I need to stipulate that I don’t have a dog in this proverbial fight, but I need to say it anyway: It looks to me that the 2020 Summer Olympics might carry too big a risk to the millions of spectators who will venture to Tokyo to cheer on their favorite athletes.
You know what I’m talkin’ about. The coronavirus pandemic.
The Japanese insist — at least for now — that the Games will go on as planned. They’re going to gather in the Olympic stadium on July 24 and watch the opening ceremonies. Then a Japanese athlete will light the torch and the Games will go on until Aug. 9.
That’s the plan. Is it feasible? Is it wise? Does it put too many people in potentially mortal danger of catching the coronavirus?
I have serious doubts.
To be candid, I am acquainted only with one person who plans to travel to Tokyo. Her daughter throws the javelin and will compete for the U.S. team. The family plans to fly to Tokyo and cheer her on.
I am going to pray that these folks — along with everyone else crammed into the stadium — don’t expose themselves to the virus.
There’s travel, too. Airlines are reducing services. Cruise ships might be able to dock, but are they any safer? Hah!
I just don’t know about the wisdom of proceeding as if it’s all OK.
Postpone it a year? I guess that would work. The Japanese can keep the venues spruced up until it’s safe to stage the Olympics.
A major disruption in the Olympics has precedent. They canceled the Games during World Wars I and II; the United States led a boycott of the 1980 Games in Moscow; the Soviet Union returned the “favor” for the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.
It seems to me that a global pandemic that might kill many thousands of human beings is sufficient cause to at minimum delay the Games … or cancel them altogether.