At this point, it isn't just whether the H1N1 virus is serious or not, it's how governments are dealing with it, and that's a different complication. It will be several more months before the vaccines are in sufficient quantities to be administered to higher-risk groups; and unlike more flu viruses, H1N1 is more likely to affect younger rather than older people, and people with chronic illnesses. (It helps to keep track of this story using CNN, BBC, Reuters, and AP, because they have correspondents who actually know what they are talking about.
China isn't taking any chances. The Chinese are placing travelers in a up-to-one-week quarantine if anyone on their flight shows any symptoms of possibly having flu. That sort of behavior is the sort of thing that could affect the Race, and it's probably something that required some adjustments on the route this Race will take. There are other countries that might follow that path. And from what I've read, H1N1 is even more active in the southern hemisphere right now (where it's winter), so we shouldn't been overconfident about the extent the H1N1 [andemic might reach this coming winter.
I also wanted to point out that the teams will have had to go through customs at Narita airport before they can head into Tokyo, so that probably further limits where the teams can be directed the first night.
Finally, I want to congratulate all of you on doing a freat job with the new technology of Twitter that along with the wireless web of live blogging certainly has changed how TAR detective work functions.