COVID-19 in Utah, like everywhere else, has been a story of tragedy and heroism (especially the healthcare workers, people staffing food banks, and other essential workers). I am interested in some basic statistics regarding the virus in Utah, which I have placed here along with some commentary; however, it is imperative to remember that every death and painful recovery creates a web of grief. These numbers represent human tragedy, so take a moment to reach out to a loved one you know has been affected, and remind them of your love for them.
I have heard many acquaintances advocate letting things play out to achieve herd immunity. While the numbers needing to be infected in order to achieve herd immunity vary with each virus, studies have predicted that COVID-19 would require approximately a 70% infection rate in order for a community to reach herd immunity. Currently 1 in 80 Utahns have been infected, resulting in 81,947 infected and 501 dead, for a mortality rate of 0.61%. Utah has a population of 3,200,000 and 70% of that population would be 2,240,000. If 0.61% of that population were to die from the disease, it would represent 13,695 deaths - more than all other causes combined.
I also was curious how Utah's mortality rate stacks up against several other western states. Interestingly, Utah compares very favorably, especially considering the large population in metropolitan centers. I'm not sure why this is so, but it is interesting nonetheless.