King’s fresher with coronavirus warns other students to stay indoors

‘If I were in the U.K. right now I would never know I had corona’


A King’s student is urging young people in the U.K. to stay inside and self-isolate after he tested positive for coronavirus, despite showing no major symptoms.

Phi Long Bui, a first-year King’s International Business student from Poland, was diagnosed with coronavirus after shortly returning home from London last week.

Phi told The Tab King’s: “I also saw a lot of students still not taking the isolation warnings seriously. All of my friends are still going out clubbing, having flat parties, when some of them do have flu. They might not show symptoms, but they might be carrying corona and spreading it to their loved once’s. I wanted to spread that awareness.”

Phi has now made an Instagram video informing young people about his symptoms, his experience with hospitals after testing positive for the virus and his plea for U.K. students to stop going out.

Phi has told The Tab King’s he just wants to “emphasise that people need to isolate even if they don’t think they carry symptoms, as it may hurt their loved ones.

“I made an Instagram video because there has been a lot of misinformation about corona. A lot of people panic about it and think they would die. I wanted to show that people should be calm and take all the precautions.”

In the video, posted on Friday, Phi explained after seeing celebrities and vloggers post about their experiences with the coronavirus he felt encouraged to make his own video to make other people feel “at ease” and “realise” they wouldn’t “die.”

When his friends and family found out Phi had coronavirus they had a lot of question about what his symptoms were, where and how he got it, and when he knew to go the hospital.

Phi said: “My families okay, they tested negative so I didn’t infect them at all, and I’m currently in quarantine in my room.”

Phi initially talks about what symptoms he had, and how they developed over a few days – before he was even aware he had the virus.

He said: “I still had classes seven days ago and I still went to school, and I think my symptoms started then when I started getting diarrhoea – one my friends also had it, we were joking about it, how we didn’t have toilet paper any more.

“I think this was a first minor symptom of the corona. Five days ago I then started having like heavy breathing, not difficulties, but it was just a different, a bit heavier to breathe. It was like a morning after having too much shisha the night before.”

Phi thought these symptoms were simply allergies or an upset stomach after eating too much food, so he flew back to Poland the day before the borders closed.

As soon as Phi returned home he followed government guidelines and self-isolated himself away from his family.

“I stayed at home, I didn’t go out and I wore a facemask everywhere as I heard there were over 100,000 unconfirmed cases in the U.K. so I just prepared to isolate myself already.

“I didn’t have a fever and I didn’t have a cough. At the airport, I was checked with a gun for my temperature and nothing happened.

“So three days ago I decided to go to the hospital to check it up, as my breathing was still different. I didn’t have a fever, didn’t have a cough yet, I just wanted to check. I wanted to make sure as I had a younger brother at my house.

“I was prepared thinking I didn’t have corona because of my symptoms, but then I got my results 15 hours later. It was confirmed that I had it, I got it in my email.”

Phi said he still felt completely normal, despite being diagnosed positive with coronavirus. He was still exercising and studying.

“Day two with the virus, breathing still there, at some points of the day I felt fine, I felt better even. But around night this is when it got worse. My eyes got hotter and I kept checking my temperature, I think the highest it got was around 37.5 and that’s not a fever yet, you need 38 degrees to have a fever. I still hadn’t got a cough.

“Day three (which is today) my temperature went down, my average temperature is 35.8. I’m not tired, I can still work, and I’m still smiling and everything. I’m still exercising – I’m still waiting for the major symptoms to kick in like a fever, a cough.

After explaining his symptoms he went on to tell viewers about how the hospital system for testing coronavirus is working in Poland and how this is differing from the U.K.

Phi continues: “When I called the hospital they were pretty reluctant to test me because I didn’t have the major symptoms (fever, cough and fast breathing). They ended up saying yes because it was so late, around 2 AM, that no one else was there.

“I waited in a tent, they had made outside the hospital. They stuck a cotton bud up my nose and then told me to go home and wait for the results. So I went home and around 8 PM I got my results.”

After receiving the results Phi did not hear from the hospital for another three days.

When they eventually contacted him they did not ask about his welfare, just simply instructed him to remain at home and then asked who he had come into contact with.

“I had told my friends who I came in contact with to get themselves checked. The hospitals didn’t test them because I was not registered as someone with corona.

“When I told them I wanted to go into hospital and not stay at home they told me only people over the age of 65 can stay in the hospital, everyone else must remain at home.”

Phi went on to explain the difference between the U.K. testing system for the virus compared with Poland.

“The thing is if I were in the U.K. right now I would never know I had corona. I feel okay if I hadn’t come back to Poland I would still be out partying.

“The U.K.’s numbers are very misleading – they aren’t testing people. They tell people not to call them. It’s on the government website that if you have symptoms just isolate yourself for seven days then call them.

“My friend had a fever. He rang the NHS and they didn’t want to check him. Then he flew back to his country and then it was confirmed he has coronavirus. So the U.K. has very misleading numbers.

“I am currently in my room right now, isolating myself after coming back from London. I feel really bad that I could’ve infected my family and the people I love. Fortunately, I didn’t.”

In the final minutes of his video, Phi urges any young person who is still going out, not social distancing or choosing not to self-isolate to reconsider their attitudes.

View this post on Instagram

#camo 🌲🍾🍃

A post shared by Phi Long (@philongbui) on

“The thing I want to say that whoever finds out they do have coronavirus, I must be one of my the first people in my friendship group and community to get this and I only know that because I got tested.

“I just want to say it wasn’t your choice, you didn’t do it on purpose, people will point fingers: ‘you’re the one who brought this back to Poland. You’re the reason people are going to die.’ Remember it wasn’t your fault, you didn’t do it on purpose.

“I luckily have really good friends who supported me, we joked about corona. I know it’s serious, but it’s a way to get through the dark times.

“Currently I have four people in my class who have corona confirmed already. The thing is people aren’t taking it seriously in the U.K. People are still partying, even yesterday people were still going out, partying, clubbing, flat parties.

“At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if 50% of my accommodation has coronavirus. No one wears masks. I think I was the only one wearing the mask in the U.K.

“Listen to the government, wash your hands, self-isolate yourself. Although there are no major symptoms you guys might have it and might be passing it to vulnerable people.”

The U.K. has now closed all pubs and restaurants to encourage social distancing across the country.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Dover Castle has closed due to COVID-19 and now is an appropriate time to cry

King’s College London confirms five cases of coronavirus

King’s student quarantined in Italy following coronavirus outbreak