Because the world is not a scary enough place right now, it's time to cue the disease-plagued mosquitos. That's right folks, what COVID-19 and the Delta variant didn't get, the mosquitos will. It is West Nile virus time in Massachusetts. Can eastern equine encephalitis be far behind? How about the murder hornets? Whatever happened to the murder hornets?

Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke confirms that an 80-year-old woman is the first human case of West Nile virus in Massachusetts this year. Last year there were five human cases of the virus. In 2018, there were 49 cases. Cooke says the unidentified victim probably contracted the disease in Middlesex County. Little is known about the woman at this time, including her condition.

The Department of Public Health says people of all ages can contract West Nile virus, but those over 50 are most at risk of "severe disease." Of course we are, just like everything else. This is not a drill. Now is the time to act.

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Health officials say we should stay indoors during peak mosquito hours, pretty much from dusk to dawn. Wear long pants, long sleeves, and socks if you must venture outdoors, and apply insect repellent. If none of that works, wear garlic around your neck and sacrifice a bat to the great mosquito spirit.

But make sure you are wearing a mask and have been vaccinated before you do any of that because the mosquitos just might be carrying COVID-19. Remember, mosquitos are not required to carry vaccine passports.

Bristol County is at high risk for West Nile virus again this year. Look, life is full of risks. Don't let the pinheads in the media frighten you any more than you are already. After all, flu season is coming, and I hear it's gonna be a humdinger this year.

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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