The 49ers were up 10 points in the 4th quarter of Super Bowl 54 until Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs stormed back captured the Lombardi trophy. Experts are saying that could have been the best thing that happened to San Francisco that night.
The city was one of the first hot spots for Coronavirus when it touched down in the United States, and while Andy Reid and the Chiefs made their comeback, the virus was starting to spread in the Bay Area.
Had the 49ers hung on to their lead and captured the title, a parade of millions would have been held in celebration in the streets of San Fran the following week, quite possibly the perfect opportunity for COVID-19 to spread and infect thousands, overwhelming the Bay Area hospital system, and eventually making its way outward to different regions of the country.
“It may go down in the annals as being a brutal sports loss, but one that may have saved lives,” Dr. Bob Wachter, the chair of University of California San Francisco’s department of medicine, told the Wall Street Journal.
“It is certainly hard to imagine a more high-risk situation,” said Dr. Niraj Sehgal, the leader of UCSF’s Covid-19 command center.
The city had 957 confirmed cases and 15 fatalities.