall and made of stainless steel.
With this shape we can honour our dead with words or if the area the monolith represents has a low enough population, we can inscribe the names of the dead on it.
I think we would need to put this monolith up in a city center with cameras watching 24/7, and make it public that anyone hauling it down would be fined and jailed. Then and only then might we have a monolith last forever.