Medical Experts Say 49ers' Super Bowl Loss Might Have Saved Lives

Dan Raley

Two months after the 49ers lost Super Bowl LIV, some in San Francisco are considering it a big win.

That's because a victory in the iconic football game on February 2nd in Miami would have brought a huge celebration across the Bay Area amid the first reports of novel coronavirus descending on the city. That could have been disastrous.

The end result -- a 30-21 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs -- might have prevented the spread of the highly contagious disease and thousands of deaths, according to medical researchers in the city. 

"It is certainly hard to imagine a more high-risk situation," Dr. Niraj Sehgal, a University of California-San Francisco COVID-19 expert, told the Wall Street Journal. "It's a date that I will never forget because the Super Bowl Sunday was actually the night that we stood up formally our command center.

"And the reason for that is another -- again, it's funny to call it a gift -- the gift that we had two of the first patients in the country that required hospitalization."

Sehgai described a husband and wife who were terrified when they were treated. Within days, he and his colleagues were considered experts in advance of nearly everyone else. 

Former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, ex-Washington Husky wide receiver Dante Pettis and the rest of those playing for the 49ers in that game might find great solace in the outcome now. 

San Francisco actually took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter before the Chiefs mounted a huge rally that went unanswered. 

Instead of people flocking to the downtown area and holding a celebration long into the night, and possibly spreading the virus around, disappointed fans stayed home.

Meantime, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the virus might have spread to people who attended the game in his state, a fearful thought.