- DON’T PANIC: The cover of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is 100% accurate. No matter what you read or hear, do not allow it to drive you to panic. Panic is entirely unproductive.
- QUESTION MESSAGES: Especially news headlines. Headlines are designed to grab your attention, and may not lead to reality.
- CONTEXT IS KING: Ignore or research statistics without context. Saying that there are 500 cases of Coronavirus in a specific country sounds high, but when you find out that the county has 2 million residents, the percentage of cases is 0.02%. Would you be happy or unhappy if your child brought you a paper graded “10”? Doesn’t it depend on whether it’s out of 10 or 100?
- NEWS IS RARE: That’s why they call it news. Ever wonder why the flu is not reported on, even though it has a much higher mortality rate? It’s too familiar. If something happens every day, there will be no reports.
- BEWARE OF SPECULATION: There is still too little data to make good decisions. This fact does not stop the torrent of models, speculation, and other information, bombarding us from all sides.
- USE REASON: Humans have one exceptional quality that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom: the ability to reason. However, when we go into uncertain times like this, we fall back into instinct. Rise above it and use your human abilities to think things through, before you jump to instinctual conclusions.
- THINK PAST IT: a trick I use when I’m about to do something I don’t necessarily like (like a dentist’s appointment) is that I focus my mind on a timeframe AFTER the event which I am dreading has occurred. For example, consider the delicious lunch you will pick up after the appointment. Think about the first thing you will do after the crisis, and focus on that.
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