The coronavirus is causing some people to panic and some people are happy to fan that panic. Luckily, Greater New Bedford has strong and calming leaders.

We will all be remembered for how we acted during this particular crisis. Some people are using it as an opportunity to spread lies and disinformation for their own purposes. Some are trying to score cheap points for political candidates that they don't even know and the candidates certainly don't know them. The agitated weirdos are out in force on social media and they are actually damaging the political candidates they are attempting to support.

Then there are the real leaders. Massachusetts state and local elected officials are getting the best information and using it to make the best possible decisions they can at the moment. Those are the people to listen to and those are the people I am cycling through my radio show on a daily basis in an attempt to counter the disinformation and foreign propaganda campaigns. The truth will win out if we can continuously make it available to the public.

As busy as these folks are with their government responsibilities and living in the same strange conditions as the rest of us, all have made themselves available to come on my show or to answer my questions so I can bring accurate information to the public.

At the start of this crisis, Governor's Councilor Joseph Ferreira connected me with his daughter, a Harvard trained public health expert. She came on the air to explain what "lowering and lengthening the curve" meant and why we all needed to follow the guidelines for hygiene and social distancing.

Congressman William Keating and his staff have been keeping us informed of what Congress is doing to keep America functioning and how to access federal resources.

State Representative Christopher Markey of Dartmouth and New Bedford has been answering my questions off-air and joining the show to brief the public on developments. State Representative Tony Cabral of New Bedford has also been a tremendous resource on and off the air during this crisis.

The Chairman of the Board of Selectman in Fairhaven, Charlie Murphy, has kept the people who live, work, and frequent Fairhaven informed of all of the developments. Charlie was one of the first people I reached out when this crisis developed and he has been a strong and calming voice during this time of turbulence.

State Representative Christopher Hendricks of Acushnet and New Bedford has been incredibly responsive to detailed questions regarding specific constituents with needs often overlooked in times like this.

And finally, the leadership of New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell has been on point. He has been giving regular updates on his city during the Barry Richard Show on WBSM and he has been using social media to reach directly into the homes of New Bedford. Additionally, I have asked him questions and brought matters to his attention and he has responded with quick and clear answers.

This is a marathon and it is comforting to know we have some experienced and level-headed runners in front of the pack.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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