The Internet has changed the world of collectibles. People on the hunt for Coca-Cola items, or wartime artifacts used to troll flea markets and rummage sales in search of something of value. Whether monetary value or just a missing piece to their collection, there was legwork involved.
But now, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, most searching was done online. Although I’m sure there are still some diehards who would rather route around a dusty attic, hoping to strike gold.
I’m certainly not a collector of anything really. I’ll dish out a few bucks should I come upon a Georges Simenon paperback, but it’s not what you might call a passion. Over the years, as older relatives passed away, there were often items among their effects that struck a chord. Wartime ration books, streetcar tickets, official papers created on a typewriter (often including scratch outs) and, many religious heirlooms, my family being Irish Catholic (in honesty I think we could have supplied the Vatican with religious mementos).
These things give one a sense of what it was like. Who can recall having various items rationed? I have certainly read about the practice and talked to those who were around during the war and could tell of families trading the vouchers among themselves. But to actually live under those circumstances is totally alien to me.
I was thinking that now is the time to stock-up on Novel Coronavirus 19 Pandemic relics. There are signs aplenty that will give a future generation an idea of what it was like. This virus has often been referred to as this generation’s world war, so great is its ambit.
Fifty years from now will people attend estate sales in search of “Wash your hands” signs? Will a “share the road” sign be incomprehensible? Will the signs be worth any money? Will they have money?
Or, God forbid, will they still be fighting this lethal plague?