MARTIN MAZUR / AIPS – BUENOS AIRES: “We accept the reality so easily, maybe because we feel that nothing is real.” The quote of the great Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges explains, three decades after his death, the coronavirus crisis.
South America still appears relaxed about it and the measures taken are varied and unconnected.
It is summer, and temperatures certainly help. Heat does not kill the virus but at least contributes to isolate potential carriers.
The flu season has not yet started, so anyone with those symptoms, and who has recently travelled, should be isolated and tested. But what will happen three months from now, when cases are no longer imported and the flu season is at its peak?
Exactly three months from now, the strangest Copa America of all-time should be played . . . or will it be?
So far, the days in their headquarters are filled with meetings about potential crisis scenarios, but nothing specific has been decided. The Copa Libertadores has just started and faces a long year full of uncertainty.
A CONMEBOL statement said: “CONMEBOL will announce in detail each possible risk and study how it might affect its competitions. The confederation will agree with local and national governments, and with the associations and clubs, the needed measures to preserve the health of players, fans and the continental football family.”
There is no unity regarding coronavirus, not inside a country, not in the continent.
Last week, when River Plate manager Marcelo Gallardo had to travel to Ecuador for a Copa Libertadores fixture, he decided to stay, as he was running a fever. The risk was that he would be forced to remain in Quito for two weeks and not be able to return for the last game of the domestic tournament.
So far, Ecuador is the only country that has ordered two games to be played behind closed doors.
The latest reports show only 86 confirmed cases among the 430m people living in the 13 countries of South America. But 10 days ago, there were none. Anyone reading the news from Italy knows already know how fast things can escalate.
Argentinian Health Minister Ginés González García has now admitted that he thought “coronavirus was not going to come so early”, having first said that anyone with the symptoms should go to a hospital.