The Kansas City Chiefs rallied from a fourth quarter deficit in order to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. But the 49ers ' crushing loss may have been a blessing in disguise for the California team. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, it is possible that the 49ers losing the Super Bowl prevented the spread of the coronavirus and saved countless lives.
"It may go down in the annals as being a brutal sports loss, but one that may have saved lives," University of California San Francisco Department of Medicine chair Dr. Bob Wachter told the newspaper.
The 49ers would've held a Super Bowl parade in downtown San Francisco if they won the Super Bowl, and that could've helped spread the coronavirus. At the time of the game, Santa Clara County had just two reported positive cases of the COVID-19 virus. On the other hand, Kansas City didn't report its first positive case until March 18.
Championship parades generally attract a few million fans to specific locations. The coronavirus can be spread through coughing and breathing in the direction of another person -- which is why people are being asked to wear masks when they are out in public for essential tasks such as going to work or the grocery store. A huge celebration in a heavily populated state such as California could've expedited the spread of the respiratory disease.
Wachter called the 49ers' loss "one of the lucky breaks that spared us from a much worse fate."
The state of California has been under a stay-at-home order since March 19 and there have been 24,000 positive cases with 725 deaths related to COVID-19. While losing Super Bowl LIV in that fashion was heartbreaking for San Francisco fans, it may have been for the best.