I don't mean to make light of a disease which is at present infecting thousands of people around the world, but I want to say one thing about the panic surrounding Swine Flu, which I'm guessing few people under the age of 40 never knew about before last week:
CALM DOWN! Seriously, people, we're in the richest country on Earth, with the finest medical personnel and the most resources. You are not going to die from the Swine Flu. Of all the people who have come down with the illness in this country, precisely none have died. Only one person has had to spend the night at the hospital. Everyone is getting better, and largely on their own. Common and mass-produced drugs are known to be an effective treatment.
In 1976 there was a scare over Swine Flu, and exactly one American died from the effects of the illness. Over 30 died by taking a vaccination shot intended to combat that strain.
So, calm down, wash your hands often and cover your mouth when you cough, if you're really worried. But unless you're a student at St. Francis Prep in Queens, I really wouldn't start wearing a mask around town.
It annoys me that the news media just has to hear the word "Flu" and all of a sudden we've got a pandemic on our hands to rival the 1918 Influenza crisis which killed more people than World War I. It's just not true, people.