The Tokyo Olympics are taking some pretty extreme measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among athletes. On Sunday, July 19, TMZ reported that officials have set up cardboard beds for the athletes to sleep on, which are designed to break if anyone tries to have sex on them. The hope is reportedly to prevent sexual encounters in the notorious Olympic village and this cut down significantly on the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
Photos of the cardboard beds began appearing on Twitter on Friday, July 16, thanks to Olympic runner Paul Chelimo. He shared one photo of an unfolded cardboard structure along with one where the beds were folded, made up with "Tokyo 2020" sheets and positioned in sleeping quarters. Chelimo, at least, found the beds funny, writing: "I see no problem for distance runners, even 4 of us can do" with a laughing emoji. He added: "I can't fly business Polaris then sleep on a carton box! Now economy is very perfecto!"
I can’t fly business polaris then sleep on a carton box😂
Now economy is very perfecto!— Paul Chelimo🇺🇸🥈🥉 (@Paulchelimo) July 17, 2021
TMZ seemed to confirm that the beds were not a joke cooked up by Chelimo or anyone else competing in the games. The beds were reportedly designed by a company called Airweave, and they're actually more complicated than they appear. They have some options for adjustment and configuration to specific individuals, they are recyclable, and it was cheap to manufacture 18,000 of them.
As for the theory that they are meant to dissuade athletes from having sex, the International Olympic Committee has not confirmed or denied it. However, the Olympics are a notoriously promiscuous time for the athletes, who are gathered in one small place for an extended period of time, full of nerves and apprehension. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they're generally in the best shape of their lives.
At this point I will have to start practicing how to sleep on the floor; cause If my bed collapses and I have no training on sleeping on the floor i’m done😂
More added stress heading into Tokyo!— Paul Chelimo🇺🇸🥈🥉 (@Paulchelimo) July 17, 2021
It's no surprise that sex is an extremely high-risk activity for spreading COVID-19. The virus is present in saliva and other bodily fluid, and can also be passed via particles in the breath. Early on, the CDC and many state-run public health organizations issued warnings about sexual contact during the pandemic, which immediately spawned whole genres of memes. An infographic from NYC.gov went viral for its very specific advice on keeping sex safe.
The Tokyo Olympics begin on Friday, July 23 and run through Sunday, Aug. 8, with live coverage on most major news networks. Stay tuned for updates on the games and the efforts to keep the Olympic village safe during the pandemic.