What’s in the cards for 2021?


Karen Lee

The Accolade speaks to various experts including Sunny Hills teachers and even some local forecasters — yes, psychics — to find out what the new year has in store for Americans and the rest of the world.

Alex Lee, Ashley Han, and Irene Sheen

During the last presidential debate, Democratic nominee and former vice president Joe Biden described 2021 as the start of a “dark winter” because of the spread of COVID-19.

Will 2021 start out as bad as Biden thinks? Or will the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine be a game changer?


Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. based public policy group, posted an online article suggesting that the coronavirus pandemic will lead to a global decline in births.

“In drawing lessons from the Spanish Flu for the COVID-19 pandemic, we note both similarities and differences,” acccording to the June 15 post titled, “Half a million fewer children? The coming COVID baby bust” by Melissa S. Kearney and Phillip B. Levine. “The drop in births that resulted from the Spanish flu was likely due to the uncertainty and anxiety that a public health crisis can generate, which could affect people’s desire to give birth, and also biologically affect pregnancy and birth outcomes.

“That could be true during this crisis as well.”

Kearney and Levine go on to indicate that the Spanish Flu of 1918 did not lead to an economic depression because manufacturing jobs were still needed during World War I.

But that’s not what the economy looks like when the coroanvirus pandemic struck in March, leading to stay-at-home orders and government-imposed closure of non-essential businesses, which subsequently caused layoffs nationwide.

“Although it is difficult to forecast the 2020 annual unemployment rate, assuming a 7 to 10 percentage-point jump to 10.6 to 13.6% seems reasonable,” Kearney and Levine wrote in the article. “We find that a 1% increase in unemployment reduces the birth rates by 1.4%.”

English teacher Tom Wiegman said he has seen how the loss of jobs has affected not only his loved ones, but others as well, making it harder for them to decide whether they can afford the costs of raising another child.

“My son lost his previously secure management job several months ago due to COVID,” Wiegman said. “I was [also] out at a store a few days ago and saw a car window sticker that said, ‘Huge Financial Burden On Board,’ as a variation of the much more common ‘Baby on Board’ stickers.”

Sunny Hills science teacher Mike Schade also agrees with the Brookings article’s forecast. “I believe if you look back at difficult economic times in our country, you will see a decrease in the birth rates when poverty increases, and one’s confidence in the economy decreases,” Schade said.


With more than 27,000 followers on her TikTok account, social media influencer senior Carrie Cheng spends hours shopping for trendy clothes on her new favorite app to build up her winter wardrobe.

That app is Depop, an online thifting retailer that may grow to become just as popular as eBay or Amazon. Besides clothing, it sells sneakers, art, books and records.

“The app has been reaching a bigger audience because people have started to sell many of their clothes during quarantine through the app,” Cheng said.

Depop has over 20 million global users and counting.

More people are becoming attracted especially to the app’s fashion-based features.

“It’s a new season, and we love shopping for winter clothes such as jackets or sweaters,” Cheng said. “Depop provides many op – tions at affordable prices.”

Another influencer at Sunny Hills is Sarah Roh, who usually posts her insights on fashion sense through her TikTok (324,000 followers) and Instagram (72,200 followers) accounts.

Roh has noticed that pieces such as puffer jackets, brown clothing, sweater vests, crewnecks and fluffy bags are popular items that customers search for on the thrifting app.

“I love using Depop for outfit inspo,” she said.


Two Orange County psychics agree with Biden regarding his “dark winter” forecast, but both see light at the end of the tunnel.

“The energy in 2021 at the beginning of the year is going to be a little hard,” says Katie Daley, who runs her own psychic business from her Fullerton home. “In March-April, the negative energy will tone down a little bit, and by October it will be more positive energy.”

Brea Psychic’s Gianna Becarri has a prediction that has already come true — for those in the United Kingdom.

“Near the last weeks of December, the COVID-19 vaccine will be pushed out,” Becarri says when contacted Nov. 20.

Just more than two weeks after her prediction on Dec. 8, the British government officially rolled out Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for the U.K. public, administering thousands of doses so far.

Following in the U.K’s footsteps, the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] on Dec. 11 has approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccination, pushing out nearly 20 million doses of the vaccine later this month for U.S.

Tell us what’s in your crystal ball forecast for the new year. Email your predictions to [email protected], and we’ll post your ideas on The Accolade’s online news website, shhsaccolade.com.

Although coronavirus cases in the U.S. are rapidly increasing, Becarri expects infections to die down and predicts a turnaround in the travel industry by 2021.

“After March, things are going to be completely in the clear,” Becarri says. “People will be walking around without masks.”

Despite all of the challenges from 2020, both forecasters are looking forward to what 2021 has to offer.

“This year was really bad for everyone — that’s obvious, but 2021 will be a whole lot better,” Becarri says. “Thank God 2020 is over.”

Anyone interested in a more personal reading of their future can contact Daley at (714) 738-8272 and Becarri at (714) 772- 8585.

Tell us what’s in your crystal ball forecast for the new year. Email your predictions to [email protected], and we’ll post your ideas on The Accolade’s online news website, shhsaccolade.com.

This story originally appeared in the Dec. 14 print issue, which can be read here.