COVID-19 refuge

Alaska might have ignored the opportunity to make lemonade of the COVID-19 lemon, but elsewhere others have gone looking for opportunities in the deadly pandemic driving death and fear around the globe.

Iceland is now not so quietly pitching itself as a pandemic hideaway.

Earlier this month, the island nation in the North Atlantic announced changes to its remote-work, visa program allowing foreign nationals, including Americans, to take up temporary residence in the country, Bloomberg reported.

“I think the idea is to attract high-earning professionals from Silicon Valley or San Francisco to spend their money here, instead of there,” Asta Gudrun Helgadottir, a member of Iceland’s pro-direct-democracy Pirate Party and a former parliament member, told Bloomberg reporter Brandon Presser.

Iceland is a foreign country with a SARS-CoV-2 infection rate of 1,563 cases per 100,000 people and a death rate of 7.6 per 100,000, according to today’s data at the Worldometers website. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that makes some, though not all, sick with COVID-19.

Alaska is a U.S. state with a much higher infection rate –  4,040 per 100,000 – but a comparatively low (by COVID-19 standards) death rate of 16.1 per 100,000. That is slightly higher than Iceland, but a fraction of the rate in most other U.S. states.

Fewer deaths

For reasons that are unclear, the 49th state’s significant infection rate has not resulted in the number of deaths seen elsewhere, or at least not yet.

New Jersey, for instance, reports 3,758 infections per 100,000 residents, a rate slightly lower than that of Alaska, but the Garden State’s death rate is approaching 200 per 100,000, more than 12-times higher than the Alaska death rate.

The situation is similar in New York, where the death rate is about 10 times that of Alaska despite lower, per-capita infections, and Massachusetts where a relatively low rate of 3,180 infections per 100,000 people has translated into a death rate of 154 per 100,000, more than nine times the rate in Alaska.

Alaska might find it hard to attract “high-earning professionals from Silicon Valley or San Fransisco” given the status of COVID-19 in California – 3,013 cases per 100,000 with 48 deaths per 100,000. But the Route 128 tech sector of Massachusetts might be another matter. 

Anyone who isn’t thinking about getting out of Boston now isn’t thinking. It’s the focal point of Massachusetts infections, and the state reports infection rates are now higher than they were at the peak of the pandemic back in March and April.

Death rates have lagged, but the odds are still higher COVID-19 will kill you in Boston than in Anchorage. And if you personally want to avoid the risk of infection – which fundamentally requires you stay away from other people – Anchorage has more to offer than Boston.

There are a lot more COVID-safe things you can do in the Alaska city to ease your angst – ski, skate, snowshoe, fat bike, hike, adventure – than in Boston, where there are pretty much people everywhere.

Anchorage and/or Alaska can’t put the same monetary constraints on refugees from the Lower 48 as Iceland can.   To qualify for the extended-stay visa in Iceland, you have to show you earn $88,000 per year or more and work remotely, but it’s not like promoting Alaska’s largest city as a haven from COVID-19, not to mention climate change, is going to attract mobs of California street people.

Despite global warming, Anchorage winters are still cold enough to make life on the street miserable. Anyone relocating here is going to want to be able to make enough money to live in the city.

And if NPR is to be believed, there are plenty of people looking to relocate because of pandemic concerns. “Small Cities Are A Big Draw For Remote Workers During The Pandemic,” its website headlined at midmonth. 

“Since COVID-19 has allowed people to work hundreds or thousands of miles from their company’s office, this trend appears to be speeding up dramatically,” said the story below. “More young, well-paid and well-educated people are relocating permanently from big metro areas such as Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and New York….”

Alaska, which has been bleeding residents for half the decade, could use an infusion of young, well-paid and well-educated people.


By now, a few are probably asking why Alaska would want to attract “Outsiders” to the great white north where visitors are sometimes detested almost as much as their infusion of cash is welcomed.

And the answer is simple: Economics are everything.

Survival depends on a functioning economic system. Once in Alaska, that system was subsistence. Today it is capitalism and the social welfare system taxes on business support.

The latter can’t function without the former, which is why the state is in the financial mess it is in at the moment. Oil revenues carried the state for years. But oil price faltered before the pandemic, and its continuation has the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasting prices will remain more than 20 percent below 2019 through at least 2021, and 2019 was itself a bad year in the oil patch.

