Do I need to cancel the Tokyo Olympics for COVID?


“The 360” presents a variety of perspectives on the day’s top stories and debates.

what’s happening

The Tokyo Olympics torch relay officially launched at the end of last month at a small socially distant ceremony. Over the next 100 days or more, more than 10,000 torchbearers are expected to carry the Olympic torch throughout Japan on a long journey to the opening ceremony, currently scheduled for July 23.

The first wave of coronavirus was spreading around the world, forcing organizers to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympics in March last year. The pandemic will almost certainly continue until July, but the Government of Japan and the International Olympic Committee are determined to hold the Games on schedule.

Even if it is late, Tokyo 2020, which bears its name, will be a very different event from the typical Olympic Games. Foreign spectators will not be able to participate, masks and temperature checks will be required, and athletes will be barred from interacting with international athletes. However, participants do not need to be vaccinated.

Japan is far superior to most developed countries throughout the pandemic process. As of Friday, there are less than 10,000 COVID-related deaths in the country. However, due to the recent increase in the number of cases and the sluggish deployment of the worst-ranked vaccines in developed countries, many have questioned the value of hosting the Games.Roughly A percentage of Japanese polled in January said they wanted the Olympics to be postponed again or canceled altogether.

Why there is a debate

Proponents of the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics have stated that the event could become a global superspreading event. An estimated 60,000 people from 200 countries gather in Tokyo at once, even without an international audience. Each may bring in a virus or bring it back after the tournament. Some argue that the outbreak of athletes who can derail the Olympics will bring permanent stains to the Olympic movement. Many critics have accused the organizers of endangering people’s lives to cash out the huge pile of advertising and broadcast revenue that comes from hosting the Olympics.

Defenders of the decision to advance the tournament have stated that canceling the tournament means a loss of billions of dollars that could have a serious impact on the Japanese economy. Many say the Olympic organizers have developed a solid game plan to prevent the spread of the virus, based on lessons learned from sports leagues around the world that successfully held the Games without major disruption. I will. Others argue that the Tokyo Olympics could provide immeasurable psychological support to the world and mark the beginning of a brighter post-COVID era.

What’s next

The organizers of Tokyo 2020 emphasize that the current operating plan is tentative and that stricter measures can be taken if necessary.

Whatever happens in Japan this summer, the debate over the Olympics will continue next year. Western nations have already been called upon to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in response to human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in northeastern China.

Outlook

Cancel the game

Olympics could be a global driver of COVID infection

“Based on the number of people arriving and the epidemic of illness around the world, the Olympic Games could be a superspreading event that could lead to absolutely numerous infectious diseases and could spread internationally as people return home. There is. ”— Infectious disease researcher Spencer Fox

The pandemic is still in full swing in July

“There are no signs that Japan, let alone humanity, will soon defeat the coronavirus.” — Koichi Nakano,

If things go wrong, Japan and the Olympics may never recover

“The success of the Olympics is a boost to global morale, but given the situation in Japan, it can have the exact opposite result. Major superspreading events can occur, but transmission levels are low. Even if it can cause confusion. “— Michael Toole,

The organizer is spending money safely

“All of these financial factors seem to defeat public health concerns and public opinion.” — Jeff Kingston,

The pandemic is an opportunity to reassess the harmful status of the Olympics.

“The Olympics are more of a problem than their value, as they are currently being built. Perhaps this year’s cancellation will reduce and escalate aspirations for future games, delaying increasingly destructive costs. Let’s do it. “— Will Reach,

Do not cancel the game

The pandemic state will be much more manageable by this summer

“By June next year, enough Japan and the outside world will be vaccinated to host a viable Olympics without the need for strict police.” — Jonathan Coratch,

The success of the Olympics can provide the coveted light of hope

“With the difficulties and geopolitical tensions the world faces today, there is a more important and meaningful time for countries to set aside differences and unite to compete at the world’s most important sporting events. There were few. “— David Ashton,

Other leagues show how to safely succeed in major sporting events

“The Tokyo Olympics are different from what is expected of the Olympics and Paralympics, and some of the measures needed to achieve them are not ideal. But all these other sports are workarounds. There are all reasons to believe that the IOC and Tokyo organizers will do so when they find it. ”— Nancy Armor,

If the tournament is canceled, Japan’s global status will be severely damaged.

“Japan’s position in Asia and the world is very important, especially when it comes to competition with China. That would be a nightmare for them. [Japan’s political leadership] If Japan does not host the first “after COVID” Olympics and the title goes to China. — Japanese political expert Koichi Nakano

Canceling the game ruins the lifelong dreams of thousands of athletes

“Many training athletes are unaware, but they must feel the only chance to compete on the world stage. They seek a chance to reward their work in life at the end of the pandemic. I’m heading for the horrific suffering of, or I’m trying to break my dreams. “— Michael Arace,

Postpone the game but don’t cancel

“If the Olympic bubble isn’t feasible, the road to normal sports landscapes and innocent Olympic games could go through the spread of vaccines, or you can wait until next year.” — Morgan・ Campbell,

Are there any topics you would like us to cover in “The 360”? Please send your suggestions to [email protected]

Read more “360”

Photo Illustration: Yahoo News; Photo: Getty Images

Posted on