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Is it too early to make a decision on whether or not to cancel or defer the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games due to the outbreak of the coronavirus?

35 Comments
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I think it should be cancelled. Simple as that. This virus is not going to be under control in time for the olympics. My humble opinion.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Not cancelled, postponed and there are only positives for all parties involved in doing so as quickly as possible.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

And if they cancel it and it dies down in a month or two? Is it really worth crushing the Japanese economy on a maybe?

They should just put the option on the table to defer it and if it doesn't die down they can try to push it back to the fall. Cancelling it would be stupid.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Defer, but don't cancel. Too much has already been spent in preparations. That said, wherever the Olympics goes, economic turmoil follows in its wake.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Moving it back a few months would also mean holding it in a period with more reasonable temperatures, which would be good for both athletes and spectators.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

According to Simone Gao, this could be MUCH WORSE than we think...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yZliBftSaM

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Aly. You are better than this. I don't mean to deflect from the fact how serious this is, but please don't scaremonger.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It is WAY too early to consider changing the Olympics. Period. To defer - well, should have happened anyway and been held later, like in 1964 and in Seoul in 1988.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Aly. You are better than this. I don't mean to deflect from the fact how serious this is, but please don't scaremonger.

I'm not scaremongering. What I'm saying is we don't know how bad this is. Remember, when it comes to China, where MOST of the cases are, we have to rely on the CCP for details as to how bad this is. A VERY bad source of info. To have to rely on the CCP for info is very dangerous. The fact that they have been covering this up in various ways including hushing the WHO not to declare a global emergency until it was too late to do anything about it is very troubling.

Now, there are a few other facts we have to consider:

Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine

Speaking to reporters a few days after the city was put under quarantine, the mayor estimated that 5 million people had already left.

This is from another article on this site. Millions of people left before the quarantine and we don't know how many of them are infected.

Another fact we have to know is that there was a HUGE party on Jan 18 where around 40,000 families joined. It was a kind of pot luck party. It was meant to break all records of participants.

France24 covered that story here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tegKPVNxsNA

Containment is out of the question. However, I'm pretty sure that the Olympics will make the contagion ALOT worse.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

There is something else that really worries me- what happens if someone with the Wuhan virus comes into contact with someone who has the common cold or the flu and both infect each other mutating the virus even further? These are all what if scenarios but I do think that global events shouldn't be held in the middle of a pandemic. We still don' t know the mortality rate, NOR do we know if or how this virus will mutate.

In my opinion, it would be the responsible thing to do to cancel the Olympics and maybe hold them a year or 2 later.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Containment fully out of the question - Agreed. But there is every chance we are close to the peak in the next few days- and it WILL probably be a large and scary spike. Its going to be everywhere for sure. I'm going to be on a plane next week- its not going to stop me going, unless there is a compulsory quarantine for Japanese Residents by then!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

But there is every chance we are close to the peak in the next few days- and it WILL probably be a large and scary spike. Its going to be everywhere for sure. I'm going to be on a plane next week- its not going to stop me going, unless there is a compulsory quarantine for Japanese Residents by then!

You are a brave man, my friend. I'm actually considering cancelling my canada trip to visit family every summer this year because of the Virus. However, if the Olympics are held we will be going..

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Coronavirus does not like heat and high humidity. It will be gone by that time.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@ Aly

Are you vaccinated against H1N1?

If not I strongly advise you to consider it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Oh, grow up. Wash your hands and take reasonable care. This panic is beyond ridiculous. Though I will of course avoid the Olympics at all costs. I hate crowds.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

I think definitely wait and see approach is wise. And, like some said, cooler weather is a plus. This virus will surely affect olympics no matter what.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Considering that official Chinese sources have said that they now believe the virus incubation period is anywhere from 7-24 days (they originally though 7-14 days) it's a bit early to tell atm whether it's going to get more and more serious. Adding on to that that they discovered it's not only airborne but also that test kits are possibly missing out on positively identifying people (“Even patients who definitely have the disease only come back positive 30% to 50% of the time”- Caixin) and it's looking more and more serious by the day.

But deferring the Olympics for a few months would be the best choice for everyone without laying siege to the economy. I wouldn't want to be playing in that sweltering Tokyo heat, and they might be able to bring the races back from Sapporo too.

