Postpone Olympics until 2022, suggest disease experts
While Japan is confident that the 2020 Summer Olympics could be held a year later, in 2021, some infectious disease experts are pessimistic. They say the risk may still be too great to allow a relaxation of social distancing of the level needed for international competitions.
Among those cautionary voices is Dr. Jason Kindrachuk, UM medical microbiologist and Canada Research Chair in emerging viruses. In a story carried internationally across media, he is one of several experts who think planning ahead is not wise at the moment. While hopeful that a vaccine will be found within a year, he thinks the timeline is not set in stone.
“It is going to push the limits right up to the border of when the Olympics should be starting,” said Kindrachuk, who has worked on outbreaks of Ebola and SARS. “You want to get people vaccinated not right at the point of the Olympics, but a little bit beforehand, so they build up that protective immunity.”