Massachusetts residents streamed across the border into neighboring Rhode Island and New Hampshire over the long Memorial Day weekend to spend money they might have otherwise spent right here in the Commonwealth, had Charlie Baker loosened the leash a bit on the COVID-weary masses.

The parking lot at the Premium Outlets in Merrimack, New Hampshire was a sea of Massachusetts license plates. I know because mine was among them. Folks were spending their government stimulus checks, bonus unemployment cash, and more on the many bargains that awaited them for simply crossing into the Live Free or Die state.

The Horse Hill Natural Preservation area just up the road provided ample opportunity for refugees from the Bay State to stretch their legs without Nanny Polito nagging at them to go home and practice good hygiene. Even the electronic signs on the highway out of hell nagged us to "practice social distancing and safe vehicle spacing." Oh, shut up already!

Friends posted on social media from restaurants in Newport and Federal Hill in Providence about how wonderful it was not to have to eat out of styrofoam and brown paper bags.

Meanwhile, Boston remains closed. Charlie Baker is still refusing to let your kids play on the swings in the park. Mayor Jon Mitchell has instructed the police to check to make sure houses of worship aren't violating his arbitrary limits on attendance. And no one seems to have a clue as to how to restart school in the fall.

So many people got so much wrong about this pandemic, but they are just too rigid or too stubborn to admit it and adjust their plans going forward. As a result, so many have suffered irreparable damage that may far outweigh anything the coronavirus has done to us.

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 and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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