Airborne: https://tech.sina.cn/2020-02-08/detail-iimxyqvz1312652.d.html

Test kits: https://www.caixinglobal.com/2020-02-08/key-diagnostic-test-might-be-missing-many-coronavirus-cases-101513176.html

Full analysis of the incubation period: https://hk.news.appledaily.com/local/20200210/4R4BTUH4UYOUBPWF4SXT4WHC5E/

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It'll piss off the punters who have booked their time off, flights, hotels, and other tickets, but any decent company would allow them to reschedule, and Omotenashi assures us that Japanese companies are decent.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It'll piss off the punters who have booked their time off, flights, hotels, and other tickets, 

Yes, it's only time and a bunch of their money. Will screw up lots of people financially, and hurt the athletes. But who cares? Airlines of the world are an understanding bunch. I am sure they will refund those non-refundable tickets.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Postpone it to the Autumn then people will not die of either coronavirus or heatstroke.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I second Derek, why not do it in Autumn. That way, the organizers wont have to consider the athletes or spectators suffering from heatstroke and would also give them more time to organize

1 ( +2 / -1 )

there ,s more than enough time to get this thing under control . the Olympics stay where they are .

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ Aly

> Are you vaccinated against H1N1?

I'm not.

If not I strongly advise you to consider it.

I'll definitely take it under consideration

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Well..IF it did get postponed I guess it would be time to bring back the marathon to Tokyo! Here we'd go again..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a gift to move the games to October but no one will see that

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I said roughly three weeks ago that this virus présents the perfect "out" for Japan to defer the Olympics until October or later, and save face. If they suddenly just said, "Look, it's going to be too hot. People might suffer heat stroke and die, athlètes, spectators, and staff alike, so we're postponing," they'd be crucified. BUT, if they say "It cannot be helped, but we must defer the Olympics until we can be sure the risk of the virus is completely eliminated. As such, we regret we must delay the Olympics by a few months."

It'll hurt... but with the virus as the cause it becomes somewhat justified, and they eliminate the problems -- of which there was a new article just today -- of the coming heat and dangers associated with it and holding the Olympics during. They'll have problems with refunding and reiussing, and then some, but we are already seeing a massive decrease in tourism and people not wanting to (or who can't) come here due to the threat of the virus, and that could easily grow, with countries eventually boycotting and refusing to come and compete, and then there will be disaster with the summer heat, guaranteed. This is their chance.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

not quite how it works

There is something else that really worries me- what happens if someone with the Wuhan virus comes into contact with someone who has the common cold or the flu and both infect each other mutating the virus even further?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

and then there will be disaster with the summer heat, guaranteed.

'Disaster' is a bit much Smithy. Lots of tourists come to Japan in Summer, lots of them to Tokyo, Kansai etc. without too much problem. Why would the Olympics be different? And as for the athletes, I think they'll largely be fine. I used to play footie in Nagoya at noon in August on the sandy pitches in unbearable heat, having had a gallon of lager the night before. Was horrid but I didn't collapse. That said, I agree that it is a stupid time & place to hold them in the first place.

Don't expect the Olympics to be postponed or rescheduled. It would be like rescheduling WWI.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am in favour of cancelling the Paralympics.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The games cannot be cancelled or postponed. The games must go ahead as scheduled. I foresee many countries boycotting due to the dangers of the virus. Banning Chinese athletes is not an option either. Hopefully, they will have developed a suitable vaccine by then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think they'll be cancelled or even postponed, but I wouldn't be surprised if athletes had to be tested for the new virus

0 ( +0 / -0 )

By the time the Olympics come around, Corona will be down the old memory hole. Seriously, Japan's population will struggle to remember it. Just like any other topical moment in this country. Eh? Chotto... Ah sou ka! Hai Hai Hai. It wasn't do bad ne!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This virus will be contained by the end of this month. The Olympics should go on.

Fear mongering and hate is not the answer. Working together with China to contain this virus and find a vaccine is the answer to fight this virus and to a successful 2020 Olympics! It can be done that I promise.

The virus is temporary... Let's remember that part. What comes after is more important.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I do hope it isn't cancelled, having been lucky enough to obtain tickets.

That said, my selfishness aside, if the virus has increased/mutated and we're looking at a much more dangerous outbreak, of course it should be (at least) postponed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cancelling is good. The lack of infrastructure to house people and deal with the huge influx of crazy and non-crazy people is becoming obvious. The virus is the tipping point, but also provides a reasonable way out of the upcoming embarrassment. Nobody could be faulted at this point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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