While many folks, myself included, believe the coronavirus is being hyped to the high heavens for political and financial gain, I also believe it to be a serious concern for many folks that cannot just be dismissed.

This virus, like most others, picks the most vulnerable among us to mess with and can be devastating for them. It is generally the very young and the old who suffer the most, especially when underlying conditions such as heart or lung disease are present. While most young or middle-aged people would probably shake off COVID-19 without much of a problem, the virus can be fatal for those at high risk. So we must stop it from spreading.

The coronavirus is sweeping the nation like a wave and most in its way will be okay. But if left to spread, it can have a devastating effect on our elderly population so we must do what we can to slow its progress and hold back that wave until the virus fades away. And it will fade away. And things will return to normal.

Older and frail Americans must protect themselves by staying away from crowds and restricting their movement even locally. This is where we come in. Make sure your elderly relatives and neighbors have food, water, medicines and yes, even toilet paper so that they don't have to forage out into crowded markets where they might become infected with the virus.

In the meantime, we must take every precaution to keep from contracting and then spreading the virus to others. Containment is the key objective here. Contain the virus until it dies off.

This stuff isn't new to us. We are New Englanders and are accustomed to hurricanes and snowstorms and we know how to take care of ourselves and our communities. This is the stuff Americans were made for.

Be careful out there.

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 barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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