Uncertainty: No one knows what the future holds and most of the time we really do not understand what is happening in the present. But we pretend by way of series of cognitive lies, optimism and false confidence. People in business and government are no different: When they discuss “uncertainty,” that is their tacit admission they really have no clue what's going on.

“Don’t panic” is best advice I have ever been given; it is applicable in every situation imaginable. Panic doesn't make anything better and often makes things worse.

To that, at this particular moment, I would add: Wash your hands like a surgeon, stop touching your face, stay home if you don't feel well and know that it very probably will all be fine in retrospect.

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

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