Summer Olympics 2020 held at empty stadiums
The summer Olympic Games that kicked off in Japan last week seem to be memorable as the oddest tournament in history. Each competition looks like a performance in a concert hall without an audience. Such a weird event causes pain for both sides.
This is what is going on in Tokyo nowadays. Sports fans are banned from enjoying the thrill of the rivalry among the best athletes at stadiums as well as from watching live broadcasts and socializing in sports bars. The only option for them is to stay home and watch TV. The reason is obvious. The authorities are trying to shield people from the coronavirus while they mingle with sports fans from around the world.
Oddly enough, all these efforts are in vain. In fact, it is the coronavirus that is setting the tone in the Olympic village and Tokyo hosting the grand event. Japan is reporting increasing numbers of new COVID cases on a daily basis. Remarkably, even some athletes participating in the Olympics have been tested positive for the coronavirus. Medical scientists and doctors are voicing concern that the Olympic village might create prolific soil for the virus which will quickly disperse to other spots on the globe.
Therefore, the Olympic hosts are facing a dilemma: they cannot turn a blind eye to social restrictions and, at the same time, they are responsible for arranging the long-awaited top sports event. "May the rays of hope from this land illuminate a new dawn for a healthy, safer and fairer world," the WHO Director-General said at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics. So, the host country and the Olympics Committee are taking on a tough challenge.
The only healthy solution is mass vaccination. Meanwhile, not all countries can boast about satisfactory progress in the vaccination campaign. Countries with emerging economies evidently cannot afford to provide their population with enough vaccines. Curiously, vaccination has got stuck in Japan, the world’s third largest economy. Among the most advanced countries, vaccination is being conducted at the slowest pace in Japan.
Experts reckon that the underlying reason for this situation is the lack of foresight and slow thinking of Japan’s authorities. They were overconfident that Japan’s own vaccine would be invented in due time so that their healthcare officials downplayed the worst-case scenario and did not make any contracts for vaccine delivery from overseas suppliers.