One of the few pleasures many senior citizens have left these days is to get a Dunkin' coffee and drive to Horseneck Beach in Westport to sit and look at the water.

Oh wait, can't do that any longer. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has issued an executive order closing beach parking lots that are controlled by the Department of Conservation and Recreation effective noon today.

The administration says state beaches will remain open and available to "pedestrians for transitory use only (walking, jogging, biking, solitary fishing, etc.)." Well, that's wonderful but I don't know many 70 and 80 somethings eager to jog, bike or fish. The Boston Herald says "coastal parkways that provide access to state beaches will also be closed to both parking and dropping off passengers."

So most seniors are reasonable. We understand the need for social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 but it is not the old folks that are giving anyone a hard time. If there is an issue with people violating the rules that prohibit gatherings during the state of emergency I would bet that it is the younguns that are responsible.

How many times have you pulled into the parking lot at Horseneck and saw some old folks just chillaxin in the lot with a book or the paper or just looking out at the water? Leave these folks alone and go after the ones who are not following the rules. They are not hurting anyone and have so few options available to them to get a change of scenery.

Life is difficult enough these days for our senior set. Don't go out of your way to make things worse.

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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