Bring (responsible) public back to sports

Massed crowds are being spotted at the Tour de France’s finishes, but sports and shows need to be reopened to the public. It’s clear by now: responsibility is the only real antidote to the virus, the lack thereof is the real trouble

A look the photo of Tour de France’s stage 3 finish in Sisteron speaks for itself: the following days are sure to confirm the situation or even increase the effect.

Just over the barrier, a mass of people enjoying the sprint. Like nothing had happened: ever heard of COVID and social distancing?

And still, in France the pandemic figures are rising faster than in Italy, and similar to the days, back in March, when the French sports minister spoke about a Tour de France “behind closed doors”. Nobody has yet managed to explain how exactly a street, a square, a sidewalk could be locked, affecting the people’s way out of their own home. Most probably, because it’s impossible to.

For the common good and complying with the necessary precaution, we have endured months of denials and discussions, rules and protocols that sometimes seemed to lose sight of the main principle: right rules are good as far as it’s possible to apply them. Otherwise, they become pointless.

Some people think that outdoor sport in open spaces, on the road, should not have resumed. Instead, cycling has restarted, and in spite of some struggles, it is not certainly causing troubles the way night club lovers and disco maniacs are doing all around Europe and beyond.

If cycling moves forward, so should the other sports. And may the public return to the events, even more in venues where their number and behaviour can be controlled – like in-stadium and arenas.

As virologists keep saying – often without much avail – it’s not about waiting for the virus to disappear, but rather to learn how to live with it. It’s a wiser approach than waving from one extreme to the other, locked in first and then strolling in the movida the minute after.

Our life – not only the show – must go on, trying to make it as normal as responsibly possible, avoiding throwing entire business branches into irreversible crisis for no reason. Concerts, cinemas, theatres should return to life too, even if for fewer people. There’s no point in waiting any longer.

As long as we will wear a mask on our face, nothing will be like before. Nevertheless, depriving people of their passion won’t make them feel any better: as usual, it will be people’s education and responsibility to make the difference. Those who lack them, will do damage in any case. We must live with that, too.

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