‘Risky’ new TikTok trend involves people in Australia deliberately trying to catch Covid

Sinead Butler
Wednesday 12 January 2022 16:21
news

Health experts in Australia have warned against people “rolling the dice” by trying to catch Covid on purpose to speed up the inevitable and/or dodge an extended isolation period.

Currently, those who test positive for Covid are required to self-isolate and quarantine at home for at least 7 days (10 days in South Australia).

The warning comes after people have been sharing on TikTok the ways they intend on trying to catch Covid or sharing their wish to plan what date they would like to be ideally infected on for convenience.

One TikToker from Queensland who tested positive for the virus shared how her mum was desperate to catch it herself so her isolation period could begin sooner so she drank the rest of her Covid positive daughter’s orange juice.

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“When your Covid positive and mum drinks your OJ [sic] to try and get Covid ASAP so we aren’t in extended iso [sic],” theDaily Mail reported as the daughter can be heard saying “happy Covid” to her mum and “bottoms up” to which the mother can then be seen chugging back the glass of orange juice.

The video was quickly taken down, but not before it received 47,000 views and 1200 likes, according to The Australian.

Elsewhere, there have been reports of unvaccinated people organising gatherings to develop natural immunity by purposefully attempting to catch Covid themselves.

Queensland chief health officer Dr John Gerrard described the parties as “utterly ridiculous,” The Guardian reported and said: “The best way to get immunity to this virus is through vaccination not through Covid parties,” he added: “They are ridiculous, so please stop them. Please stop.”

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners vice president Bruce Willett echoed this and told 2GB: “This sort of behaviour threatens to overwhelm medical services.”

“They will get immunity to Covid but it’s not substantially better than getting the immunisation and at an extraordinarily higher risk.”

Meanwhile, others have shared their wish to get Covid at the most convenient time possible like TikToker Ben Hogan, who went viral with a video at the end of December.

In his video, the overlay text said: “Me trying to schedule catching covid into my social calendar so I don’t miss out on anything,” as Hogan can be seen attempting to calculate what date would be best.

“Gotta block out a cheeky 10 say [sic] staycation,” Hogan joked in the caption.

Since posting this video, Hogan has received over 775,000 views, 93,000 likes and over a thousand comments from people who also shared similar thoughts.

One person said: “Me planning to get it new years day so I can have a week off work.”

“I’m trying to catch it at New Years, isolate and then be out just in time for a week of friends before going back to college,” another person wrote.

Someone else added: “Homestly [sic] this is ke [sic] right now, I just want to catch it and move on I can’t anymore,” to which Hogan replied: “Infect me anytime after the first of January pls :-)))”

“I’m aiming for the week before MLK Jr Day when I get the day off work so that I can still enjoy the long weekend,” a fourth person replied.

In a follow-up TikTok posted last week, Hogan revealed he tested positive for the virus. “So, my Covid schedule is running a smidge early.”

Australian National University epidemiologist Dr Katrina Roper has also warned against people purposefully trying to catch Covid.

“From a science point of view, if a person is unvaccinated, it’s quite a risky move because you don’t know how you’re going to respond,” she told News.com.au.

“If you don’t know the strain type of the virus, you could be rolling the dice that maybe you’re one of those unlucky people that ends up with a more serious form of Covid, say the Delta form and you could have a more serious illness which may not be particularly pleasant.”

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