Are you unconcerned about your chance of getting COVID-19? Or the chance you could spread it?

Many people are getting antsy about opening up the businesses closed due to the pandemic. Some are more than antsy. Surely you’ve seen the protests, in Minnesota and around the country, on the news. I think those protesters are going too far — or should I say, too close? They certainly aren’t staying six feet apart.

On Facebook, I’ve followed several conversations about opening up. Many equate it to personal choice about their own exposure. But, that’s not what social distancing and staying home is all about.

If you are unconcerned about your chance of getting COVID-19, or figure you will recover anyway, so you decide to go out and do whatever you want, your choice doesn’t only affect you. The whole concept of staying away from other people is so you don’t unknowingly infect someone else. Studies from China and Germany, both with longer experience studying the disease, say it is most contagious before a person realizes they have it.

We also might be lulled into thinking no one around here has it. After all, the number of cases in Brown County stood at seven for quite some time. Tuesday’s report is eight. Brown County Public Health reports the person is a teenager, with known exposure to another confirmed positive case, and recovering at home.

I called the Minnesota Department of Health and asked if there is reporting by doctors of suspected cases, especially considering testing seems to be largely unavailable. The woman said no, but the models say it might be 100 times more than those confirmed . . . so, maybe 800 in Brown County.

Please stay home.