Alaska, meanwhile, has neither a state income nor sales tax and is short on other taxable industries. Commercial fishing hasn’t produced much in the way of state revenue since territorial days. Mining is limited, unpopular and not a great source of state funds. Tourism doesn’t yield much either other than the jobs provided as the state’s largest employer.

Some of those jobs help people buy homes in Anchorage, a city heavily dependent on property taxes. The municipality collected $556 million in property tax revenue last year to cover its budget, according to city records.

As more people leave the state – and the trend for years now has been net out-migration, according to the Department of Labor – those tax revenues are likely to fall and, if the out-migration gets big enough, property values will start dropping as well, further reducing tax revenues.

After a summer in which the Alaska tourism economy went bust, the 49th state finds itself in the same predicament as Iceland, a country where tourism was reported to account for about a third of the gross domestic product in 2019.

Not now.

Tourists numbers were down 79 percent in Iceland this summer, Bloomberg reported.

“Although long-stay guests aren’t technically tourists,” Presser wrote, “the hope is that they’ll rent out unused Airbnbs, fill empty tables at restaurants, and head to the countryside on weekends to explore the country like slow-going travelers.

“Iceland isn’t the first place to lure the work-from-anywhere set with long-stay waivers. Bermuda, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and Estonia have also used the strategy to garner foreign revenue during the tourism-depressed pandemic.”

Alaska doesn’t need to waive anything to allow fellow Americans fleeing the pandemic to take up residence in the state with one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the country, all it has to do is advertise the potential merit to the idea.

But it hasn’t done so.



33 replies »

    • Well, Monk, you are certainly more than welcome to dispute any of it. Would love to hear the other side.. Nah, scratch that..Have already heard about a years worth of your silly Covid “doom and gloom”.

  1. But, what about the science??
    🤣😂 Frauds..
    “A lot of people have been saying, rightfully, a lot of parents, we’ve heard your voices loud and clear: you wanted schools back open, but we’re going to ask everyone to be a part of that, everyone to participate to make it work,” he said.

    De Blasio added on Twitter that “wherever possible we will move to 5 day a week in-person learning December 7th”

  2. Funny how there are no reported deaths by the media from the seasonal Flu in Alaska this year?
    Must have disappeared during the pandemic?
    Maybe a journalist can research and report on whatever happened to the “Flu” or would that steal the thunder away from Rona?

    • Is it really that hard to figure out that in a world with a brand new highly contagious disease where people are social distancing, washing their hands, staying home when sick, and even wearing masks that the flu wouldn’t be a top story because for all of the aforementioned reasons it isn’t spreading how it would in any other year?

      • 2018-2019 In Alaska there was 18 flu related deaths.
        Across the country there have been news pieces on how flu rates are down due to covid-precautions. Covid-19, like Aids was, is in the news because its the real deal and we are still learning how to treat it.

      • Jeff, Covid is nothing like AIDS, which is the perfect virus. Constantly mutating. Amazing really. AIDS has a 100% success rate of killing you without treatment. Covid has a 99+% rate of survival if you do nothing, depending on age and health. Covid has been around thousands of years. Covid 19 is a biologically=generically altered strain to serve a specific purpose. We know everything about it and those that say otherwise are liars. They supposedly are on the cusp of several vaccines. All within a year, which normally take years to produce. A huge portion of this whole scamdenic is tightening control and allowing the masses to get used to their new “world” while giving back crumbs we are grateful for..

      • Bryan,

        Does that 100% kill rate for AIDS include comorbidities? Just asking…

        Do you think since covid was a manufactured disease that they were hoping it was more potent so it wouldn’t have more than a 99% survival rate, I mean nothing like striking fear into peoples hearts than a disease that more than 99% of those who get it survive and those that die are disproportionately the old and those with pre-existing conditions. That is the oft repeated line is it not, that this disease only kills the old and sick, how does that teach a young healthy citizenry to fear the oppressors who are hiding behind the curtain? And all of that to teach us commoners a lesson.

        It seems like something closer to a 5% death rate would actually strike fear into peoples heart, especially if it disproportionately killed the young who are more impressionable than the old and already dying…wait we already had that disease it was call the Spanish Flu or the 1918 Flu Pandemic, did they manufacture that one too?

