Mardi Gras at home
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 will be no parades or balls.
Mobile, which claims to have originated Mardi Gras, has no mechanism to order bars to close. In an effort to deter celebrants from gathering in crowds indoors, the city has opted to close streets downtown to allow revelers to gather outdoors.
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.