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How Can the Olympics Shield 78,000 Volunteers From the Coronavirus?


A leaflet distributed to volunteers advises them to ask guests to face at the very least one meter — somewhat over three ft — aside. Throughout shifts, they need to disinfect their arms often. If providing help to somebody, they need to keep away from immediately going through the opposite individual and by no means discuss with out a masks.

“Masks sporting and hand washing are very fundamental, however doing that to the max is crucial factor we are able to do,” mentioned Natsuki Den, senior director of volunteer promotion for the Tokyo organizing committee.

“Individuals typically say, ‘That’s so fundamental, is that each one you are able to do?’” Ms. Den mentioned. But when each volunteer implements these fundamental measures, she mentioned, “it may actually restrict the chance. Past that, it’s exhausting to consider any magic countermeasures, as a result of they don’t actually exist.”

At the same time as a majority of the Japanese public has remained against internet hosting the Olympics this yr, many volunteers say they’re dedicated, at the very least in precept, to fostering worldwide fellowship after greater than a yr of isolation. (The ranks of volunteers did take a large hit when about 1,000 volunteers give up after the primary president of the Tokyo organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori, made sexist feedback.)

However volunteers fear about their very own well being in addition to the protection of the athletes and different Olympic contributors, particularly as Tokyo experiences new spikes in virus instances. The capital is at present beneath a state of emergency.

“I’m scared that I might get the virus and present no signs, and by chance give it to the athletes,” mentioned Yuto Hirano, 30, who works at a expertise firm in Tokyo and is assigned to assist athletes backstage on the Paralympics occasions for boccia, a ball sport. “I need to defend myself in order that I can defend them.”

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