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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Those Black Headlines...I Say Read Them Only Once

My agent said she is having a hard time focusing. Of course. Nothing like working under the black cloak of the apocalypse. And if you are not sure it is the apocalypse then just go online and start reading. Now my normal routine is to read the NY TIMES and then start to work. Now it is like trying to get through some very dark woods at midnight hearing all sorts of sounds and seeing creatures lurking just beyond the path. Fight or flight. That is what those headlines trigger. A fight or flight response and the problem is there is no fight and really, there is no flight short of packing up and running for the hills.

The truth is we get the news anyway. We get it ten times over. One reason the market and everyone else is so freaked out is that in our uber connected age we are getting bombarded not with just a little bad news but truckloads and if you did not get it the first time then you got it ten times more. The point is a lot of this news is redundant. How many times can we be told we are out of ventilators, swabs, masks, gowns, beds, and short on hospitals. Probably a hundred if you go online and then watch the news at night or get the alerts in your phone. How many times can we watch the market tank over and over and over and over.

The truth is if you have work to do then going online and checking the news once is probably sufficient. This is not night of the living dead. The virus is not marching up to your front door. But we feel that way. The fear is mind numbing and it can knock out all focus. So I would say read it once, probably toward the end of the day or over lunch and then go about your work. By evening you will still know it is in fifty states a hospital ship is on the way to NY and California, we probably will all end up getting a thousand dollars and someone got injected with a potential vaccine and the market tanked again. Important information, you just dont need to know all this over, and over, and over, and over, and over....and if you do, then you get it from your phone, your radio, your alexa, your computer, your television, your paper..

Books by William Hazelgrove