Humorist Robert Orben’s variant on a Rudyard Kipling line advised, “If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs, get somebody to explain the situation to you.”

The daily turbulence and stress in Washington, D.C., is causing many Americans to freak out. Explanations of reality can help us calm down.

Recent polling results say that nearly three-quarters of Americans think the United States is headed in the wrong direction.

Rising prices and short supplies are bringing out the inflation boogeyman. So many workers are changing jobs that the current situation is being labeled “The Great Resignation.”

Meanwhile, the American public is struggling to decide if the pandemic is over, or if falling COVID-19 case numbers are just another lull before the next variant hits.

Freaking out may seem like the only rational thing to do. However, a deep breath and looking beyond the headlines indicate that keeping calm and carrying on is a better course of action.

Indicators and scientific experts are telling us that the pandemic is becoming endemic, like the flu we live with every year.

Areas with high vaccination rates are lifting restrictions. Young children are getting shots. New medications under review are proving effective in treating those who do fall prey to the virus.

COVID-19 isn’t gone, but it should no longer have the power to warp reality, at least not in the United States where work to quell the pandemic is ongoing. Even so, the economy could be bumpy for a while.

Around the world, the U.S. Agency for International Development is spending $9.3 billion in supplemental health-care funding to deal with the virus in 120 countries. Half a billion doses of the vaccine have been pledged for other countries as well.

Supply-chain kinks are limiting goods just as rising post-lockdown demand is meeting the Christmas season. The prices drivers see at the pump well north of $4 a gallon are whacking our wallets and our psyche.

Reputable economists, however, believe this inflation blip is temporary. Consumers who look beyond scary headlines and politics-driven commentary will find explanations about how this is not setting up to be the years-long inflationary pattern of the 1980s.

In a busy life, people have little time for anything other than headlines, news snippets, or late-night monologues. This might explain why so many polls show that Americans are pessimistic about the country. It also might be that polls have shown the same unsubstantiated pessimism within a year of almost every presidential election.

To assume that everything would simply snap back without negative effects after the most disruptive worldwide event in modern history is surely foolish. So, too, is freaking out.


“Our View” represents the opinion of the newspaper editorial board, which is made up of members of its board of directors. Remarks may be directed to editorialboard@mtexpress.com.

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