On the one hand, my natural reaction is phlegmatic. It is something largely out of my hands. I can't stop the spread of it, because the people of the world have foolishly neglected to give me powers to determine every aspect of their behaviour. If they had, twe wouldn't be in this fix now ... Also, I'm in a first world country and I'm comfortably off and enjoy good health. During the SARS crisis, I flew through Hong Kong airport en route to New Zeland. A gentleman wearing a paper mask stuck a thermometer in my ear. No big deal.
On the other hand, Christopher Booker is telling us not to panic (1). For those of you who do not know him, Booker is a columnist for the Telegraph and Daily Mail, who specialises in contrarian tosh and conspiracy (2). One of my rule of thumb that the truth is likely the opposite of what he says.
So if he says not to panic, it is time to head for the hills.
1 - "Pandemic of panic - After salmonella, bird flu, the Millennium Bug... should we actually be scared this time?" by Christopher Booker, published in the Daily Mail, 1st of May, 2009. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1175197/CHRISTOPHER-BOOKER-After-salmonella-bird-flu-Millennium-Bug--scared-time.html)
2 - "Christopher Booker: scientific views," wikipedia article, viewed 3rd of May, 2009. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Booker#Scientific_views)