US Terror Alerts Raise Anxiety, Shake Confidence
Buy duct tape and seal off a panic room. But don’t panic. Stockpile food and water. But just as a precaution. Be on the lookout for suspicious people. But don’t assume all Muslims are terrorists.
Frequent but vague warnings of new terror attacks are making already anxious Americans even more nervous and psychologists say the government’s mixed messages and false alarms have begun to take their toll on the nation’s psyche. “They are saying, in effect, ‘Be afraid but don’t be afraid.’ The result is people don’t entirely trust the government,” said David Spiegel, who heads the psychiatry department at Stanford University School of Medicine. The United States has been on Code Orange, or high alert for attacks, since Feb. 7. On Wednesday, Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge unveiled a new communications strategy and urged Americans to take three simple steps to prepare themselves: put together a home emergency kit, draw up a family contact plan and know where to get official advice. Full Story