When psychologist Dr. Mary Alvord speaks with her patients about their coronavirus concerns at her practice in Rockville, Maryland—where the governor confirmed a state of emergency after three cases were reported—or when she scrolls through social media with posts often filled with misinformation, she keeps thinking back to another time when she experienced a similar level of widespread fear. Not during the SARS epidemic in 2003, but in 2002 during a three-week stretch when a series random shootings across the Washington, DC, metro area killed ten people and left the capital and surrounding communities in paralyzed by concerns over the DC sniper.

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