Doctors Say Japan Could Be A Dangerous Place to Run in The Day Due to Heat
Global warming is no longer a philosophical threat, no longer a future threat, no longer a threat at all. It’s our reality. —Bill McKibben
News reports and scientific research have shown that climate change is real. Yet, most of us brush aside the idea of going green because it does not directly affect us. Greenhouse gasses are clearly involved in most of the climate changes as the climate becomes hotter because greenhouse gases are trapping heat in the lower atmosphere.
On 31st October 2018, a group of Japanese Doctors tried to convince the Olympic organisers to commence the Tokyo 2020 marathon in the wee hours of the morning, implementing that failure to oblige may have dangerous consequences. This came to the doctors' attention, particularly after Tokyo sweltered through a record heat wave this year.
It has been reported that more than a dozen have died in Tokyo due to unprecedented stretches of unrelenting heat under the record-breaking temperature. One casualty, in particular, was a six-year-old elementary boy who was having an outdoor class at his elementary school. Not to mention, thousands of people from all age groups have also received hospital treatment.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 Marathon organisers have acknowledged the concerns and took swift actions by moving the marathon start time to 6:30 a.m., with the competitive walking category starting even earlier. Despite these actions taken, both the Japan and Tokyo Medical Associations claimed that it was not enough as the majority of the course would still be under these dangerous heat levels.
Senior Official with the Japan Medical Association, Kimiyuki Nagashima mentioned:
We are seriously concerned about it. If the risk of heatstroke is high for not only athletes but also staff members and the audience, there will be a rising demand for emergency services, which will have a serious impact on medical institutions and regular patients.
Supporting his claim, President of the Tokyo Medical Association, Haruo Ozaki added:
We wouldn't have visited the organising committee if we'd thought it was only slightly worrying, we fear the current plan could lead to many deaths.
It is said that the presidents of both groups met with the head of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to press the issue and call for the start time to be moved to 5:30 a.m. instead.
Participants are not the only ones at risk, officials, volunteers and even the spectators are included. Hundreds of people fall victim to the heat every year across Japan every year and that rise in demand for emergency medical treatment stresses out the local hospitals and ambulance services.
Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike voiced out:
Taking countermeasures against the heat is one of the major pillars for the success of the 2020 Olympics.
Japan is not the only country that is being affected by extreme heat wave. Early this year, the Ultraviolet (UV) radiation index of 15 was recorded in Singapore which is at an extreme dangerous level.
The UV index ranges from 0 to 11+ and is grouped into various exposure categories indicating the potential for harmful effects to the skin and eyes
Imagine, temperature rising is already causing the change of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic marathon, but what about the upcoming Tokyo Marathon 2019? Training under the heat of the summer during the day causes more harm than good. Therefore, this situation is a statement that climate change is a real concern.