Only about 1,500 miles separate the urban city of Tokyo from the Coronavirus epicenter Wuhan. The coast of Shanghai has been abandoned to such a point that not one of the 24.24 million people who call Shanghai their home can be seen walking down the street. The entire world is being threatened by the deadly Coronavirus, especially in countries close to Wuhan. In Tokyo, the Olympics may be affected because of the contagious fast-spreading disease. Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease spread from liquid emitted from the respiratory system. Even sneezing or coughing on somebody could spread the virus, but the effects of COVID-19 are not extremely virulent. The Coronavirus is believed to have spread from bats, much like the SARS outbreak in 2002. Bats have an immune system that tolerates many viruses, many of which, like Coronavirus, are harmful to humans. However, bat meat and soup is considered a delicacy in several Asian countries. After being introduced to a food market in Wuhan, China, the virus spread quickly in Wuhan and nearby areas, including Japan.
With the summer Tokyo Olympics starting on July 24, the quadrennial sports competition may be threatened by Coronavirus. While the Olympic organizers say that the games will not be canceled, it may “pour cold water” on the games. This could create problems. Some qualifiers for the various sports featured in the Olympics will have to be rescheduled or relocated. The women’s soccer qualifiers and boxing qualifiers have been relocated from Wuhan to different locations out of fear that athletes and viewers will be infected with the Coronavirus. However, the prime minister of Japan Shinzo Abe has stated that all precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of athletes and viewers.
By the time that the Olympics comes the deadly Coronavirus may have been “stamped out” completely. With just under half of a year left to the Olympics, this is possible. The SARS outbreak lasted just 6 months before it was fully contained across the globe. However, Coronavirus has already surpassed SARS in the total number of deaths with a total of 1,383 deaths and shows no signs of stopping. Tokyo governor said about the problem, “We must firmly tackle the new Coronavirus to contain it, or we are going to regret it”. If the Coronavirus is not contained, it can bring many problems because of how close people must be in order to watch the games.
The deadly Coronavirus is threatening the world, even the Olympics. Perhaps Yuriko Koke puts it best – if we do not contain the Coronavirus, and soon, “we are going to regret it.”