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Super Bowl Celebrations Catalyst For Possible Spike In COVID-19 Cases

Last night the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. While the game was entertaining; a needed distraction from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebrations before and after the event are concerning. The lack of proper COVID-19 safeguards could make the Super Bowl and the events surrounding it a catalyst for an enormous spike in COVID-19 cases.

The state of Florida has lax COVID-19 safety requirements for various industries. This can be seen in videos taken the night before the Superbowl from Ybor City. A popular area with many bars was filled with partygoers, all seen not wearing masks or practicing social distancing. The few that were wearing masks are seen wearing them around their neck, providing zero protection.

A situation like this, one with lots of people in close proximately adhering to no COVID-19 safety guidance is a perfect catalyst for potential mass transmission.

At the actual Super Bowl, many COVID-19 safety measures were put in place. Masks were mandatory and social distancing was enforced. The safety of the players and fans was paramount and measures were continuously implemented. 

Sadly, the same cannot be said to parties before and after the Superbowl. Concerts by Migos, Steve Aoki and 50 Cent all occurred before or after the Superbowl with little to no mask wearing or social distancing. As COVID-19 is an incredibly contagious virus, all of these events were potential superspread events. Sadly it would not be surprising to see a dramatic spike in positive COVID-19 rates in the upcoming two weeks as a result of these events.

In addition, mayor of Tampa Bay Jane Castor has said a public celebration will take place in honor of the Bucs winning the Super Bowl. She said that a public celebration was necessary and that certain COVID-19 safety precautions will be in place. She did not state what those would be yet. It is alarming that any public celebration would be held, as it can act as a catalyst for mass spread of the virus. Plus with large numbers of people in a public gathering, safety precautions are hard to enforce.

It is unknown how widespread Super Bowl parties were throughout North America. With COVID-19 ordinances in place in various areas, we hope that people respected local rules in accordance to gatherings. Disregard for these safety measures may result in a spike in COVID-19 infections.

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