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  • Writer's pictureAisling Salisbury

My Trip to Australia - Quarantine Day Six #noRona

Day 6 (technically 5) - Thursday, June 3rd 2021

Although there is nothing really routine about the premise of Hotel Quarantine I can now see how prisoners describe their detainment as being all about finding a routine. The same can be said here about Hotel Quarantine. A routine that I have seem to have gotten used to. Although I only pulled out the Yoga mat yesterday that addition to the routine has shaken the order of things somewhat. But what reminds me of the routine is when I hear the clicks in the hallway that signals breakfast has been delivered to my door.

As I eat breakfast I continue another one of my routines, the morning session of 'Family Guy' and 'American Dad' on Fox 8 whilst I await the "are you alive?" phone call. Once the call is received it's hopping into the shower, where I spend at least thirty minutes now to recreate a feeling of a connection to the outside world. By now it's lunchtime and the clicks return to say that lunch is at the door. After lunch, the routine is to figure out how to spend the afternoon. Which usually involves a form of writing (such as this) and studying for my recurrent Simulator sessions I'm due to do at the end of the month. Another thing that is sometimes done, is to make myself a Nescafe with UHT milk that reminds me of my days flying across Australia. By the time the clicks are heard for dinner, it's about watching TV and getting ready for bed. The next day just repeat.

Besides the addition of a Yoga session, today had some other additions to break up the routine. My fate is now in the hands of NSW Health bureaucrats to let me out by Saturday morning so I can return to the US, so with just two days left in Australia, I actually start to try and pack my bags to ensure I'm ready for a speedy exit. I also spend the afternoon and early evening calling everyone I was hoping to surprise and catch up with to basically say "hello and goodbye" through an Australian mobile number this time around, which catches many off guard.

I definitely get a feeling that Victorians are completely flat and broken right now. As I have said, "well then do something about it". It's not about being like Americans who would probably take up arms and storm a building. Be smart Victoria. If you live within 10kms of the City then do your "exercise" in Treasury Gardens decked out in clothing that says you are against the lockdown. Then make sure you're back home in two hours. There are ways to make your voice heard and cause push back without breaking any laws. I know I have thought about running for State Parliament but if anything the last couple of days has really got me thinking about shoving that thought into overdrive.

Whilst on the phone with a friend my hotel phone rings. It's the exemptions team.

"Miss Salisbury we have received your application for an exemption to leave the quarantine and return to the United States on Saturday. In normal circumstances, we would be approving this, however . . ."

That's certainly what I was thinking, instead, I got this.

"Someone on your inbound flight to Australia tested positive for COVID. Now if this hadn't have happened then your application would've been approved. What we are going to do though is prepare for you to be granted the exemption therefore we're going to give you a COVID test tonight or tomorrow morning. If that is negative then the exemption will be granted, pending the results of the genomic sequence for the COVID case we now have from your flight. But I regret to say that if the sequence tells us it's the Indian or Brazillian strains then your exemption will not be granted and you will have to do your full 14 days."

The reasoning behind their concerns over those strains in particular was because they were highly contagious. So I ask the guy:

"Wait are you actually telling me that the apparent health advice Victoria are using but refuse to release is actually correct?"

He replied simply replied yes but then added:

"However, I am curious as to why the lockdown was extended. Victoria should have restrictions that's for sure. But not a lockdown. A handful of cases a day suggests they have it mostly isolated."

Well, there you go, NSW Health obviously has a degree of proportionality when it comes to COVID, what's Victoria's excuse I wonder?

After dinner, I get the knock on the door and have yet another Rona test. This is the fifth test I have had this year. As I have said, the positive thing behind a COVID test is that even if you don't think your sinuses are full, these tests will clear them out for you. It's about finding a silver lining. Well I know I don't have COVID, but we'll see whether I'll be getting out by Saturday, somehow I doubt it. Anyway here were today's meals.

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