We live in irritating times. Our irritated response to them is natural — or at least understandable. It’s getting worse, says Shunsuke Ando, director of the Japan Association of Anger Management. A booklet he recently published on the subject is titled “How to Control Your Heart and Not Get Irritated.” It exudes calm. Calm, of course, is the remedy, if you have it in you.

Increasingly, we don’t. That, too, is understandable. There is no living calmly with a viral pandemic that has killed more than million worldwide, shredded the global economy, polluted our politics, devastated our social life and shows no sign of ebbing. Some say its depredations have just begun.

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