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Remember last weekend when we were all excited and filled with hope at the new dawn, the new day and the New Year? Yeah ... good times.

I mean, come on, 2021. You didn't even make it seven whole days.

Realistically, we didn't have any right to expect a calendar switch was going to make everything better. And since apparently we've converted to dog years and every day lasts a month, it's probably not that hard to believe time lines would continue to seem a little more ... accelerated ... than they have been in the past.

But, seriously, it's not really a "Groundhog Day" experience if the day seems to repeat but gets progressively worse.

And, after a couple of nice, quiet days that held much promise for the future, we went back to being, well, us. During a pandemic. But certainly us.

Take, please, the process by which the U.S. Congress approves the results of the presidential election. I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that the vast majority of us didn't even know that took place. And now, it suddenly turned into the congressional version of a train wreck conducted under Robert's Rules of Order.

Then, because Wednesday was "2020 Redux: You Only Thought the Stupid Was Over," a simple process filled with the legislative equivalent of "thee's" and "thou's," which probably involves someone with a staff or a funny hat and which most of us ignored, transformed into one of those Gerard Butler "Olympus Has Fallen" movies.

Except the evil North Koreans were played by a bunch of people who apparently spend way too much time on Facebook and some guy in a buffalo headdress. Because ... well ... why not? After all, whatever year it's supposed to be, it's actually 2020 all over again.

Depending, on, apparently the time of day and the amount of general outrage, the people who stormed the Capitol Building were either "concerned patriots" wanting to have their voices heard, innocent bystanders misled by shadowy fringe groups or just taking the tour and looking for a bathroom. Chances are their story will continue to "evolve," as they say.

So we are being led to believe that, while the entire Confederate Army couldn't get its battle flag into the U.S. Capitol, some doofus could parade around the halls with it because he couldn't read the sign that says, "Restrooms."

One thing about the situation: As others have pointed out, it does seem to confirm that walls don't work.

As a result of all that activity, the fact that Georgia selected, for the first time, an African American as one of its U.S. senators went from front page news to right before Sports and just after "Well, we think it might snow. Or, maybe not."

While we're on that subject, the good citizens of Georgia decided holding elections was so much fun in 2020 they'd do it again in 2021, casting their ballots in not one but two Senate elections. Which means they'll be counting the ballots about 12 more times.

If, for some reason, you're already missing Georgia Senate races, well, don't cry. Apparently because one of these was actually a "special" election (I mean, aren't all elections "special?"), they get to do it again in two years instead of six. So, campaigning and fundraising will begin Monday.

While all of that was going on, we have discovered that while we can repeatedly put men on the moon, have invented cellphones and battery-powered cars and are very capable of moving blenders and doggie treats across the country in two days, it's going to take six months to get a life-saving vaccine into your arm. At this rate, I'll be getting my covid shot at the same time I get my 2021 flu shot. So, maybe I should be excited about the efficiency?

But you'll have to excuse me if, at least in the very early going, I'm not excited, even though I was grading 2021 on a very extreme curve and am more than willing to give it the benefit of the doubt compared to its immediate predecessor, I'm afraid even minimal expectations have yet to be met and there is significant room for improvement.

But, there is still time, which is at least the one positive. And if all this gets too much and you start to think the light at the end of the tunnel is actually an oncoming train, just remember this important fact: 2022 is only 51 weeks away.

That's 357 weeks in dog years.

Gary Smith is a recovering journalist living in Rogers.

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