My late Irish grandfather would hurl if he could see what a bunch of reactionary candy asses we've become. The word from Boston is that the annual St. Patrick's Day parade scheduled for this weekend has been canceled due to fears over coronavirus. Newport is also considering canceling its parade, too; the city council there is holding a special meeting tonight to make a decision.

The St. Patrick's Day parades might probably be the first time some folks have stepped outside for an extended period since the start of winter. My old school Irish mother always taught us that there is no better way to wipe out a virus than to get outdoors and breathe in some fresh air and get some exercise. But we'd better remain cooped up inside with our stash of hand sanitizer, faces masks and toilet paper and watch CNN as reminds us how near extinction we might be.

And it's all Trump's fault, too.

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I am embarrassed by our society and the way some folks are reacting to this coronavirus threat, but it is reflective of what we've become. We cancel school because it's cold or it might snow. We provide cry spaces and counseling for our grown kids in college when their sensitivities have been offended – that is, if they can find their way out of our basements long enough. We award trophies for participation in life and discourage celebrations of success so as not to offend anyone.

The parades are off because of the coronavirus. So everyone should crowd into the South Shore Plaza or Providence Place Mall instead. Ought to be safe in there. Or better yet, hide under the bed until it's safe to come out.

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Just a suggestion, why not hold the parade for those who want to attend and let those who are afraid to live skip it if they want to?

Yeah, makes too much sense, I know.

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.