The cost of celebrating sports amid a pandemic

Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win over the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl 55 on February 6. Fans gathered in the streets to celebrate the historical win. Even though Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl, the city might see a spike in Covid-19 cases from the game.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Tampa mayor Jane Castro said, “It is a little frustrating because we have worked so hard. At this point in dealing with Covid-19, there is a level of frustration when you see that because it can be passed on to those individuals who are least likely to recover safely from it.”

The game itself featured a reduced capacity crowd of 24,835, which included 7,500 vaccinated health-care workers. However, after the game, fans filled the streets to celebrate. I’m sure the business benefited from the fans celebrating at the bars but at what cost.

Sports-related celebrations have been blamed for at least one spike in coronavirus infections. Last fall, according to the Washington Post, officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health told USA Today it was “highly likely” that watch parties and a gathering outside the Staples Center celebrating the Lakers’ victory in the NBA Finals contributed to a rise in cases.

It seems like in times like this it may be impossible to get people not to gather, especially when sports are involved. An event like the super bowl brings in people from across the country.

Is there a safe way to have an event like this during the pandemic? I love being able to watch sports at a crazy time like this, but on the other hand, events like this can erase the progress of trying to move forward with ending this pandemic.

I don’t know what the future holds. One may assume if we carry on with sports like everything is normal it may come at a heavy price.