Ok, so I'll give it to you, there's a slim chance it could...
slim... very slim. Generally, in developed countries, medical care can get you through just about any flu if you are not immune deficient. Mexico is unfortunately not prime when it comes to healthcare. The fear mostly arose due to the fact that, similar to the 1918 flu, this one tends to kill healthy adults more than youth and elderly. It does this due to the fact that what kills you is not the virus, but your immune system's response to the virus itself. The infection leads to such a large immune response that fever, major inflamation, and fluid in the lungs tends to be the killer.
2: The 1918 H1N1 killed 50,000,000 people so this one will too.
See above. That was 1918. This is 2009. We've kinda had a few advances since then. -.-
3: It's a hybrid of many different flu virus strains and therefore more deadly.
The DNA sequence of the virus which was completed a few weeks ago shows that it is very dominantly a pig influenza. There are similarities to avian flus, but none of this really matters anyway since being a hybrid doesn't have anything to do with its "strength."
4: This surgical mask will protect me from the flu.
Buzzzz. It might be marginally helpful in minimizing the arisol from an infected person's cough, but if you breath in, you will force a good bit of virus right through the cloth and down your throat. The masks people wear have a pore size much to large to stop a flu virus. The virus would see one of those pores as we see the Arc de Triomphe. There are masks out there that would do the job, but think "gas mask" but just over the mouth and nose. That'll give you an idea.
5: I should suspend all my travel, not go to work, not ride the subway, and in general become a recluse for a few weeks because Joe Biden said so.
Joe don't know squat. Listen to the CDC and the WHO and just go about business as usual, but if you get sick, get better before you spread it... just like you would with any other illness. Common sence wins here. If there's an outbreak in your area, think of it as a bad local winter flu "going around."
6: (biggie) If I have a flu symptom, I should go to the Emergency Room immediately.
NO. If you feel a symptom, you should just call your family doctor first and visit. If he/she thinks things are serious, then he/she can guide you. The virus simply does not work fast enough to skip this step and clog up the ER. However, if your fever is over 104 or 105, get thee to the ER if you ask me. That's approaching brain-cooking temperatures. BTW. Symptoms include major fatigue, fever, nausia, dizziness, vomiting, aches, thick cough, etc. Just like any other flu.
7: I shouldn't eat pork or I'll get the virus.
No you won't. The flu virus will not survive the cooking/smoking/curing process.
8: Major news networks are reliable sources of information for this.
This is a no brainer. Get info from the CDC, the WHO, and Science or Nature. They don't always agree, but the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
Bottom line: Just be aware. Panic is ironically self-defeating since stress weakens the immune system, lol. The "normal" yearly, winter influenza outbreak infects as high as 5,000,000 people and kills as high as 500,000 EVERY YEAR! The swine flu has infected 1500 so far and killed 25. So long as we can keep this out of crouded poor countries and excessively crouded countries in general, it will fade into the normal influenza haze.
Most of this goes without saying, but I'm a little sick of everyone all over the place getting their panties in a bunch about this thing. It's not that scary.