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Ostriches, it's said, bury their heads in the sand when they see danger. The ostrich logic being, if you don't see it, it's not there. And lately I've been thinking about ostriches.

That's because since November's election, I've been hearing from people so upset about the election's results, they have simply stopped keeping up with current events. Stopped reading newspapers, cut out watching TV news, refused the temptation to click, even stopped listening to - gasp - NPR.

Quitting news cold turkey - or cold ostrich - can free up a lot of time. One friend tells me she discovered reading novels again. Another person has begun listening to classical music, yet another started running in the morning, instead of reading headlines. He just doesn't want to know.

I've seen some wacky elections, but I can't remember one which has resulted in the widespread magical thinking that if you ignore the outcome, it doesn't exist. And though I feel bad for anyone experiencing depression or anxiety, I'm not convinced it's the best idea to take mental health advice from a bird.

So, here's my advice to those who just can't deal with the news - face it. Read it, watch it, listen to it. Our country was not founded on a stick-your-fingers-in-your-ears approach. If you are so shattered you're actually ignoring the news, get involved, take action and change the news. That's exactly what our nation's founders did with King George of England. This is your opportunity - heck, your responsibility - to use the political process to create the country you want.


Curling up in a ball and pretending it's not happening never solved anything. In fact, it doesn't even work for ostriches. Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not stick their heads in the sand - nine feet tall and with a kick so powerful it can kill a lion, they face problems head on, not head in sand. This legend has been proven to be inaccurate.

And maybe some of those news stories you can't face will prove to be inaccurate, too. Or maybe you will discover that, like an ostrich, you can face anything, head held high. Not hopeless, but empowered.

So, whether you view the election results as good news or bad news, keep on keeping up - because even ostriches don't bury their head in the sand.

With a Perspective, I'm Richard Swerdlow.

Richard Swerdlow works for the San Francisco Unified School District.