Every aspect of everyday life across the globe is in unchartered territory so right now it's nothing special for the Olympic movement to be faced with the same challenge.
But for sure it is something it has never had to confront before.
For an organisation that has faced plenty of challenges in its 120+ years - and survived all of them - the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Games will be the most complex for the International Olympic Committee.
As unpalatable as it may have been, cancelling the summer Olympics of 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to the world wars was relatively easy and with few consequences.
Finding a solution for 2021 will not require the diplomatic expertise that explained away the staging of the 1936 Games in Berlin during the rise of Nazism, that which handled the conundrum of the two Chinas nor that which eventually kept South Africa away from participation from 1964 to 1992.
Nor will it necessitate an acceptance of the fallout from the boycotts of the 1976, 1980 and 1984 summer editions. Nor the fortitude that saw the Games go on after the Munich athlete killings in 1972 or the bombings in Atlanta in 1996.
The 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium went ahead after the global Spanish flu and by the time those Games got underway the contagion had passed, the staging more affected by the decision not to invite those nations that had instigated or been defeated in the Great War.
Making Tokyo 2020 #2 possible will be much more about two things - money and logistics.
Now that the call has finally been made, there should be no impatience about the time it will take to finalise dates.
IOC Co-ordination Commission chair - Australia's Olympic boss John Coates estimates that the process will take about four weeks and might end up with a date between Wimbledon and the US Open.
That's not because tennis is a major Olympic sport - much more so because it reflects the challenges of finding a fortnight that suits the major television broadcasters.
The key player is the American network NBC. It is in the midst of a 20-year partnership with the IOC as the US rights holder worth $US12billion.
It is reported that in anticipation of the Tokyo Games this year, NBC had already recouped from telecast sponsors in excess of $US1billion for this edition alone.
NBC - as always - will want to be heard. This will be one of the few key aspects that the IOC will have to manage itself.
For much of the rest it's primarily the task of the Japanese hosts.
They had already made plans to re-purpose the Athletes Village after the original dates of this year's Paralympics. All of that will have to be re-negotiated and delayed by a year or more.
Then there is the not-so-small matter of re-booking all venues required for competition and other purposes like accreditation, uniforming and media centres.
While some were directly under the construction and management control of the organisers, this was not universal. In accordance with sound legacy principles there will have been existing plans for their use a year on from the original dates.
Bookings for just about every hotel bed in Tokyo during the Games period would have been under some form of centrally-controlled reserve virtually from the date Tokyo won the bid in September 2013 - probably even before.
By contrast not a single bed would have been booked by the organisers in July or August next year. While the athletes and team officials stay in their purpose-built village every other Games participant, service provider or travelling spectator needs to be accommodated elsewhere.
It was already close to impossible to find a bed in 2020. Just how the beds will be extricated in 2021 from those who already have a goodly proportion of it reserved will be a massive work in its own right.
Not to be forgotten are the tickets sold, the travel plans made and the suppliers already contracted. It goes on and on.
It's often observed by those organising major events that it's much easier to deal with totalitarian governments - it's simpler for them to make things happen if needs be.
On this occasion the IOC is fortunate - for if there is a liberal democracy that can solve the impossible, it's probably Japan.