The Dothan Eagle on Mardi Gras and the coronavirus pandemic:

Last year at this time, Mardi Gras celebrations proceeded as planned in New Orleans, and within a few weeks, the city’s mayor came under fire for the decision after cases of coronavirus infection in the city skyrocketed.

It was early in the pandemic in America, and showed us all the correlation between large gatherings and transmission of the virus. It was, perhaps, our nation’s first super-spreader event.

A year later, we’re still grappling with the virus that has sickened almost 28 million Americans and killed 485,000 and counting. In New Orleans, Mardi Gras celebrations this year are off the table; city officials ordered bars to close Friday and remain shuttered until after Fat Tuesday. There were no parades or balls.

For more than a year, Americans have watched the coronavirus pandemic spread across the globe. Every American has been exposed to the information about transmission and prevention, and the best practices to avoid becoming ill with COVID-19 or transmitting the virus to others.

We now have two vaccines being deployed and several others awaiting approval, and more and more Americans are receiving vaccines every day. However, the greatest tool we possess in the struggle to overcome this pandemic is common sense.

Forego the gatherings. Wear a mask. Maintain social distance. Wash your hands. Isolate if you become ill or know you have been exposes.

Next Fat Tuesday, you’ll be glad you did.

The Cullman Times on North Georgia’s 14th district Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene:

“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’

‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ’When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” — Lewis Carroll, “Alice Through the Looking Glass”

The Queen of Hearts has nothing on Marjorie Taylor Greene when it comes to believing impossible things. The freshman representative of North Georgia’s 14th district has believed a whole slew of crazy theories, including that Jewish space lasers started the California Camp Fire.

Her extreme views and apparent support of violence led the House to take action. In a speech shortly before Democrats and 11 Republican voted to rescind her committee assignments earlier this month, Greene admitted that, like Alice, she followed QAnon down a rabbit hole where she “was allowed to believe things that weren’t true.”

It was too little, too late.

It’s important to note that Greene talked about these conspiracy theories and shared her anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim viewpoints long before she was elected.

But then-President Trump called her a “rising star.” That’s all the evidence voters in her Georgia district needed that she was the right candidate for them.

After the vote to strip her of her committee assignments, Greene called those who had voted to oust her “morons” and complained that now her constituents in her North Georgia district were without a voice. On that point, Greene is right.

It turns out a vote for Greene was a wasted vote. It didn’t have to be that way. Her opponent in the primaries holds the same beliefs on abortion, the Second Amendment, and smaller government that Greene does. He would have won the general election as easily as Greene did — the district is strongly Republican — and could have been a voice of influence in a Congress where political parties are going to have to work together to get anything done.

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