Once upon a time, in the enchanted land of Massachusetts, people lived typical, uncomplicated lives – until an invisible, hostile killer plagued the people with its maliciousness. Sadly, some people suffered defeat, but most came through to carry the day.

The king, fearing the citizens could fall under further peril of the curse, announced an iron-fisted decree ordering an austere social code. Declaring that too many citizens have become overly free and easy with the spell, the king proclaimed a stay-at-home evening curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., a mandate that face masks be worn at all times when outdoors, and a restaurant time limit, stopping service at 9:30 p.m. Saying that his sovereign state has been doing better than other kingdoms, nonetheless, the king stated, "You've let down your guard, and have work to do."

The king also reduced the limit on indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25. Fines for violating the gathering order will be $500 for each person above the limit. The royal decree, which takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, will likely remain in place for one month.

A fairy-tale ending is usually simplistic and romantic, but not for this folk tale. Charles Dickens once wrote, "I should not have been sorry to have had the old fairy-tale ending affixed to this true story." I agree; besides, not all fairy stories have happy endings.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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