In order to get to herd immunity we need at least 75% of the population to get infected. In order for herd immunity to have any value it means that it happens fast so let’s say we do it in 6 months.
So let’s do the math
338,000,000 U.S. population times 75% equals 253,500,000 people will need to get infected.
The hospitalization rate for COVID is 20% (1) so that means 20% of the people who get infected will need to be in the hospital.
253,500,000 times 20% equals 50,700,00 people will need to be hospitalized, let’s assume that it’s spread out equally over 6 months.
50,700,000 people needing to be hospitalized divided by 6 months means that we’ll have 8,450,000 people needed to be hospitalized each month, there are only 924,000 hospitals beds in the U.S.
Hospitals will be completely overrun so it’s probably in everyone’s best interest that we don’t allow COVID patients into hospitals, that means all COVID patients will be cared for at home.
Current death rate in the U.S is determined by diving the number of deaths (138,000) by the number of cases (3,300,000)
So the death rate is 138,000 divided by 3,300,000 equals .0418
In order to calculate the total number of deaths as we achieve herd immunity we multiply the number of infected (253,700,00) by the death rate (.0418)
253,700,000 times .0418 equals 10,604,660 deaths.
However if we don’t allow people who get COVID to be admitted to the hospital the death rate will at minimum double, so that means the total number of deaths will rise from 10,604,660 to 21,209,320
In order to achieve herd immunity we’ll need 253,500,000 people infected and we’ll need to have 21,209,320 American’s sacrifice their lives.
Or we could all wear masks, practice good hand hygiene, and maintain social distancing.
Seems too hard for Americans, we’d rather have 6% of the population die.