      • Steve – O,

        I am missing your point on comorbidities and AIDS. I dont believe Covid was meant to paralyze and strike fear into the populace. After all, it is the “news” media and Globalists who are striking fear in the masses. I have no doubt the Wuhan Red Desth is still running rampant in China. Knowing their limited medical facilities there is NO WAY they could have gotten this virus under control. Their economy is currently back with a vengeance. Profiting billions off of Covid.
        But, if you know the Chinese like I do, nothing happens by accident. The Chinese see the virus in a positive light, in the sense it will kill off millions of old and weak, thus saving billions of dollars. The dictators of the “free” world see it as a means to further their controlling agenda, which we are witnessing currently.
        There are several articles and this is merely one. Probably not even the best, but it gets the idea across. Please dont look at the Chinese through Americanized lenses.

      • Bryan,thank gawd the”globalists”,are back in control.Not sure we could afford another term of Potus the Grifter,and his congressional enablers.
        Im hoping perhaps he moves to ukrain.
        Look for hillaries email server that burisma holds.Pretty sure thats where Obamas african birth certificate,fake democratic voting rolls are too.They’ll be a list of all The Deepstaters too.
        I smell a new reality show coming

      • But Dave Mc, you forget Burisima and Ukraine are the Biden’s, especially Hunter’s criminal enterprise.
        I mean, you knew all about the Biden’s involvement in the Ukraine and China right? You knew about the Biden’s laptop right? CNN and MSDNC reported all that right? But, keep on blaming Trump because you are told to. Hahaha

      • Bryan,

        The point I was making about AIDS and comorbidities is that some people think deaths don’t count if comorbidities are involved. Specifically with the covid pandemic some people have made a point of repeatedly claiming deaths do not count if comorbidities are involved. So I was asking if, as you claim AIDS has a 100% kill rate, does that include comorbidities. Say for example a guy has AIDS but dies in a motorcycle accident, does that count as a motorcycle accident or as an AIDS related death? I mean if AIDS kill 100% of those who have it but aren’t treated, then what about the motorcycle accident that killed him? Now what if another guy has cancer, or high blood pressure, or diabetes, or is obese, or…

    • Vaccine? Heard it here 2nd.

      94% success rate is unrealistic.
      ~50% of Americans won’t take the vaccine.
      Vaccine does not stop you from catching and spreading covid-19, stops you from spreading it.
      Given obesity rates in America and association with
      catching covid-19-expect vaccine results to vary by countries.

      A great virus does not kill a 100%, because then it does not spread. But yes Aids was our last new major pandemic-killing over 32 million world wide so far.

      Will Covid-19 reach those numbers over the next
      30 yrs? got me. The point isn’t that Covid-19 is AIDS, the point is Covid-19 is the real deal. Kill rate is not relevant-

      An IUD is far more affective of a tool if it does not kill,
      but just takes of limbs.

      • Jeff, you see where all this is going right?
        “The British government has already reportedly begun considering so-called “freedom passes” as a means of lifting lockdown restrictions. The plan would see those who test negative for the Chinese virus twice in a week being given a certificate on their phones, enabling them to see their families or travel without a mask within the UK.
        The British government is reportedly set to introduce vaccine stamps in passports by next year for those who have been inoculated against the Chinese coronavirus, ostensibly to boost the travel industry.”

      • edit-meant to type the vaccines so far stop you from developing symptoms not catching-spreading it.

        Many jobs drug test, many jobs require vaccinations,
        many countries apply health litmus tests before allowing immigration. I see nothing unique-concerning about the British covid-19 approach.

    • Come on Steve-O. Grasping as straws. Say I am a 40yr healthy, trim male. I get Covid and nothing happens and I get killed on a motorcycle a week later.. On the flip side say I am a 40yr male with Stage 4 lung cancer.. Doctor says “you have 3 months to live”. Nurse comes in, spreads Covid and the guy dies within 3 weeks. The answer to the question I think you are asking is, the man died of whichever pays the most. Cancer or Covid? In this day, a Covid related death does. So, there is your answer.

