Thousands are signing up to be deliberately exposed to COVID-19

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(CNN) — As most of us obsess with avoiding COVID-19 at all costs, a rapidly growing group of people around the world say they are prepared to deliberately take on the virus.

Tens of thousands of people have signed up to a campaign by a group called 1 Day Sooner to take an experimental vaccine candidate and then face coronavirus in a controlled setting.

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Among them is Estefania Hidalgo, 32, a photography student in Bristol, England, who works at a gas station to pay the bills.

“I do night shifts there, and it can be very lonely,” she recalled on a sunny day near her home. Passing those long lockdown hours with just podcasts to keep her company, she describes discovering the challenge trial movement — and hearing volunteers’ motivations — as a revelatory moment.

“I was shaken,” she said. “No one should be left behind. Old people, poor people, people of color. Everyone just deserves to be healthy.”

“This was a way for me to take back control of the situation, to feel like I was in a less hopeless place, and a less hopeless world, and be like, OK, I can do this. To make it better, I chose not to be in fear.”

Read more here.