2021 prediction: The panic party is over


Vaccines are now rolling out to every corner in every state, a remarkable feat of science, ingenuity, and gritty supply chain management.

The panic-purveyors, and the pandemic they have fretted over, are taking one last spin around the dance floor, but this pandemic party is all-but over.

Within the week, hospitals across the country will discover that all the beds that were occupied this fall and winter are suddenly freed up, because fall and winter are the months when shoulder and knee replacements are done, and other elective surgeries are booked. It’s harvest season for hospitals and surgeons, as people try to squeeze all their medical costs into the present year, and avoid scheduling costly procedures for January, if they can help it.

Those beds were never overwhelmed by COVID patients; it was just a matter of competition with the seasonal crush of patients. The crush is over.

At the same time, at least 60 million Americans are already, in practical terms, immune to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Their bodies have played host to the virus with varying degrees of complications, but for now, the survivors of the virus are getting back to a normal life.

There are tens of millions of them, and probably even more undiagnosed who caught a whiff of the virus but never experienced so much as a sniffle.

Health experts from Dr. Anthony Fauci to Dr. Anne Zink are telling these folks they have to wear masks anyway, but this group of Americans aren’t really buying it. They’re done.

Another 2 million Americans have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, and they are building immunity to the virus, a process that will take up to five weeks.

In the two weeks since the rollout of the Pfizer vaccine, most of our front-line medical workers are well on their way to immunity.

Assume, for a moment, another 1 million will be infected and another 20 million will be vaccinated by mid-January. Now we’re up to roughly 83 million, or nearly 25 percent of the population of the United States, essentially immune.

Vaccines for about 30 percent of the population will be available by the end of February but the first milestone is the one to watch: In the first week of January, there will be more people vaccinated in the U.S. than will have been reported as positive for the virus in the past year.

Many of those people in the next segment of vaccinations will be elderly and medically compromised or disabled — the ones who would have the roughest time with the virus and could end up in the hospital. By March, these vulnerable Americans will have received the vaccine and be well on their way to freedom.

Eighty percent of the panic during the past year has been coming from about 20 percent of the population. I predict that in 2021, the 20 percent group will be the early adopters for the vaccine. Once they get their second dose, the noise will stop, along with a greatly reduced incentive to continue the panic amongst their peers.

And that will leave public health officials with a rapidly shrinking audience. Public health officials, who command the stage now, will find that people have moved on to birthday parties, funerals, weddings, and school.

What this column is about is human nature, and the way societies work. It’s the self-interest hardwired into all of us that drives this human behavior, especially among Americans. Thus, in a matter of weeks, the media won’t be able to scare people into getting the vaccine; they’ll either get it or they will shrug and take their chances.

Once the year-long fight-or-flight syndrome fades, the public will not only accept “getting back to normal,” they’ll insist on it. They want their adrenal glands back.

By then, the damage to the economy will be profound and irreversible for many. And by economy, we always mean the private sector — the government is not part of GDP, except for government spending. It does not produce wealth, but skims it from the nongovernmental public. That is a topic for another day.

There are too many pieces to the puzzle of 2021 to know with certainty how soon this calming-down will unfold, but the big conversation right now needs to shift to how to repair the damage to communities caused by the panicked politicians and their well-meaning public health advisers.

The true policy professionals will soon understand that there is just not enough evidence to keep our cities locked down any longer.


  1. The health organizations no longer recommend lockdowns, but misguided politicians are still issuing mandates and closures. There are spikes where there are strict rules and there are spikes where there are not. I have no problem wearing a mask if a business or other public indoor space requires them, but I cannot support shutting down restaurants and bars and allowing thousands of people a day into the big commercial enterprises. We can choose for ourselves where we feel safe and the science does not support the arbitrary closures. It’s past time for legal action if the Assembly continues to grant emergency powers to the temp mayor and she continues the lockdowns. Why the industry has failed to do so already is a mystery.

    • Misguided politicians? This has nothing to do with misguided but rather a purposeful abuse of power and a refusal to allow citizens their rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution! There is absolutely no reason for lockdowns or mandates. This so called pandemic is long over and the abuse by these leftist dictators should not be tolerated. Masks have already been proven by several studies to do nothing in preventing the virus from spreading and in fact exacerbates the infectiousness of the virus. There is plenty of data proving this but power hungry fools continue to propagate the lies!

  2. Are you kidding!!! I respectfully disagree. This unjustly panic, quarantine, lockdown, etc. has been really profitable for a very powerful few. You really think they’ll give that up so easily … I think not!

  3. Yes Suzanne, we’re seeing the beginning of the end. All those people that didn’t believe this was a true pandemic and now don’t think the shots or anything more than a placebo or about to run out of ammunition to keep their fight alive. Shots are beginning to show up in Florida and other states. They’re doing my county starting on January 3rd. So long as there are ignorant people who don’t believe in science or don’t believe the government isn’t out to get them, covid-19 will continue to hang around but become less significant. After all it took a while to wipe out polio too.

    • Greg, it is only ignorant people who do not believe the government is out to get them.
      But please, do continue invoking every corporate media talking point, and implicitly trusting authorities of every kind and at every level — it is highly amusing to those of us who do not still believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or the benevolence of government.

