Just weeks after arriving in the UK from Australia to go to university, the worst-case scenario for Marcus Dahl was confirmed.
The former Canberran had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
"I tested positive in November 2020, just six weeks after arriving in the UK, after there was an outbreak in my student accommodation," he said.
Mr Dahl, a former student at the Australian National University, moved to the UK last September to take up a scholarship at the University of Oxford, studying a masters in law, which could not be deferred.
Despite being diagnosed with Covid during a time when case numbers and deaths from the disease were rapidly increasing, the student was one of the lucky ones and wasn't hospitalised, having relatively minor symptoms.
But for Mr Dahl, getting Covid once wasn't enough, becoming infected with the virus for the second time just days ago.
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However, this time round, he deliberately chose to contract Covid.
The student is one of 64 participants taking part in an Oxford University trial examining what immune response can stop people from becoming reinfected with Covid.
The participants will be re-exposed to the virus in controlled conditions, given an optimal dose of the original Covid strain that originated in Wuhan.
Mr Dahl said while he was nervous in taking part in the study, he was happy to do his part for science and understanding the virus more.
"Of course there is some apprehension, and I'd prefer to be having more of a summer break or be out at the pub with my mates, but the pandemic rages on worldwide and hits vulnerable people the hardest," he said.
"As a, fortunately, very healthy young person in Oxford at the same time as world-first research in need of local participants, there really didn't need to be much thinking time for me."
As part of the research trial, the participants will spend at least 17 days in a specially designed hospital suite, while undergoing multiple medical tests such as CT scans and MRIs.
Those taking part will then be discharged when they are no longer infected and not at risk of infecting others.
While the study will take place over the course of a year, participants won't have to stay in hospital the whole time, but will have to keep a diary of their symptoms and attend follow-up appointments.
The study's chief investigator and University of Oxford vaccinology professor Helen McShane said the trial would shed new light on a critical area of Covid research.
"When we reinfect the participants, we will know exactly how their immune system has reacted to the first Covid infection, exactly when the second infection occurs and exactly how much virus they got," she said in a statement.
"As well as enhancing our basic understanding, this may help us to design tests that can accurately predict whether people are protected."
The former Canberran said he first found out about the study through a friend at the university's medical school.
Because of the trial, Mr Dahl has held off from getting a vaccine for Covid in order to help with the study.
Mr Dahl said it was an important duty to help with valuable research so scientists could understand more about Covid.
"It might seem like I'm doing a lot as a volunteer, but at the end of the day, I get access to a top healthcare system and can get a vaccine not long after I walk out of the hospital door," he said.
"These types of studies can give information that studies of community cannot. The more we understand, the more we can understand about the virus and help people."
While the student will be compensated for his time spent being reinfected with Covid, Mr Dahl said he was donating his £2000 fee to UNICEF'S Vaccinaid fundraiser.
The fundraiser aims to distribute vaccines to disadvantaged countries, and the former Canberran has set higher goals for his donation.
"My initial target is to raise £6000, enough to pay the delivery costs of 5000 vaccines through the COVAX global vaccine sharing scheme," he said.
"We have not done enough as a global community to be fair in fighting this pandemic and people are suffering as a result."
While he doesn't know how the study will turn out, Mr Dahl said he knew he was doing his part for Covid research, even if it meant getting reinfected with the virus that had shut down the world.
"I just felt the duty to do the right thing and put my hand up, even it it means taking one for the team. My health risks are very low, and research has a lot of upsides for everyone."
- Donations to the Vaccinaid fundraiser can be made here.
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