'Hysteria' over terror alert burned bright, faded fast

Mark Davis was shocked when people began flocking to his hardware store in search of duct tape and plastic sheeting. His small, rural community, nearly an hour’s drive from Washington is hardly ground zero for terrorists.

There was ”definite hysteria,” the J.T. Hirst & Co. manager says. When one woman came to the counter with a dozen 160-foot rolls of duct tape in her arms, ”I thought, these people are going to asphyxiate themselves.” But today, three weeks after the government’s latest terrorism warning, a prominent display of the silver, all-purpose tape is largely ignored by shoppers in search of snow shovels. Davis says the run on duct tape and plastic ended as quickly as it began. Now, he says, ”How many people are wondering, ‘Why did I do this?’ ” Full Story

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