49ers’ Super Bowl Loss May Have Saved Lives
When the 49ers blew a ten point and eventually lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV on February 2nd, the aftermath was full of disappointment and questions. In the moment just getting there wasn’t enough.
But just weeks later as a global pandemic has shaken the world and the Super Bowl feels like it was played 100 years ago, a silver lining has emerged.
According to Bob Wachter, Chair of the UCSF Department of Medicine, the 49ers’ loss could have helped mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
10/ @nirajsehgal, our command center lead, offered cool tidbit re: 1 more piece of luck (59m on video). Command center launched 2/2, SuperBowl Sun, date of 49ers’ heartbreaking loss. Had they won, would’ve been big parade, may have led to thousands of cases. (Think Mardi Gras.)— Bob Wachter (@Bob_Wachter) April 10, 2020
As Wachter points out, the 49ers would have had a victory parade a few days later that would have clustered perhaps hundreds of thousands of people at a time when coronavirus was unquestionably starting to spread in the region. Santa Clara County, an early epicenter, had confirmed cases a week before the Super Bowl. Given the 49ers’ home of Santa Clara, a parade could have been held near the county in neighboring San Jose or in San Francisco with a more concentrated population.
UCSF erected its coronavirus command center on Super Bowl Sunday while the U.S. government authorized use of emergency coronavirus tests on February 4th. As we now know, the virus can asymptomatic for up to two weeks making countless people near Santa Clara at that time a terrifying notion.
Patrick Mahomes really is a superhero.