Lockdowns implemented in most states in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus earlier this year cannot and should not happen again going forward. Some could argue that the lockdowns made sense at the time and that they were successful. But that was then, and this is now. A lot has happened since the virus first came to America.

Lockdowns should not occur again because of the damage they did to the economy. The economic impact was devastating. But more importantly, the effect on our people was staggering. It is impossible to say with any accuracy how many suicides or how much depression and addiction can be traced to the lockdowns.

We know that domestic violence cases, including child abuse, soared during the lockdowns. Countless numbers of people died because they were unable or unwilling to receive treatment for medical conditions unrelated to COVID.

Those who sold us the idea of locking down said it was necessary to "flatten the curve," to prevent the uncontrolled spread of the virus while allowing the nation to rebound from a shortage of needed medical supplies. It seemed to make sense at the time, though many of us question the wisdom when weighed against the cost.

The experts say masks, proper hygiene, and social distancing are the best ways to control the spread of the virus going forward. Most folks seem to agree and are willing to comply. It is doubtful that the masses would support another round of lockdowns. And it would be unnecessary.

We've come a long way since March, and we have a better understanding of how the virus works and who is most at risk from it. We have also come to learn that COVID-19 is not the killer it was once feared to be. While some are more susceptible to the virus than are others, we have learned to identify those at risk and know now how to isolate them to keep them safe.

It is true we may never have a "cure" or a vaccine for COVID-19, so we'd better learn to adapt, as we have with influenza.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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