I realise that. I was trying to come up with some sort of worst-possible-value, as quickly and simply as possible. But you’re right it’s far too simplistic. Let’s try it from a different perspective.
An important factor here is that many people have already had it and either didn’t even know or didn’t care. 3.2 million is the number of people who were deemed worthy of testing - presumably because they had (a) moderate-to-severe symptoms and (b) actually went to see the doctor.
60-70% of people infected are completely or mostly asymptomatic. So we can take a guess that 10M britons have already been infected.
In Liverpool, about 20% of tested individuals tested positive in mass testing. Simplistically, then, that would give us a figure of around 13M across the UK.
If we go with a number somewhere in the middle, about one-sixth of the UK population have been infected - 11 million. Of those, 300,000 ended up in hospital to date. 36,000 are there right now. 3,600 are in a critical-care situation. That’s three in each hospital, on the average - so, a long way from my figure of 200.
Let’s scale that up by a factor of five, such that in a hypothetical 2021 where we did nothing at all, 70% of the population have had the virus, or are currently infected. That would suggest 180,000 people in hospital, and 18,000 in critical care. Bear in mind that when we say “critical care” we’re basically just talking about an oxygen tank and few other bits and bobs, not the full set of life support associated with, say, a car-crash victim fresh out of emergency surgery.
180,000 is a lot. More than the number of beds. The simple solution to that would have been to develop a sensible protocol for home care, and get them out of the hospital. 18,000 critical patients spread over 1200 hospitals is perfectly manageable. Right now, today, that’d mean 15 in each hospital.
My mum was referring scornfully to the modern snowflake nurse the other day. She did many night shifts in the ICU in the 70s : just one senior nurse (her, sometimes), and a doctor on call, for 30 patients. Not ideal, of course, but perhaps medical practitioners were a lot more competent in those days?