Swine flu and you: The travel industry chokes

It's odd. Not a single person I know is concerned about the swine flu. In fact, they're annoyed by the endless and terrifying TV coverage of it. The bald facts may bear out their attitudes: The "regular" flu kills an estimated 36,000 Americans each year, but so far, not a single American has died of the swine flu. "How do I feel about the swine flu?" a friend said when I asked her. "I feel like it's just the flu."

Nonetheless, some people allowed it to scare them into staying indoors. The European press is particularly hyper about this story (remembering 1918, perhaps). Newspaper articles say one thing -- the harshest warning a doctor writing for Britain's Daily Telegraph could come up with was "for those of a nervous disposition it won't be much fun" -- but the photos of travelers in medical masks on half-empty planes tell a different, and more gripping, tale of fear.