Thanks to everyone who commented on the previous post. I left another ocmment of my own at the bottom of the thread, saying I planned to send the whole thing, comments and all, to my clinic's director, and describing an innovative solution recently installed by my dentist.
Loren just sent me this link to an article in the Guardian, addressing the same topic (news and anxiety) in depth; you might be interested as I was. I made a less-dramatic but similar decision about ten years ago, to limit my own exposure to the news, and mainly to read (not watch) quite selectively, for a short time each day.
Meanwhile, Mary, another frequent commenter, said that "nature does it for her," and offered this link to the Cornell Ornithology Lab's live webcam of great blue herons incubating their eggs, which is absolutely wonderful.