A German Mayor who admitted deliberately infecting himself with the coronavirus so that he could develop immunity has said the disease was far worse than he expected.
Stephan von Dassel, 53, is a Green party politician in Berlin and Mayor of the city’s Mitte district.
He said: “I guess I am OK now, but I was sick for a long time, longer than I thought. I did get myself intentionally infected, in order to amuse myself and I thought, well you know, for three days be a bit out of sorts and then with immunity I can’t be infected again and also can’t infect anyone else. But it was worse and I thought.”
He said he had allowed himself to be infected by his girlfriend, who had caught the infection while on a trip to Switzerland.
He said he also had to go into quarantine and as they were living together, he realised it was effectively very difficult to spend two weeks together and not get infected. He therefore decided to accept that he was going to get infected and did not try to avoid it.
He said: “I was of the opinion that avoiding infection when under house quarantine with an infected person despite preventative measures was very difficult to avoid, and therefore accepted that it was going to happen and made sure that I was infected as quickly as possible to get it over with.”
He said that if he had not done so, the time he eventually spent in quarantine could have lasted at least four weeks instead of two.
He defended the move against critics who said a politician had a duty to keep themselves fit by saying that the long-term objective has to be to make as many people immune as possible so that the disease can no longer affect us.
He said: “Above all we need to level the curve. And I’ve now contributed to this over the last 15 days because I was well behaved and stayed in quarantine.”
Critics pointed out that what he did was against the advice of health officials who say people should practice social distancing in order to slow the spread of the virus and not put undue pressure on health services.
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