The media and political responses to the coronavirus have been to scare the bejeezus out of people and it's getting ridiculous and expensive.

What do rational people do during a crisis? They act rationally. Are we acting rationally right now? No, we are acting like idiots. Are we allowing the national media to reel us in again with one of it's predictable over the top, crisis mode, ratings grabbing, made for cable TV news dramas? Yes, we are! When are we going to learn?

People are actually wrestling with each other in the aisles of supermarkets over toilet paper. Toilet paper!! How the hell is toilet paper going to help to save you from coronavirus?

Across the fruited plain the plug is being pulled on events ranging from the New Bedford half Marathon to the Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade. Schools and churches are closing. New York has called out the Nation Guard. MGM Resorts has canceled it's all you can eat buffet. The Encore in Boston is taking your temperature before you can enter the casino. The Zac Brown Band and Pearl Jam have announced they are canceling shows.

So, what are we going to do when all of this passes and everything has been canceled?

The travel industry is being hammered by all of this. People who have planned vacations for months if not years are out of luck. And many folks are watching their investments dry up before their eyes.

I've got the weekly grocery shopping to do after work tomorrow. I'm wondering if the five rolls of toilet paper I have in the closet at home are going to be enough to get me through this crisis. I hear you can get it online if you are willing to pay the price.

Meanwhile, let me know when all of this passes. I'm going to be outside enjoying the late winter weather.

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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