Face mask or not, it's all right to take a deep breath and calm down a bit about swine flu. Despite the hyperventilating media reports of recent weeks odds are pretty good you're not going to be felled by the nasty but generally non-fatal H1N1 virus. This may come as a shock to, say, Egypt, which ordered all of its pigs slaughtered in a misguided attempt to stop the spread of the flu (which, reports indicate, is not transmitted from pig to person).
Infections are falling in Mexico, the country hardest-hit by the flu bug, and the World Health Organization said the virus has not yet created a sustained outbreak in Europe. Though new cases are popping up around the globe each day, it appears that a widespread global pandemic isn't forthcoming. Just like SARS and the avian flu before it, H1N1 probably will cause more damage through anxiety than actual infection.