After a pandemic-inspired year-long delay, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are underway. Since the Covid-19 pandemic is as yet unconquered, especially in Japan, no live audiences are allowed. This is making for an extraordinary television spectacle for the world: the best athletes in the world are struggling to defeat one another without the roar of an excited crowd.
Public opinion in Japan itself would have supported a further postponement or even a complete cancellation of the 2020 games. Indeed, even the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, an official sponsor of the Games, said that it would’ve preferred that the government abandon the whole thing.
Japan is not going to get the usual economic windfall that host countries expect. That windfall comes because sports lovers around the world come to a host country to cheer on their nations’ teams: and they spend a lot of money while there. But Japan isn’t allowing spectators, so … no such luck.
In Pill Form:
Eighty five percent of the residents of the athletes’ Olympic Village either are vaccinated or are immune, according to the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach. Bach recently praised Pfizer BioNTech for what he called their “truly essential contribution” to allowing the games to proceed.