We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The Spanish flu epidemic of the 1918-ish was devastating. A world spent by war was ravaged by a disease that killed many more people than recent flu epidemics have done. Perhaps journalists keep looking for it to happen again. I remember that the public seemed as concerned about swine flu in 1976 -- and as eager for vaccination -- as they are in 2009. The epidemic fizzled, perhaps partly because of the vaccinations, and President Ford wound up somehow being blamed for the cases of Guillam-Barre that seemed linked to the flu shot. That link was never well established.
H1N1 may have legs because it came up initially in a quiet news cycle, like shark attacks on the Gulf Coast some years ago. Nothing unusual about the shark incidents but they caught a slow news cycle and grew legs.