Exactly. That's 2%. So a 2% probability that any given person I encounter has the virus. (That's NJ; other areas are lower, and overall US average is still under 1%). It's actually even lower than that, because the 172,000 is total cumulative cases, not currently active cases. I suspect if you pull out the concentration of cases in nursing homes and facilities, it drops further for the rest of the general population. You can probably also pull out the larger cities and the percentage for the suburban and rural areas of NJ will be lower. Then you have people that are actually sick and (hopefully) staying home. What percentage of the currently active cases are asymptomatic? Put it all together, and the probabilities that a given person you encounter is an *asymptomatic* transmitter of the virus has to be substantially less than 2%.
I'm not trying to minimize it, even tiny percentages add up to large numbers of people and can strain the health system, and personal risk factors are critical to consider. Just agreeing with the sentiment that it's important to keep the relatively low personal/individual risk in perspective when making decisions. Like if SPC has us in a 2% tornado risk, the chance that a tornado is going to hit my neighborhood or house is substantially lower. (This may be a poor analogy, the mets on here will hopefully correct me 🙂 The irony is that many of us walked around blissfully barely aware of the coronavirus in early March, when the prevalence and risk was probably much greater than it is right now.
Of course, I'm no statistician, but I think you would have to start aggregating the probabilities based on how many people you come in contact with. If each person has a 1% probability, does coming into contact with 10 people make your probabilities 10%? Hopefully one of the mets on here can shed some light on that, it's something I've always wondered, I'm too far removed from my college statistics class to remember how that works 🙂
Fortunately, the LBI beach house we rented is on the bay, so I'm perfectly content to spend 90% of my time there. Last year we didn't even go to the beach more than two or three times the whole week, just to do some boogieboarding with the kids for a few hours. Of course, we'll have to go out for groceries, takeout, etc., but we would have to do that at home too.