Winter Vacation Serves as a Reminder that Normalcy is Just Around the Corner

I just returned from a relaxing week of scuba diving in Roatan, Honduras. Ordinarily, I don’t discuss my vacations on a coin-related blog. But, we are not in ordinary times and there is a point to this diversion. One of my pre-trip requirements was a 72 hour negative COVID test. I couldn’t help but to think that I would constantly be reminded of the pandemic throughout the week, and actually second-guessed the timing of my vacation. To my pleasant surprise, the last reminder of COVID was when we deplaned in Roatan, and masks were no longer required. For an entire week, I interacted with kindred spirits from different destinations around the United States, and all without the restrictions of wearing a mask or social distancing. You see, everybody had been cleared to travel beforehand by submitting to a COVID test within 3 days of stepping onto an aircraft. Copies of the negative test were required by Honduras Immigration for entry into their country. In other words, once on the resort, we were in a vetted, safe zone. Then, it dawned on me. This is what normalcy feels like. It also hit me like a bolt of lightning that this day is not far off here in the states either. We all have been enduring some less-than-comfortable times in the name of public safety. As vaccinations and herd immunity both become the flavors of the day, this pandemic will become a thing of the past. It is only a matter of time before major coin shows take place again. It’s just a slightly more distant day before masks, distancing and bubble life also disappear in the rearview mirror. Can you imagine what it will feel like to move from table to adjacent table on a bourse floor without restriction? Personally, I relish the idea of de-masking, handling coins with out the requirement of sanitizing my hands, and most importantly, shaking the hand of the individual I just concluded business with. Enough with the fist bumps! I look equally forward to not signing disclaimers and waivers, as well as waving off the monitor taking temperatures at the show entrance. It’s almost hard to believe that just one year ago, we had these all of these freedoms. Then in an instant, they were gone.

Just yesterday, Governor Larry Hogan lifted many COVID restrictions in my home state of Maryland, leaving me cautiously optimistic that the fall Whitman Baltimore Coin Show should take place. But will this in fact be the first major show, or is that day coming even sooner? Both the ANA World’s Fair of Money and Summer FUN have given us reason for even more immediate hope. Regional shows have paved the way throughout the summer and fall months, and proven conclusively, that coin shows can safely happen, even in the midst of a global pandemic. So yes, my Roatan vacation gave me hope last week. I was reminded that COVID is not the new normal. More importantly, it was clearly evident that I was not alone in my quest to move forward. I’m sure that many of my numismatic friends would concur.