The country is getting better in the battle against Covid 19.
The world is not.
The hot spot is no longer the USA, but now India.
But problems still exist in Canada, Africa, and surprisingly Japan.
The Tokyo Olympics, delayed from last year, are now in the vortex of the global crisis.
Japan, as brilliant an industrial country as it is, has vaccinated just 1.4% of its massive population, because the ever-cautious nation was slow developing its vaccines. The US vaccination rate is 62% (one shot) and 39% (adults-complete shots)
The IOC is in the crossfire as to whether the games should go ahead, considering the pandemic is unchecked and places like Tokyo, Osaka and Hiroshima are staggered with another wave of the disease.
If you’re an athlete and have waited five years to get the chance to compete in the Summer Games, are you willing to risk going to Tokyo? Even with the offer by Japan to vaccinate the unvaccinated, you run the risk of exposure.
Global travelling fans won’t be allowed in, but now various IOC organizations are thinking of banning their athletes from going abroad.
You hope the forthcoming decisions are about health and safety and not the dollars and profits the IOC can make by staging the games and carrying thru on its media TV contracts.
A cross section of stories and opinions, just weeks out:
The International Olympic Committee is increasingly isolated in its stance that the Tokyo Olympics should start as planned on July 23.
Originally scheduled for 2020, postponing the games cost the IOC an estimated $800 million, and the total tab for the event could hit $25 billion.
John Coates, vice president of the IOC, said that the games would go on, even if Tokyo were under a state of emergency due to the pandemic.
That’s unwelcome news to many:
A recent poll in Japan found that 83% of the population think the games should be canceled (43%) or postponed (40%).
Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son and Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani have both said that holding the games is not worth the loss of life and long-term stagnation that could come from an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
In April, high-ranking Japanese politician Toshihiro Nikai floated the possibility that the games could still be canceled.
Canada and Australia are not sending athletes to the Olympics due to the pandemic. Tennis stars Naomi Osaka, Rafael Nadal, and Kei Nishikori have voiced concerns about attending. Serena Williams said she won’t attend if protocols prevent her from bringing her 3-year-old daughter.
The IOC has already banned foreign spectators from attending, and is considering holding the games entirely without crowds.
COVID-19 cases have spiked in the Japanese archipelago over the last month. The seven-day average as of Sunday sat at 5,272 new cases per day.