Here's an idea. When you come across a problem which would send the general public into a panic and bring the media out of the woodwork to report on the general population panicking and behaving irrationally, take these steps:
- Identify the core problem
- Get educated about the problem (read about the entire issue from knowledgeable sources; include background information, best possible out come, worst possible outcome, mitigation possibilities, etc)
- Observe how the media and the general population are reacting to the problem (you probably won't want to react this way)
- Create your own plan to address the issue (do this by looking at all of your options and thinking of ways to address the problem--you get extra points for "thinking outside the box")
- React, on your own terms. By all means try some avoidance tactics (switch to potatoes if there is a rice shortage, build up your emergency fund even more if a financial crisis is looming, isolate yourself for a period of time until the flu passes by, etc). Avoidance of a problem is often the most efficient and effective reaction rather than hitting a problem head on. Also remember to be flexible. Just because things should go a certain way, doesn't mean that they will, so react in a flexible manner--fluidly like water rather than solidly like a rock.