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by Jean-Pierre Kiekens, Oxford educated development economist, former lecturer at the University of Brussels, and sailor.

You will all agree; Sailing is an amazing sport. Yet it’s just a sport. With the growing coronavirus pandemic, what are the implications for our sport? And what are the implications for you, for your relatives, for your friends, for the sailing community?

Let’s discuss how to mitigate the risk of infection and propagation of the disease. And how to continue practicing our beloved sport. But first, let me emphasize that this pandemic will be global and incredibly deadly. There is no way around it.

As estimated by scientists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the number of infected people grows extremely rapidly: it doubles every 2.4 days. Infected people can be asymptomatic and contagious at the same time, this for several weeks. This is how the disease is rapidly spreading all over the world in a mostly stealthy way. The illustration above shows Locations with Confirmed COVID-19 Cases as of 4 p.m. ET Feb. 26, 2020. Source: cdc.gov.

The number of affected countries and territories is growing by the day – 48 at the time of writing this. Today’s official figures put the total number of cases at 82,166 and of deaths so far at 2,800, but the actual numbers may be much higher.

Within a year, leading scientists such as Harvard Professor Marc Lipsitch foresee that between 40 and 70% of the world population will be infected. Yes, billions of people may contract the virus within a year. Read on.

Title inspiration thanks to The The.