Columns Football is wonderfully communal, but in Corona times, that’s exactly the problem

It would always be delicious for a Finn to blame Russia, but the problem of corona infections that came with tourists from St. Petersburg is more multidimensional.

To Finland a significant number of coronavirus delta variants are likely to have arrived. Infection rates have started to rise again this week.

The culprits have been sought in St. Petersburg from tourists who have watched Owl’s matches, coronation testing at the border, tour operators with their buses, St. Petersburg race organizers who have poorly controlled corona restrictions, and the Russians themselves. They once haven’t taken coronary vaccinations very diligently, and maybe that’s why the delta variant is spreading in the eastern neighborhood.

Some of the race tourists seem to have skipped voluntary quarantine. At least one went to a Midsummer party in Himos, elsewhere exposures took place in restaurants and on their terraces. Someone infected his family member when he couldn’t quarantine the hotel.

St. Petersburg was ill-prepared. Pretty bluff safeguards were, said as a race tourist himself was the diagnostic director of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (Hus) Lasse Lehtonen. Iltalehti an infected race tourist interviewed said the use of masks in fan stands was not monitored.

For historical reasons, a Finn would certainly be happy to blame Russia for everything.

But the race tourists traveled to St. Petersburg all by themselves. Russia did not force them.

Last The European Championship match against St. Petersburg was played on Friday. The gaze will move to London, where the final match will also be played.

In June, the European Football Association (Uefa) got a taste of the outrage of the British media after it threatened to move the matches to Budapest unless 2,500 VIP guests could watch the matches at Wembley without a corona quarantine.

On Wednesday, the incidence rate of coronary infections in Britain per 100,000 people was 311. In Russia, the corresponding figure was 178 at the same time, but the official figure is likely to be lower than the number of infections actually.

The vaccination situation in Britain is much better than in Russia, which could be hoped to work for the benefit of the British, at least in terms of bad diseases. However, vaccinations do not prevent infections.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus is also a globally unifying factor that can be combated most effectively by physically separating people from each other.

So as long as the infections spread, we have a problem.

The World Health Organization (WHO) follows the same lines. On Thursday, it patrolled the countries hosting the European Championships to keep a closer eye on the goings and activities of tourists outside the competition stands.

“We also need to look beyond the stadiums,” senior emergency director of the WHO Regional Office for Europe Catherine Smallwood said the news agency AFP.

Football is the most watched sport in the world. Fans are everywhere and it connects people. Unfortunately, the coronavirus is also a globally unifying factor that can be combated most effectively by physically separating people from each other.

Smallwood paid particular attention to communality. If, after the games, the fans meet each other in bars, for example, there will be infections.

Uefa has consistently praised its own corona safety arrangements, which have certainly been more careful than, say, those in St. Petersburg who do not wear a mask or want to be vaccinated.

Football matches are a remarkably big business. Only for Uefa we are talking about billions of euros. Then there are the host cities, clubs, players, hotels that host tourists and all the other business around the Games. Everyone has suffered from corona restrictions.

And will soon suffer again unless the infections stay under control. For that is what we humans are: basically herd animals.

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