The San Francisco 49ers’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl LIV could have prevented a more substantial loss.
San Francisco fell in Kansas City on February 2 – the same day that Bay Area doctors were treating the region’s first COVID-19 cases, Andrew Beaton and Ben Cohen of The Wall Street Journal report.
If San Francisco had won the Lombardi Trophy and hosted a championship parade a few days later, it could have caused a massive spread of the coronavirus.
“It may be written down as a brutal sports loss, but one that could have saved lives,” said Dr. Bob Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.
“It is certainly difficult to imagine a higher risk situation,” added Dr. Niraj Sehgal, who heads the UCSF COVID-19 command center.
This command center had several patients the morning after Super Bowl LIV.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs held their championship parade on February 5, but the city of Kansas City did not report its first COVID-19 case until March 18.
“Some of them were lucky breaks, and it could be one of the lucky breaks that saved us from a much worse fate,” said Wachter.