    • Bryan,

      Your link explains a few things at the end that then link to this note

      In part it says “We decided on Nov. 26 to retract this article to stop the spread of misinformation…”

      It further says about the author of the study “As assistant director for the Master’s in Applied Economics program at Hopkins, Briand is neither a medical professional nor a disease researcher. At her talk, she herself stated that more research and data are needed to understand the effects of COVID-19 in the U.S.”

      And “Briand was quoted in the article as saying, “All of this points to no evidence that COVID-19 created any excess deaths. Total death numbers are not above normal death numbers.” This claim is incorrect and does not take into account the spike in raw death count from all causes compared to previous years. “

      • Steve-O, points taken. But, at this stage with both Twitter and FB censoring fact and labeling them as “misinformation”, consider me a skeptic. There are a lot of reindeer games associated with Covid.

      • It’s a good thing to be skeptical. When the article you link to tells you not to trust it, that’s a pretty good sign right there!

      • It’s called the Streisand Effect – where the act of hiding, removing or censoring information causes more people who want to see that information.

        The Danish masking study CM talked about a few posts ago was completed in Sept. Nobody would publish it. It took the team until Nov to find a publisher.

        Lot of weirdness going on with the Wuhan Flu. Test results seem to be overly sensitive, throwing more positives than normal. And everyone treats a positive test result as a case. Arguing against that was CDC discussion last week or two that asymptomatic carriers aren’t spreading the virus. So you get tested. Results come in positive. No symptoms and you can’t spread it. False positive, anyone?

        Final weirdness is that the flu season which ought to be in full blower by now has been very, very quiet.

        I’d watch the Johns Hopkins study closely. Cheers –

      • Did you know that Jade Amulets protect you from Corona Virus? There is a peer reviewed article that says so…so it must be true.

        A now-retracted scientific paper tried to argue that magnetic field changes may be causing a number of diseases including COVID-19 and that wearing a jade amulet may offer protection, although there is no good reason to believe any of this

        This Paper Argues an Amulet May Protect from COVID. Should It Have Been Published?

        “Bility suggests that when the magnetic field of our planet weakens, the amount of water that is found on land masses (like lakes) increases and this leads to more iron oxide being made in certain rocks. These iron oxides have their own magnetic field which now interacts with the iron in our bodies more readily. This interaction affects a property of the electrons in our atoms, and this can allegedly cause DNA sequences in our own genomes to turn into fully functional viruses that make us sick. Are you still with me? Because in his recent work, Bility has fingered this hypothetical magnetic boogeyman as the culprit behind not just COVID-19, but Zika outbreaks, vaping-related lung illness, Ebola cases in Africa, a polio-like illness called acute flaccid myelitis, and even the opioid epidemic. And according to him, Stonehenge may have been a man-made magnetic field generator designed for public health.”

        Stay skeptical out there my friend, stay skeptical.

  3. Based on Worldometer abortion statistics, there were an average of around 3.5 million abortions per month in the world so far in 2020. That means that approximately 37,709,161 million unborn babies were aborted this year. At a clip of 125,000 abortions on babies every day, that means it the same number of babies have been killed in abortions in just 11 days as the number of people worldwide who have died in total from the coronavirus. No death is better or worse than another and every human being has the exact same right to life, but the comparison is staggering.
    Learn more about RevenueStripe…

    In the United States, there are over an estimated 2,465 babies who die in abortions daily, according to estimates from the Alan Guttmacher Institute. That means, as of today, 796,438 babies have been killed in abortions — more than three times the number of Americans who have died from the coronavirus. But there is not the same nationwide attention on their deaths as their is COVID.

  4. How about Covid is here to stay? Suck it up cupcakes. Get used to it, deal with it, and accept it. It is here to stay. If there are people, there will be Covid.

    • Aids is here to stay, but if you get it today
      your survival rate is much higher. At some point it
      will be logical and worth the risk for New Zealand to
      open their borders-for now they are looking pretty smart if
      life expectancy is a metric a country values which they do.

      The overall USA has different priorities-which isn’t a judgement, but an observation.

      Kauai just shut down to visitirs-their priorities are different.

      Barrow is basically shut down to visitors-different priorities.

      In America we have the freedom to live where we want-its nice to have choices.

      Craig’s observation here is a good one. Alaska could be
      basically covid-19 free till its safer to let it rip if we wanted to be and we could monetize being a covid-19 safe zone.

      It is clear Alaska overall doesn’t want to be covid-19, which is a common choice.

