“It may go down in the annals as being a brutal sports loss,” Dr. Bob Wachter, the chair of the University of California San Francisco's Department of Medicine, told the Wall Street Journal, “but one that may have saved lives.”
The 49ers had a 10 point lead with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, but Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs ended up mounting a comeback to win Super Bowl in Miami. The loss ended any plans of a celebration parade in San Francisco, which could have led to a major outbreak.
Santa Clara County has just two reported cases on Super Bowl Sunday, but a person-to-person transmission had taken place in neighboring San Benito Country. Kansas City, meanwhile, didn't report its first case until March 18. Experts say the virus spreads through droplets released by infected people through coughing and exhaling. The risk for contamination increases by sharing the same air space with someone for a prolonged period of time. Millions of fans cheering, hugging and congregating in major streets could have accelerated the spread of the illness and who knows how out of hand it could have gotten.
The Wall Street Journal also notes that Oakland hosted crowds between 500,000 to 1.5 million fans for the Golden State Warriors' three championship parades. There have been at least 24,000 reported cases of the coronavirus in California. As of Tuesday, 725 people have died.
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