Swine flu conversation questions

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Pandemic precautions[edit]

  • In your country, was the pandemic of 2009 called "swine flu" or "H1N1"?
Swine flu is the name of the disease; H1N1 is the name of the virus that causes the disease
  • What (if anything) do you think you can personally do to reduce your chance of being infected in a pandemic?
  • What do you think you should do if you get an infection? Should you go to work (or school) or not?
  • How would you react if a colleague came in to work who seemed to be infected?
  • What (if anything) do you think the government should or could do to reduce people's chance of infection?
  • What difference (if any) do you think that closing borders would make?
  • How many food scares/health scares can you think of over the last few years? Which ones turned out to be serious?
  • Are you buying any medicines in case a pandemic strikes?
  • Do you think that wearing a mask makes much difference to your contracting an infection or does it just give psychological support?
  • How much difference do you think that washing your hands would make?
  • The pandemic of 2009 seems to have started in pigs. Would not eating pork make you safer?


  • What is the present swine flu situation in your country?
  • Do you think you will experience a deadly pandemic or do you think there is a lot of exaggeration?
  • Which of the following do you think is most likely to happen within the next fifteen years?
    • An earthquake in Los Angeles.
    • An asteroid strike.
    • A deadly pandemic.


  • Did people travel less to Asia because of the bird flu and SARS scares? How long did the scares last?
  • How would you feel about travelling to a country with a significant outbreak?
  • In what ways do you think a pandemic would effect the world's financial systems?
  • Which business do you think would be helped by a pandemic and which business would be damaged?


  • Do you think that vaccinations are useful or dangerous?
  • Can you explain how vaccinations work?
  • Do you usually receive a vaccination for flu in the winter? How is the vaccination given to you?
  • Are you going to receive a swine flu vaccination?
  • How much would you be prepared to pay for a vaccination?
  • Often vaccines are developed by governments and not drugs companies. Why do you think this is?
  • Is it moral for companies to make big profits by selling life-saving drugs? Would they develop them if they couldn’t make big profits?
  • What is the difference between an antibody and an antibiotic? Will they both have an effect on the flu virus?

Vaccine rejection[edit]

While the only to be sure that you won't get swine flu is to have a vaccination [1], some people don't like the idea of being vaccinated. All the following statements can be found on the web. Rate them as: (a) I believe this very sensible statement. (b) There could possibly be some truth in this though it seems improbable. (c) This is absurd.

  • Although the WHO has distributed the vaccine to the whole world it has not been properly tested and could kill people.
  • Eating vitamin D and garlic and avoiding sugar will be more effective than the vaccine.
  • Only the weak need vaccines so I'm not having one.
  • If you only eat organic food then you will be safe.
  • Vaccine companies will make money out of the vaccine so I'm not going to take it even though my government has already paid for it.
  • The vaccine is toxic, and it's a plot by the UN who want to reduce the world's population.


See also[edit]