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William caught corona: I got it when I was being most careful – it’s a sneaky disease

Man with face mask

William Piculell Bahnert caught the virus when he was being the most careful. In this interview, he explains how he got it and what it has meant. (Photo: Anne M. Lykkegaard)

Due to serious illness in his closest family, CBS student William Piculell Bahnert was being extra careful. He kept his distance and wore a mask. Still, he was infected. “It’s kind of ironic,” he says and emphasizes that having had the virus has not changed his view of it.

Coronavirus |   07. Dec 2020

Anne Thora Lykkegaard


William Piculell Bahnert is studying for a BSc in Business, Asian Language and Culture – International Business in Asia at CBS, and like everyone else, he was sent home during the spring lockdown.

“I haven’t been afraid of the virus, but I thought a lot about whether I could pass it on to others without knowing. So I took all the precautions I could. I kept indoors and didn’t see anyone,” he says about the spring.

When September arrived, and William Piculell Bahnert and the rest of CBS’ students were allowed back on campus, he was thrilled to be back. But he was also aware of following the restrictions, as he now has a close member of his family who is seriously ill – not from COVID-19.

Later in September, he visited the family member for a day.

“I was wearing a mask almost all the time while visiting my family, and my younger brother and I slept in two separate rooms. We were only close together when we had dinner,” he says and continues:

“I got home to Copenhagen the Monday after spending one day with my family. On Wednesday, I had been to classes at CBS and football practice in the evening when my mother called me and said that my brother had fallen ill and was going to be tested. I felt fine, so I didn’t think it would be coronavirus.”

This disease is sneaky and finds a way in, so it’s important to stick to the guidelines, no matter how annoying they are

William Piculell Bahnert

On the Thursday morning, William Piculell Bahnert’s younger brother’s test result was positive, and William Piculell Bahnert went straight home to get tested.

“I kind of thought my test would be negative. I felt fine, and we had taken so much care not to be around each other. So when I got a positive test result on Friday morning, it was very strange because I didn’t feel sick – but I was,” he says and continues:

“It’s kind of ironic that I got it when I was being most careful.”

“The worst part was the pain in my joints”

When he heard the result was positive, William Piculell Bahnert called both CBS and his friends from the football team and explained that he had tested positive. CBS helped him contact his classmates, who were asked to get tested and go into self-isolation.

At this time in September, William Piculell Bahnert was only the fourteenth person at CBS to have contracted the virus.

“A lot of my friends asked if they could do anything for me and if I was okay. No one was reproachful,” he says.

Man sitting with face mask in his hand

William Piculell Bahnert calls the virus ‘sneaky’, as it can get to you in many ways. (Photo: Anne M. Lykkegaard)

On the Friday evening, William Piculell Bahnert got “a headache from Hell”. Until this point, he had had no symptoms at all.

On Saturday, the headache comes and goes, and he felt as if he was about to get influenza. And this was about as bad as it got.

“The worst part was the pain in my joints. But I didn’t know whether I had them from sleeping on the couch for several days, or whether the infection had caused them. My brother, on the other hand, had it far worse. He felt very sick for more than a week,” says William Piculell Bahnert.

On Monday evening, William Piculell Bahnert feels fine. He called the authorities and they told him he can end his self-isolation when he has been symptom-free for 48 hours.

“Technically, I could have gone to school on Wednesday, but what if I still had the virus and could infect others? I couldn’t bear the thought of that, so I waited a couple of extra days, and didn’t return to classes until Friday morning,” he says.

To his knowledge, William Piculell Bahnert has not infected anyone. Not even his girlfriend, whom he lives with. However, having the disease has not changed his view of it.

“You might think I would take everything more lightly, now that I’ve had it. But you’re not supposed to do that. I got through it, and of course I would have preferred not to have been infected, but we have to take it seriously. This disease is sneaky and finds a way in, so it’s important to stick to the guidelines, no matter how annoying they are,” he says.


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