Several memorable lines came out of the book and movie “Forrest Gump” a few years ago. The lead character quoted his mother as saying “Life is like a box of chocolates.” These days, I’m reminded of another line: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

I’ve heard people all over the country complain that their individual rights are being trampled because government officials and health experts have asked them to wear a mask, to help fight the spread of Covid-19. It’s not just ordinary citizens fighting the urge to wear masks, however. Government officials all the way up to the White House have fought the call to wear masks.

It’s no coincidence that many people fighting the call to wear masks are in lock-step with President Trump, who refuses to wear one. Every reputable health expert has said the same thing: one of the surest ways of fighting the spread of Covid-19 is to wear a mask. It not only can help you stay safe, but it can help keep you from spreading it to others.

Just as a reminder, as of Monday, there were 23,814 total Covid-19 cases in Arkansas, with 6,323 active. The virus is blamed for 287 deaths. Madison County on Monday had 206 total cases, with 33 active, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

The U.S. set another record for new coronavirus cases last Wednesday, with at least 23 states pausing reopening plans.

There were 50,203 new coronavirus cases reported nationwide Wednesday. Arizona, California, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas had a record number of new cases Wednesday. 

I have friends in Arizona, where I lived for eight years, who tell me about the anti-maskers out there. My favorite line among the deniers is “the government has no right to tell me to wear a mask.”

Sorry, folks, but the government has the right if it chooses. Numerous cities and states have issued mandates about masks. The city of St. Louis did so last week. Rogers did this week.

By the same logic, the government should not tell you where you should stop a car by putting up a stop sign. They should not require you to wear a seat belt, just because it could save your life. They have no right to limit how fast you can drive or limit how intoxicated you can be behind the wheel.

There’s a really scary trend in this country by people who don’t want to listen to reason when it comes to the pandemic. Scientists and medical experts have told you to wash your hands, stand six feet from others, cough and sneeze into your elbow, and wear a mask.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick last week blasted the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci. Speaking on Fox News – any surprise it was on Fox? – Patrick said Fauci “has been wrong every time on every issue.” The Texan offered no proof of this, of course. What set Patrick off was when Fauci said Texas had “skipped over certain things” when it reopened for business. It has since reclosed for business.

“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. We haven’t skipped over anything. The only thing I’m skipping over is listening to him,” Patrick said. How cute.

Fauci has said when states reopen, they should follow guidelines set forth by the White House and state officials. Patrick added, “We’ll listen to a lot of science, we’ll listen to a lot of doctors and Governor [Greg] Abbott. Myself and other state leaders will make the decision – no thank you, Dr. Fauci.”

Atta boy.

By the way, Texas had a record-breaking number of Covid-19 cases in June.

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My favorite story of human stupidity last week came from Alabama.

Some young folks there apparently are throwing Covid-19 parties, during which people who have coronavirus attend and the first person to get infected receives a payout based on ticket sales. Some sources debunk the notion of the parties. Allegedly, the parties in Tuscaloosa feature infected people who attend so others can intentionally contract the virus, according to one city council member. Firefighters in the city have reported the same. City Council member Sonya McKinstry told CNN she heard about the trend from fire officials.