      • I trust the government. I believe in the rule of law. I think we have enough checks and balances in place to take care of just about everything. I don’t like the Democrats left us liberals commies whatever you want to call them I don’t even trust half of them. But I trust the system because it’s all we have.

        • Greg, Franklin once was asked a question about what form of Government the Constitutional Convention was crafting. His answer ” a Republic, if you can keep it”. I suggest that we have not kept it. The system has been badly corrupted Greg by enemies, both foreign and domestic.

        • Your first four words say absolutely everything there is to know about you. I believe in Reagan’s words, roughly and probably paraphrased; The scariest words in the English language are “I’m from the governmnent and I’m here to help”. God please deliver us from the government.

  4. I have to say, I’m enjoying these comments. Suzanne is right. People are done and because of Operation Warp Speed, soon there won’t be anything the government will be able to do or say to keep people in a state of fear.

  5. Evidence be damned.

    The lockdowns have nothing to do with public health and everything to do with control of the sheep/people.

    The left will never willingly let go of this power they’ve grabbed.

  6. A couple months ago I had the worst sore throat and sniffles I’ve ever had in my 75 years … lasted two days or so. If that was Covid, then I’m underwhelmed.

      • Nonsense Greg Don Young & many, many others over 75 got Covid & lived.
        I am 66 & was under the weather & weak for 5 days & now my coffee tastes funny ….that was my Covid.

      • Are you being paid to be a shill for the Democrat and Communist Chinese line? In reality, COVID-19 is itself a miracle cure because it has virtually eliminated all other causes of death from natural causes. Despite the panic and draconian measures, the total death toll for the anno horribilis, 2020, seems to be a couple hundred thousand less than than the death toll from natural causes in 2019. It was all a psy ops by the Communist Chinese and their Democrat running dogs.

        Funny how the most catastrophic stories are almost entirely in large, Democrat-run states and cities. When Democrat Governors out of idiocy or malice put people with corona virus in nursing homes full of old people with multiple comorbidities, many of them die, but that begs the question of whether they would have died from any other SARS virus such as our annual influenzas. Since the government immediately stepped in to subsidize COVID treatment, everybody and his dog that showed up at a hospital ER had COVID. And ask yourself, who other than the young, poor, and illegal show up at an ER unless they have to be carried there? Since they have to treat the young, poor, and illegal and normally don’t get paid, at least not directly, for it, everybody who showed up had CV-19 and the hospitals got paid. And, no I’m not besmirching the ER Docs, but I will besmirch the million bucks a year hospital administrator that orders the twenty-something, $15/hr. billing clerk to code everything as CV-19.

        If COVID were anything like the threat to otherwise healthy people that the Democrats, the Deep State, which includes NIH and CDC, and their media propaganda arm made it out to be, there would have been mass casualties among retail workers, first responders, and medical personnel as well as among prison inmates. Of course, we know that rioting leftists in groups of thousands are immune to the ChiCom virus.

        The stupid masks and especially the neck gaiters and handkerchiefs tied over your face like a wild west outlaw are about as effective as putting a cyclone fence around your yard to keep mosquitos out. I wore them because I knew the MOA had their gestapo out to torture merchants if they didn’t require them, but I got some red ones that said Trump, MAGA, or Trump-Pence so the Karens still had something to be apoplectic about. The Democrats might as well have issued their own masks with Biden-Harris on them because all the damned things were was a bumper sticker for the people who put us under house arrest , destroyed our economy, and took away millions of people’s livelihood. It would have been more honest if they had shoved us into ghettos and made us all wear some sort of badge on our clothing.

        I’m old enough that I’m not going to be troubled to learn Mandarin, but I will encourage my grandkids to. I endured eight years of Comrade Obama, I can endure a few years of whomever is going to actually govern since Senile Joe certainly can’t. We can all just look forward to a bright future under enlightened communist rule.

  7. I hope you are right, Suzanne. But I pray that the new, “more contagious” version of the virus doesn’t start the over-reaching, power hungry politicians all over again. And I totally agree with Mayor Dan’s comments.

  8. I hope the prediction is true but fear that it will not easily come to pass. Through various levels of government, the Left has found a way to control lives and punish those that disagree. At the federal level, we have found that it is so very easy to create and hand out “money” with no connection to production or work. That genie is not going back in the bottle. Do any of our judges have the intellectual honesty to say that evidence justifying suspension of Constitutional rights is lacking? In Alaska, the answer is “none”. It will never be “safe” enough for those that want to hold on to power. Getting back to something like normal will be a long and bumpy ride. I intend to make my share of noise to make sure that we get there.

  9. Certain individuals in the Assembly and this un-elected mayor most certainly see the exact same medical and scientific data/facts as all of us. Additionally, my 12 year old son even see’s and understands that these mandates and lockdowns are ” stupid and bad for others “….

    What we have going on is willful and nefarious. A selected few have been engaging in a Machiavellian manner for specific self-serving interests, and those interests clearly are not in the best interest of businesses, human lives or the Anchorage community as a whole. There will be great accountability. They just don’t know it yet. Let them take a little more rope and enjoy the ego and power trips a little bit longer at the expense of peoples lives and our economy.

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