First of all, let me express how deeply sympathetic I am towards those who are struggling with anxiety and fear in the current global health crisis (especially those hit the hardest). I am working very hard myself to not give in to profound pessimism, but let me try and make an important distinction. While it is appropriate to have a high level of concern, panic can be both harmful and unhelpful. When you are concerned, that means you judge something to be a matter of importance. Panic refers to uncontrollable fear and anxiety, which can be highly destructive. Stress, fear, and panic produce high levels of cortisol, which not only can trigger depression, high blood pressure, a lowered immune system, ulcers, and migraines, but can also impair cognitive performance. That means just when you need your wits about you, your mental capacities are diminished.