World No. 1 Rory McIlroy is leading the golf world’s concern for the Coronavirus and its possible impact on the 2020 Olympic Games.
Unlike the mosquito-driven Zika virus that saw McIlroy and many others choosing not to travel to the 2016 Rio Olympics, it is human beings unsuspectingly driving the spread of the Coronavirus and causing widespread fear and concern across the world.
News outlets are stating that over 93,000 people have tested positive for the virus with 80,000 of those in China while it’s now said that more than 3,000 people have died.
Unlike the Zika virus when McIlroy was among many who made the personal decision not to travel to Brazil, this newest virus is so widespread that it will be the World Health Organisation (WHO) advising the Tokyo Olympic Games organising body if the Games of the 32nd Olympiad will go ahead.
“We had the concern four years ago at the Rio Olympics over the Zika virus but then that was being carried by mosquitoes but this Coronavirus is being passed by humans and that makes it even more worrying,” said McIlroy who will be representing Ireland.
“So, it’s completely different and I know that the tours and Tokyo Olympic Games officials will be right on top of the concerns all OLympians heading to Japan will have.
“If so, it could mean the decision will be out of our hands but all we can continue to do is monitor the situation.”
Marc Leishman is the top-ranked Australian and like McIlroy, he chose not to travel to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“I have thought about the Coronavirus and you just have to take all measures so you don’t contract it,” he said.
“You could live your life taking all sorts of measures to avoid it but then you don’t want to live like that, but then hopefully no-one gets the virus.
“It is pretty scary what is happening at the moment but then I also haven’t thought ahead about qualifying for the Olympics so hopefully all will be okay that we can head to Japan.”
Double Major winning Zach Johnson said: “I do have friends who are doctors, so I am paying a lot of attention and you would be foolish not to.
“Though if I am honest, I would be more naive than anything and fears for the virus has not got me worked-up at the moment, however I am always pretty conservative so I may take that approach.
“The thing is if the airlines do shut down, I can drive to tournaments but then the big question, and if the virus gets worse, we may not be competing.”