It might seem glib to caution against panic when entire nations have been quarantined, supermarket shelves have been stripped bare and phrases such as "self-isolation" and "social distancing" have entered everyday language.
For asset managers and their clients, though, "keep calm and carry on" is usually a dependable mantra.
This is why the old adage that time in the markets beats timing the markets has been so widely deployed in recent weeks.
The basic message to investors is that crises come and go and that patience, not knee-jerk alarm, is likely to be rewarded over the longer term.
Asset managers traditionally support this narrative with historical data - and, sure enough, we will do exactly that in due course.
Yet an industry that customarily cautions against a reliance on past performance should perhaps buttress its arguments with something else.
To develop a potentially helpful sense of perspective in the face of crisis, maybe we should make an effort to understand fear itself.
After all, if we want to demonstrate that panic might be unjustified, it would be useful to appreciate why people panic in the first place.
Fearing the worst
Paul Slovic is a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon. He is also president of an international association of scientists studying the relationship between decisions and risk.
In 1981, in a highly influential study, Slovic identified three factors that dominate how we perceive risk: dread, familiarity and number of people exposed. When laypersons apply this framing, he argued, they can reach inaccurate and often wildly pessimistic conclusions.
For example, many study participants rated nuclear power as the riskiest of 20 activities, substances and technologies outlined by Slovic and his team. By contrast, a group of experts ranked it 20th - as did the researchers themselves.
The lay participants' assessment was found to be based on what might happen in the event of a full-blown disaster, even though the odds against such a catastrophe were calculated at roughly three-million-to-one.
How does Covid-19 reflect Slovic's theories and findings? The virus clearly inspires dread; it is frighteningly unfamiliar; and the number of people exposed is potentially limitless.
Little wonder, one may think, that the gut instinct of some investors might be to cut and run in expectation of total meltdown.
Staying the course
Yet it is worth recalling the words of astronomer and cosmologist Carl Sagan: "I try not to think with my gut. If I'm serious about understanding the world, thinking with anything besides my brain is likely to get me into trouble."
And in this instance, as touched upon earlier, the trouble is liable to stem from missing the market's best days.
By way of illustration, consider the period between 1999 and 2019. It included the global financial crisis, the European sovereign debt crisis, two recessions and two other coronavirus outbreaks - SARS and MERS - as well as another pandemic, H1N1.