Realizing he could no longer justify his mandates on business openings and face coverings, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has decided to move on from it. That's a good thing. What's bizarre is Baker's timeline for all of this.

Once Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee announced on Friday that he would lift the restrictions on Rhode Islanders and forgo the mask mandate, Baker knew he had to act fast or continue to look dopey clinging to an August 1 reopening date. McKee originally planned to liberate his people on Friday, May 28 but decided instead to move it up a week, making the Ocean State a free state this Friday instead.

Baker took the weekend to think things over, and accompanied by his trusty sidekick Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced on Monday that he too would have an early opening. After all, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drop your masks, it's kind of difficult for Baker to justify another two and a half months in COVID hell.

Baker's new plan is to reopen the state on May 29. That's a week from Saturday. Day two of the long Memorial Day Weekend. Day two? While McKee's plan gives Rhode Islanders and Rhode Island businesses a chance to plan for the big weekend, Baker's does not. Day two. So you can dance on Saturday morning but not on Friday night if you are celebrating the unofficial start to the summer season. Really?

Baker's reopening plan also gives our neighbor state an entire week to frolic in freedom before Massachusetts can rev up the post-pandemic party. What sense does all of that make? Come on, man, open Massachusetts up this Friday like Dan McKee is doing in Rhode Island.

Whoever told Charlie Baker that this is the best plan should be sentenced to wear a mask for eternity in a place that bans indoor singing and dancing.

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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