This past week, I had to make a trip to Georgia for business. The trip required a flight from Baltimore to Atlanta. Travelers must follow TSA and the FAA rules for safety, including masks in the airport and on planes.
Unfortunately, the wearing of masks became a political issue. It’s not. It’s a mask. The idea of the mask is to protect you and to protect others. Masks are an inexpensive tool to reduce the spread of the virus. Nothing else!
During this trip, I learned the difference in attitudes with different people in Baltimore and Georgia. While at BWI Airport, the less than the capacity crowd was very diligent with their masks. Very few people were leaving noses uncovered, and one person politely asked me to replace my mask after taking a sip from my water bottle. It was a sense of community caring, not punitive.
Hartsfield-Jackson Airport was a different story. The number of people prevented moderate social distancing. Everyone packed into the transport trains, and the mask-wearing varied from covering the chin to uncovering the nose.
Arriving in Athens, Georgia, home of my alma mater, the University of Georgia, the scene was different. Walking the streets and the time I spent on campus, you can tell the difference between the students and everyone else. The students were wearing masks and keeping distances. Students working in local businesses were more diligent than the parents that were in town for commencements.
I had the opportunity to discuss the situation with some of the students. They relayed stories about how the students did not take the pandemic seriously until it spread on campus.
The problems are not with the students and those concerned about public health. The problems are with those who see masks as a conspiracy. Many numismatic dealers have indicated they are on the side of the conspiracy theorists.
The attitude of these dealers, mostly older and obstinant, can turn the re-opening of the hobby into a disaster.
The World’s Fair of Money will be limited to 300 tables to comply with Illinois Health Department rules. Currently, there has been no announcement regarding attendance limited. Given the attitudes of the anti-maskers, especially amongst the dealer population, I am afraid that the World’s Fair of Money will become a super spreader event.
You might want to question my assertion because of the presence of the vaccines. While the vaccines provide immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has plagued the United States for more than a year, combating the variants is uncertain. Research has shown that the vaccines will fight some of the variants, but not all of them.
As people travel, the variants will spread with the people that will carry them. The only way to prevent the variants from ruining the re-opening is to get serious about wearing masks.
Yes, wearing masks suck. As someone with allergy and respiratory issues, wearing a mask is very uncomfortable. During the workday, I will take my dog for a walk when I need to take off my mask. I know that for a year or two discomfort, we can re-open society and hold shows again.
We need to come together as a community and be leaders for the country. Numismatics has the chance to lead. By leading and acting as we care for one another, we can look like heroes to the rest of the world and possibly attract new members.
Care for your fellow numismatist and potential new numismatists. Wear a mask!
And now the news…
“The only way to prevent the variants from ruining the re-opening is to get serious about wearing masks…”
Spot on. Thank you!
In northern Alabama (Huntsville and environs) the re-opening is a fait acompli. Getting Pfizer jabs in my arm took “forever”, but I have both as of 22 April. Vaccine refusal is extremely high here, but not me. And no outbreaks. Vaccine rate estimated at only 30% of those eligible by age.
Alabama did not have a good record during the pandemic. According to Johns Hopkins’ data, probably had more cases and deaths than they should have because of the politicization. We are in this situation because of the politicization of the pandemic. It was poorly handled from the top on down. Now we are all paying for it including my family who lost my father in the process!
Yes, this. Alabama politicized it “Red”, while my old home, Pennsylvania, politicized it “Blue” through Gov. Wolf’s overreaching mandates, which the voters stripped from Governors last Tuesday in a constitutional amendment ballot question. The Guv must now ASK the legislature, not TELL them.
That leaves me with one question, three actually. 1) For what reason did I dutifully wear masks for well over a year before getting two jabs of the Pfizer vaccine? 2) What will it take for the hesitant to want to return to normal? 3) Was Dr. Fauci untrustworthy before, or is he now?
Kurt: I am not going to get into this with you in this form. The science is clear as to why. I will stick to the science including the people I speak with outside of the limelight. These are the people doing the work, on the ground, putting their lives on the line. Based on my total research, I stand by my statements.
My grandfather lost his eyesight before I was born. He never could see his grandchildren. He could never be a numismatist due to his blindness. This is why wearing a mask doesn’t bother me.
There is no such thing as “The Science”, Scott, there simply is not. All there is is politicized propaganda.
Given that my wife works within the scientific end of this issue as a scientist with a Ph.D., I will disagree.
And my primary care MD has as of May 15 removed all masking rules from his practice.
Oh, one more thing: Roll Tide!
If you are going to persist in this sort of statement, I will consider it spam and wait until Georgia kicks Alabama’s ass in the SEC Championship game. That’s if Alabama is able to get past Auburn and Texas A&M!
Georgia is one of those sand castle teams. They look real great, until the Tide rolls in.
We’ll know some things early. Penn State has Auburn in Happy Valley in Week 2.
Let’s put the blame regarding masks where it belongs. The Center for Disease Control says that vaccinated people can go without masks but people who are not vaccinated must wear masks.
That policy is ridiculous and unenforceable. Businesses don’t have the manpower to check everyone for a vaccine card. The ANA won’t possibly be able to check everyone at the WFM with the normal security concerns at a WFM.
Regarding dealers and conspiracy theories, you and I had our discussion regarding how stupid it is for dealers to get nasty with customers who want to buy colorized coins. Based on that, I am not surprised that some dealers believe in mask conspiracy theories. I wish I knew who these stupid dealers are so I knew who I should not be doing business with.
Maybe the ANA should at least check vaccine cards for staff and volunteers, local and National. My vaccine card WILL be with me.
You might have an idea, Kurt. I recently retired from Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart checks the temperature of its employees every day when they arrive for work and has a 5 question online questionnaire that must be completed before you clock in. They don’t bother vendors or customers, just Wal-Mart employees.
On the other hand, Scott, I have had two specialist appointments today. The orthopedic practice – no masks. The gastroenterologist – masks required. No The Science, merely honest disagreement within the medical community.