Oh, those grumpy fools who were constantly whining for most of 2020 for it to end because of the COVID-19 pandemic! What were they thinking, exactly, that 2021 was going to be better? Did they not realize that we would start the year in the middle of Wave 2 that was going to be worse than Wave 1? Or Wave 3, technically, if you were looking at the United States’ numbers. Did they not realize the days would be shorter and darker than when the pandemic really started in March, 2020? Did they not realize the vaccine wouldn’t be out that quickly in terms of everyone wanting one getting it? I don’t know what those people were thinking. I’m an optimistic realist, and that person didn’t see anything close to warranting that optimism. But let’s put that aside and take a good reality check right now.
Do you think there will be more COVID-19 deaths in 2021 than in 2020?
If you haven’t answered all the polls you would care to answer, please go back and answer what you would care to before reading on. I don’t want my thinking to pollute your opinion, rightly or wrongly.
From my sense of the numbers, I think there will be more deaths from COVID-19 in 2021 than in 2020 for all the regions polled! This is despite the fact we have a couple of vaccines already in deployment as we started the year. Why? Because I don’t think all the reasons below are going to slow the “out of control train” numbers of 2021 enough to have the final number of deaths for the year go below that in 2020:
- There was basically 3 months of “nothing” for COVID-19 deaths in January to March, 2020, when compared to each day starting in 2021, never mind the first months of 2021. With the vaccine roll out plans for regions hardest hit by COVID-19 aiming to hit herd immunity by September, some may think that we’ll have the same death rate for the final three months of 2021 as the first three months in 2020, so that’s no advantage for 2021 to have more deaths. However, I highly doubt we’ll be that close to negligible number of deaths for the last three months of 2021 that they will be offset by the first three months of 2020. I don’t think the vaccine will be as fully rolled out as hoped by the end of September, 2021, to bring death totals down to pre-pandemic levels between January to March of 2020. Deficit for 2020 for sure here!
- Of the 9 months remaining for comparison, people are dying at record rates to start 2021, and it’s not looking to calm down any time soon, even as vaccination is happening. It’s not happening nearly quickly enough, and we have new strains that spread even more easily, possibly being more deadly. I don’t think we’ll need new vaccines for those, but even going on that, there’ll be many, many more deaths before enough people get vaccinated for herd immunity equivalent. As of now, we won’t have any months in 2020 comparable to at least January, for numbers so the death count in 2020 is already lower by comparison. At some point, deaths from COVID-19 in 2021 will go below 2020’s highest totals, but I don’t think the drop will be fast, soon, and/or steep enough to cause the total in 2021 to end up below that of 2020. Again, deficit for 2020.
- As for specific regions polled, I don’t think the countries doing well to curb COVID-19 deaths will offset those doing poorly on their respective continents. Those countries doing well also did well in 2020, so it’s not like they’re contributing much to their regions in terms of change in totals. They’re basically “neutral” numerically, in not influencing the totals much one way or the other.
I do have COVID-19 death stats from 2020, but I’m not going to go into them. That’d get quite complicated, and messy given all the regional analyses required. Sadly, I don’t think it’s going to be that close, mathematically, to have to rely on the 2020 numbers to convince myself.
We’ll only know for sure by the end of 2021, though, so look for a post in early January of 2022 where I will revisit this issue and see how good or bad my predictions were, as well as those who voted. For the latter reason, I hope you had voted, and will encourage others you know to do so as well, if for no reason other than to take a reality check for how much “better” they think 2021 will be in terms of COVID-19. Not to be too pessimistic, but I have a bad feeling there’ll be people longing for 2020 not too long into 2021!
I just hope I’ll be very wrong there!