When the Summer Olympics start two weeks from now in Tokyo, the stands will be empty because Japan’s Prime Minister has announced yet another state of emergency due to COVID-19. Fans won’t be able to attend events, bars and restaurants won’t be allowed to sell alcohol, and most workers have been told to stay home.

I can’t imagine the chaos such an announcement at this late date is creating for people who wanted to see the Olympics in person. They probably planned to go last year, then had to scramble to cancel their flights, hotels, and other plans when the Games were postponed until this summer. Now, they have to do it all over again. Or, if they go to Tokyo, find themselves with worthless tickets and a lot of empty hours to spend wandering around like Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray in “Lost In Translation.”

Then there’s the massive financial loss every Olympics host city faces, compounded this time by a lot of tourists not being in Tokyo after undoing their travel plans, plus the loss of concession revenue at the empty stadia and arenas. By the way, Japan build eight new venues just for these Games, and while they’ll no doubt look good on television, the impression will be severely diminished with zero rear ends in the seats.

I could go off on a rant here about the severely corrupt IOC or why cities should stop bidding to host any Olympics at the expense of their citizenry. But I’ll leave those arguments dormant for now. Instead, I’ll pose a riddle. Which is greater: a) the number of hours athletes have spent training for the Tokyo Olympics; or b) the number of hours hopeful attendees will spend waiting on hold while trying to get answers about cancellations and refunds from airlines and hotel companies?