      • Jeff,
        You have been programmed by MSM to completely miss the bigger picture.
        Rona is far from AK’s biggest medical problem as the majority of the state is obese and suffering from mental health issues that lead the state to have one of the highest rates of sexual assualt & violent crimes in North America per capita.
        Secondly, Heart Attacks, Diabetes, Cancer, Suicides & Drug Overdoses will kill hundreds more than Rona will over the next year…why are none of these statistics reported along with “cases” by journalists?
        Coronavirus has been around for decades in various strains yet somehow this one gets the nasty “COVID-19” stamp and allows us to forget about all the other factors leading to mortality & morbidity throughout the state?

      • Steve,

        Who programmed you to forget about all the other factors leading to mortality & morbidity throughout the state? I haven’t forgotten about them, doctors haven’t forgotten about them, those dying from them haven’t forgotten about them…it’s just that there is a new disease that we have less than a years worth of data on that has swept across the globe causing death and all other kinds of health issues that we know very little about, since it’s a new disease and not something that we’ve lived with for decade upon decade, century upon century, millennia upon millennia.

        When you buy a new pair of pants or a new shirt do you treat them the same as your old ones, how about a new vehicle do you treat it the same as your old ones? How about when you hear a new song you like, do you just pretend it’s like all the others and try and act like it’s old hat?

        Stop trying to pretend this isn’t a new disease, we all know it’s only been around for a short amount of time. It’s disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

    • Steve,
      I have never lived with cable tv, lived without running water for 24 yrs, without electricity for a few. I do own a tv covered with dust.
      Nowhere do I say there are not greater health risks than covid-19. However, the perspective of risk is often not
      correlated with actual risk. Take bear attacks, shark attacks, snake bites, lightening vs bee stings as an example.
      If you read what I wrote, I said we can monetize being a
      covid-19 safe state. You do know almost every backpacker in
      Denali National Park buys and carries bear spray? Why?
      Because someone was smart enough to monetize fear.
      The state of Alaska is burning through it’s saving quicker
      than a cabin dweller in fairbanks burns through wood with an open window. Should we not take the opportunity and close the window?

      edit-what is msm? is that like bsd?

      • Jeff,
        You do not need a TV to follow MSM.
        ADN does a great job dispatching the daily “ZAZ Hollander” fear report…irregardless that none of the scientific models have come true over the last year.
        I have not had a TV since I lived with my parents in HS, but the “pop ups” on my computer make sure to tell me that there is grave danger outside in the world every day that I go online.
        If you agree there are worse threats to society, then why are you so hung up on Rona?
        Why not tell everyone to get outside and exercise for 30 mins a day?
        How about ADN does more stories on Alcoholism and the effects it has on families?
        How about we hear the number of people dying from heart disease each month?
        How about journalists like “ZAZ” start reporting on all the suicides in AK every month?
        How about more stories on how to protect yourself from getting cancer…even though we do not have a cure, we sure as hell know some of the things causing it (like cigarettes…which are available regardless of lockdowns).
        Take a few minutes and really think about what you are reading online.
        The WHO &CDC have an agenda.
        “Dark Winter” was rehearsed at John’s Hopkins in 2001.
        “Lock-step” was written many years ago by powerful elites.
        History repeats itself, but never the same way.
        This time Feminism is leading us to Fascism with the medical “white-coats” right in front.
        Anyone who does not respect the constitution and what our veterans fought for, does not have a place in leadership in my opinion.

        P.S. I have been living off the grid for nearly 16 years in Alaska.

        Good luck making sense of all the MALARKEY from MSM.

  5. “There are a lot more COVID-safe things you can do in the Alaska city to ease your angst – ski, skate, snowshoe, fat bike, hike, adventure – than in Boston, where there are pretty much people everywhere.”

    Actually, all you have to do is drive north on route 93 straight into the White Mtns of NH which offer the yuppies of Boston an incredible opportunity for recreation and adventure…you actually have a wider variety of options in New England (including dozens of family friendly ski areas) as opposed to Alaska, but you would never think that from the propaganda reports written by AK media experts.

    The biggest advantage to living in the lower 48 as fascism spreads in North America is you are not locked into your state with the hope that Canadian officials will one day open up the only road of travel out of your state.

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