Silas Marner George Eliot people liking fears character Silas Marner George Eliot

Superstitious Fear and Irrational Optimism

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How worried should we be, then? There are multiple possible outcomes—some better, others worse—and the probabilities of each are difficult to estimate.

As a consequence, we may choose to focus on the worst possible outcome; or we may look away, like the proverbial ostrich with its head buried in the sand; or we can do anything in between.

I wish to look at these reactions more closely and say something about the effect of lockdown measures on anxiety and fear. Consider the exaggerated fear response first.

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