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Big city marathons are turning out to be metaphorical conduits of their respective governments and how they handle managing the Covid crisis and protecting their people from the pandemic. Let’s see how this turns out.

The Beijing Marathon is cancelled, NY will continue

Beijing Marathon organisers cancelled next weekend’s race to help prevent the spread of the Covid virus, which apparently continues to cause issues in the Chinese city. Last weekend the Wuhan Marathon was also cancelled.

This is the second straight year the events have been affected by the pandemic.

However, according to Worldometers.com, of the total 247,332,199 reported cases globally since the pandemic was declared, China claims to have just 97,151, however, has 71 new cases with a high ratio of death overall at 4,636. Their total case count is ranked as 113 of 223 countries. This is a bold claim for a nation with a population of nearly 1.5 billion people and from where the virus originated.

Apparently, the Delta variant has shown up in China, heading a potential fourth wave.

China’s official state news agency Xinhua, reported as recently as Oct. 6 that the mass competition is only open to permanent residents of the Chinese capital aged at least 20, and they will be required to stay in Beijing for 21 days before the event is held on October 31. This is all part of Covid measures.

Participants are also required to submit their health status daily over the three weeks, provide negative test documentation within 72 hours of the race and possess vaccination certification. This is intense Covid management.

Wild west vs a strict east?

Meanwhile, the New York City Marathon is planning to go ahead as planned on Sunday, Nov. 7. It will be the sixth Marathon Majors event in six weeks amongst several other marathons in large American and European cities. Tokyo, one of the sixth Majors has been postponed.

Greater New York City holds a population of 20.3 million people. Greater Beijing is only marginally larger at 20.8 million.

The U.S.A. leads all countries in the number of total cases reported at 46,800,631. The state of New York has had the fourth most cases in the country at 2,635,539. The marathon is expected to host 33,000 participants.

Greater London also with a population of around 20-million people recently held its annual marathon and attracted 40,000 participants and another estimated 40,000 ran virtually. The total case count in the UK is the fourth most of the world at 9,057,629.

Clearly, for better or for worse, the two countries have opposing views on virus management and safety.

The question therefore is, is it better to allow some level of herd immunity to protect the population or is it better to protect strictly by isolation and vaccination? Only time will tell.