I’ve written a lot about total cases, active cases, and recoveries. This pie chart is the most recent update of the ones I’ve been producing based on the latest data, looking at how North Carolina’s total cases break down into recoveries (90% of cases), deaths (1.6% of cases), and active cases (8.3% of cases).

But I realized everything contained in that pie chart would be a teeny little sliver in a pie chart based on NC’s total population. We’re missing the much bigger picture, and it changes our whole perspective on how risky it is to be out and to be around our neighbors, friends, local business owners, even family.

My research brief this week takes that fuller view. It’s titled “Tell Gov. Cooper: Facts and data support getting out, talking with people, and being neighborly again.”

A snippet:

People all across NC are walking around virus-free

I don’t think people have any idea how very few people in North Carolina on any particular day pose a risk to them, however small, of passing along the virus. The only people who can do it are the ones with active cases. As of Monday, Sept. 14, there were 15,464 active cases, and it was down from 18,288 last week.

The population of the entire state of North Carolina is over 10.63 million.

What, you heard there were 185,781 cases in North Carolina? Except for government and media tallies, those aren’t cases in perpetuity. Most of those cases have recovered — 167,257 presumed recoveries, in fact.

As of Monday, 90% of COVID-19 patients had recovered. Nine out of 10 cases are not active. Someone who has recovered from the virus is no longer infectious.

You know who else isn’t infectious? People who have never had the virus. And in North Carolina, 98.22% of people have never had a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Think about that: 98.22% of folks you’d sit next to at a bar, watch a movie with, or stand next to in line to vote have never even had the virus.

Now, when you factor in that 90% of the remaining 1.8% have recovered, here’s what that means: 99.83% of people in NC pose no threat to you whatsoever of transmitting the virus.

Get out.

Be convivial and human again.

It’s vital.