Events that attract crowds, from cultural to religious to sporting, are among the casualties of the disruption wrought by the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic . It is an interruption of social intercourse borne with forbearance. Hopefully it does not seem like the new normal before the world gets the all clear. There remains an exception, however, that is the subject of increasing speculation – an event that attracts more participants and spectators than any other, the Summer Olympic Games. It still sits in isolation on the calender, to be hosted by Tokyo in July-August. If there was a moment when serious doubts might have surfaced, it was this week’s meeting of the executive board of the International Olympic Committee. Instead, IOC president Thomas Bach said the words “cancellation” and “postponement” were not uttered in respect of Tokyo 2020 , as the Games are labelled. Doubling down, Bach said the IOC remained fully committed to the event. This was despite Japan’s Olympic minister having claimed only the previous day the Summer Games could be postponed until later in the year amid fears over the epidemic. The government appeared to rule out this scenario last Wednesday, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declaring that preparations were continuing. It is not hard to find a reason the government is putting on a brave face. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has invested a huge amount of financial and political capital in the Games, with the prospect of a windfall in new infrastructure, tens of thousands of foreign tourists and national pride. The loss of face in a cancellation at this late stage would come as a blow ahead of elections due by October next year. The organisers have a window of two to three months to decide whether to go ahead. Postponement or relocation are not practical options in organisational terms. The welfare of all concerned is paramount, otherwise the organisers risk participating countries or athletes staying home. They must pray for the likelihood that Covid-19 is brought under control by May. Tokyo is swelling with pride and anticipation at being one of the very few cities to host the Summer Olympics twice. But it may be better to wake from the dream sooner or later than to leave anything to chance.