The Omicron wave has entered Beijing.
Omicron does not really care if Czech Republic President Miloš Zeman said “I am fundamentally opposed to the abuse of the Olympic ideal for political purposes,” alluding to a diplomatic boycott of the opening ceremonies of the 2022 Beijing Olympics on February 4th because of China’s human rights record. Nor does Omicron care about the World Anti-Doping Agency’s advice to Olympians that they should “exercise extreme caution” when eating meat in China because the meat could be contaminated with banned substances. Omicron has been detected in Beijing and that is becoming a very serious problem for China, the local Olympic host committee and the International Olympic Committee. Apparently, it is just not a good idea to hold an Olympics, whether it is the Summer Games or the Winter Games in the middle of a pandemic. Now there is this. China has halted Olympic ticket sales to the general Chinese public. China has barred foreign spectators from attending the Winter Olympics. China is taking the step to “to ensure the safety of all participants and spectators.” China may allow selected people to view the Games. The IOC, which actually has the power to cancel the Games and that overrules local Chinese authorities, also put out a statement of support for the Chinese decision.
“The organizers expect that these spectators will strictly abide by the COVID-19 countermeasures before, during and after each event so as to help create an absolutely safe environment for the athletes.” China has been trying to get ahead of the Omicron wave with lockdowns including one now in place in parts of Beijing. More than 20 million people are stuck inside their homes in China. The National Hockey League pulled its players out of the Beijing Olympics because of Omicron concerns. Omicron is now an Olympics competitor.
Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191