Part 2 of 5 of the COVID-19 Series.
The Routes of Panic
It turns out that when people panic, they panic according to a template. Panic follows established routes, and is more structured than we might think, since we might think of it as being amorphous, uncontrolled, and chaotic. Sometimes the template is handed to us via mass-mediated popular culture. On other occasions, the template has been provided by the state. We have moved from “duck and cover” in the 1960s to “plastic sheets and duct tape” after 9/11/2001, to the present insistence on “hand washing,” “social distancing” and “stay at home”. It’s amazing how often fear is regulated—and even comes with a manual....
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