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  • Writer's pictureAisling Salisbury

My Trip to Australia - Quarantine Day Twelve #noRona

Day 12 (technically 11) - Wednesday, June 9th 2021

Similar to yesterday morning I finish at 06:30 AM and climb straight into bed. At 07:30 AM that's disturbed by the clicking and knock on the door. I get out of bed, collect my breakfast bag but climb straight back into bed. About 9omins later I get another phone call. This time it's from my case manager from the exemptions team who has been off for a few days.

Even he goes:

"I'm calling to say, we won't be able to grant your exemption to leave quarantine early to return to the US."

Well yeah, there's why you even said you would rescind the application on Monday. There's no point in being released now anyway. We talked about that. But what was more surprising was when he opened up. He tries to tell me that when it came to my request for my parent's exemption he said:

"You are permitted to fly to Victoria on Saturday once you are released".

When I stated that yes I could, but legally, under the current rules I legally couldn't stay with them, or my boyfriend as I don't reside with them. Under the present rules, the only way I could see them is if I get a hotel room, and we meet in the middle of the 10kms limit and claim we are "exercising".

This was beyond a joke for this guy. He seriously, nor did his colleagues understand that the rules were that tough in Victoria.

Ah, yeah, that's what a police state does.

I said that it was all dependant on what the announcement today was in regards to Victoria and whether it would announce an end to the Lockdown.

We also discussed how it was a shame that there were no flights from the US to Melbourne that could've "assisted me" I replied "well even if there was I wouldn't trust the Victorian system under any circumstance" This was the surprise, as he said:

"My colleagues went down to Victoria when their Quarantine programme restarted. my colleagues described it as a Zoo".

I said it doesn't surprise me citing how it has been discovered in the last week that one hotel stores it's used linen and towels in a public car park that is accessible by the public and residents of a nearby complex. He goes:

"I can't but also can believe that. When my colleagues were down there they said that all the staff weren't wearing masks and if they would then it wasn't done correctly, and most of the staff were hugging each other frequently as if it was a social event".

Yet according to Victorian sources, their breaches in the programme is just bad luck and nothing to see here. I am angry about my quarantine, the premise of it, the locking down of healthy people in rooms with no fresh air etc. but there is one thing that is clear. NSW takes this shit seriously. It seems Victoria is a case of "we just have to do this" but NSW is "we have to do this and we have to do it right."

We leave the phone call with a "good luck to you" but during that call, I was offered to speak to a doctor. I have no idea why. Were they thinking that I was at the end of my rope considering my last email? Well yeah, I am at the end of my rope but being at the end of my rope is due to a lack of common sense and humanity. NSW might be an actual "gold standard" of living with COVID but there is still an element of "state of origin" when it comes to protecting themselves and not understanding correctly what happens just over the border, let alone in foreign countries.

Australia on the whole you have to get over yourselves and get back to life. I think you could start by at least uniting as one country and not a bunch of individual states. You seem to want to fight over vaccine distribution and certain states being different or being treated differently by the Federal Government. Well if you want to be State v State and be separate nations then you deserve to receive the same treatment. Get together or stay apart, you can't play both narratives. But then again that's what Australia does so well right now.

With my call from NSW Health completed I go back to sleep. An hour later the "are you alive" call comes in. I did ask if the calls could be pushed back because of my new hours, however, it's not permitted or enforced because, I don't know, perhaps they might assume you're going to be out of the room and you now know when you have to return? Perhaps you can't dictate what time the call comes in because it has to be random perhaps?

I go back to bed and wake up when lunch arrives at 1 pm. Fortunately, it's only one more red-eye tonight and then I can resume normal hours again. The bonus too is that tonight is 10:00 PM to 05:30 AM. So should be quick and sweet tonight.

My second exemption to leave Australia is rejected again. Seriously what are they wanting? This time they told me that my letter from my employer is from March 2021 and cites statements from January 2020.

Yeah, but the last sentence of the letter states "this letter is valid from March 2021- September 2021", how about you bureaucrats actually read these things? How much more do I need to prove that I have a need to be out of the country eventually? The place is really becoming a North Korean dictatorship. Australia no one should ever be required in a country like ours to have to gain permission to leave the country or freely return to the country of their citizenship. I am aware that apparently, I am exempt from seeking an exemption as I reside overseas, however, it was recommended that I still pursue one to prevent delays on departure.

Finally the announcement I'm been waiting for.

The announcement that the Lockdown in Melbourne will come to an end. Or is?

No, it isn't.

The only thing that really changes is that you don't have to be in your home for 22hrs a day and can go more than 25kms from your home.

Can I see my partner or parents, even stay with them?


That's right no visitors to the home but you can go to a bar/cafe/restaurant with 50 strangers from all over the place, go to a packed supermarket but god forbid you to want to see your vaccinated mother in her house. What a goddamn joke! My old man sent me a message that summed it up.

Trust your father to find a way with humour.

Who knows what I'll do on Saturday. To be honest I agree with my old man now. Screw them all. Despite breaking the law for doing the crime of staying with my parents I have one thing to say to Victorian Authorities.

Time to get ready for my last Virtual Classroom. Hopefully, it runs fast because I'm about ready to have as close to a normal night and decent sleep as possible now.

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