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October 17, 2001 03:12 PM

Despite growing fears since the Sept. 11 attack and the recent outbreaks of anthrax, Americans are finding ways to cope, PEOPLE reports in its latest cover story. Respondents to a poll on the PEOPLE.com Web site reflect both trepidation and calm, says the magazine. While not a scientific sampling, the results indicate that 36 percent of the roughly 2,500 questioned say they won’t fly at all or are very frightened of flying since the Sept. 11 attacks, and 63 percent say they are at least a little worried about a loved one being the victim of a biological or chemical assault. By the same token 58 percent report no trouble sleeping and 83 percent say their appetites have not been affected. (By one estimate, the number of prescriptions for antidepressants was up 16 percent during the last two weeks in September over the same period last year.) The anecdotal evidence reflects the mixed picture. At the 110-story Sears Tower in Chicago, security has been beefed up considerably, but many workers remain on edge, fearing that their building could be a target. “I dread coming to work,” Laura Skillom, 51, an insurance adjuster who works on the 20th floor, told PEOPLE. “I sit by a window and I’m constantly looking out.”

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