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this is life as a correspondent in Tokyo

this is life as a correspondent in Tokyo

Continuous dampers, “piloted” displacements, contingent inputs. Athletes’ life lasts a Tokyo, but that of journalists is not much better. The protocols for dealing with and containing the spread of Covid are rightly rigid, but, without the sacrosanct motivation, they make managing a gigantic event like the Olympics even more of a challenge. Which in themselves are something “only for the brave.”

One day to be sent to Tokyo 2020

Meanwhile, there is a psychological reason: being in Japan and not being able to visit it is like being in front of a ten kilo jar of Nutella with the lid welded on. Failing to subject incoming reporters to 14 days of quarantine, under penalty of “releasing” them at the Games that are almost over, the organization has prepared replacement invoices. Basically, the journalist can travel from the hotel to the competition fields. And vice versa. Stop. Exemption – however, with prior authorization – for those tactical positions such as Casa Italia that, in any case, revolve around the Games. No restaurants, no shopping, no visits to monuments (when you’re not working, of course). With the Electric Town there tempting you and you have to pretend you don’t hear their call.

Mobility at the time of the “bubble”

The real leap is mobility. Envoys can only move in authorized shuttles. Very efficient, it must be said. But there is only one way to maintain the bubble: all ferries, from any destination, only move to and from the main terminal. Which, translated, means that you cannot go, for example, from swimming to athletics directly, but you must always go through the center. Which is grotesque when, for example, there are two competition venues very close to each other and very far from the terminal. You always go down the road, like in Monopoly. And then, let’s add, little Tokyo is not: 2,194 square kilometers with almost 14 million inhabitants who work normally during the week. Traffic, so to speak, suffers.

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Mandatory swabs

Then there are tampons. It should be done every morning before 12 noon for the first three days and every fourth thereafter. On an in-between day, therefore, the way forward may be as follows: transport from the hotel to the center, from there another to the media center (for the buffer), then back to the center, from there another trip, let’s say , to the swimming stadium. Then back to the center and then to the athletics stadium, and then back to the terminal where, late at night, you catch the last shuttle to the hotel. Fortunately, even inside the buses there is prodigious Wi-Fi. Print rooms have gone mobile.

Accreditation to events

Finally, there is the problem of reserves. Every day before 3pm, you need to book the event you want to follow the next day. If you overdo it, stay in the media center. If you do it in time you will have to wait for the green light, which may not arrive due to too many requested events. Of course: places are less for distance and we reason ad nauseam. For competitions in which the demand is even higher, it is necessary to move by asking the Cones an additional ticket (which fortunately comes quickly).

All with the 14-day countdown started: when the gong sounds you can move freely. And there will not be the journalist who wants to take the photo under the giant Gundam but it will be the robot we grew up with, who will ask the journalist for a souvenir photo out of respect.