There might be a silver lining to the 49ers’ 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.
The lack of a celebratory parade in San Francisco could have saved lives.
In what would have originally taken place in downtown San Francisco, the parade, an extremely large mass gathering of people, would have gone against the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.
Mind you, this would have occured around early February, where such bans on mass gatherings weren’t implemented quite yet, but Dr. Bob Wachter, chairman of the UCSF department of medicine told the Wall Street Journal it could have been a disaster.
“It may go down in the annals as being a brutal sports loss, but one that may have saved lives,” he said.
The celebration did take place in Kansas City, but it was not as much of a coronavirus hot spot as the Bay Area.
“It would not have taken much spread in early February for the thing to have gotten way out of hand,” Wachter said. “That would’ve been enough to light the fire.”
UCSF Professor of Medicine Niraj Sehgal describes how the #49ers losing in Super Bowl LIV might have saved lives during coronavirus outbreak:
"Had the 49ers won and there were parades and parties at that time, that may have had impact that I haven't seen actually described." pic.twitter.com/J5AiR28Mw6— Sam Hustis (@SamHustis) April 13, 2020
According to NBC Bay Area, officials say the San Francisco area was one of the first U.S. areas where the virus was transmitted via community spread, with the first case reported in Santa Clara County on Jan. 31.
Studies have found people infected with the coronavirus typically show symptoms anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure. According to the Mayo Clinic, data has shown the spread of the virus is caused by respiratory droplets when someone talks, sneezes or coughs and if you're within six feet of one another.
No one can say for certain what would have happened, but there would have been hundreds of thousands of fans blanketing the crowded streets of San Francisco in early February had the 49ers held on to win. The same streets that now grow eerily quiet amid the California coronavirus lockdown.
There were more than 5,000 reported cases of the virus in the Bay Area as of April 12, according to NBC Bay Area.