Charles Gutjahr

Melbourne, Australia

September 2021

Charles Gutjahr

A short opinion

Pandemic predictions for 2022

I've mainly avoided commenting on the pandemic because I don't think I'm suitable qualified (nor are you, probably) but I have made predictions, kept to myself, that have sometimes proved right and sometimes completely wrong. They kept changing too, so I can't remember for sure exactly what I thought a year ago about how things would pan out. I should have written them down at the time!

Thus I present my predictions for Australia, mainly for my own reference. Let's come back in a year and see if I was right.

  • 70%, 80%, these numbers are largely irrelevant. What matters for opening up is whether our hospital system is coping. If it isn't coping then politicians will fudge things and keep restrictions — probably while denying the plan has changed.

  • Queensland's luck will run out, with a big outbreak because COVID gets into a high risk group instead of the usual middle-class cluster in people who have sick leave and can work from home and so are able eliminate the outbreak.

  • Vaccination will be effectively mandatory, though not technically mandatory. Dining out, drinking, travelling, and much more will require you to be vaccinated... and Australians will be overwhelmingly in favour of that.

  • Vaccination 'passports' on mobile phones for the above will be easily faked, causing governments (probably state governments) to scramble to implement a more secure system which actually works.

  • But it won't matter too much because Australia will blow right past 70%, 80% vaccination well into 90% to end up as one of the most-vaccinated countries on Earth... though with some minority groups being months behind everyone else.

  • AstraZenica's image will continue to improve (longer lasting vaccine?) though the rebranding to Vaxzevria won't make a difference and people will still call it AZ.

  • International travel will open up again, then suddenly we'll freak out about some new variant and close borders to an obscure country (probably in Africa) while letting in people from the USA and UK who have exactly the same variant... thus demonstrating we learned nothing from doing that in March 2020.

  • 2022 will be much closer to 'normal' but will not be completely normal until we have effective therapeutics (drugs to treat you if you get sick from COVID). Therapeutics will start to become more effective and more available next year and so bring us slowly back to normal.

  • I'll catch COVID and not notice, not have any problems, and not worry about it.