It’s difficult to fathom but in a world of Covid nothing is as it seems. There are no solid and fast rules, but a world of fluidity and change that never seems to end.
During Zach’s quarantine period in Sydney, we saw a significant spike in cases with the delta strain in both Sydney and indeed across New South Wales.
Over the course of these two weeks the rules changed significantly. As an example, until last week the border between Queensland and NSW remained open, but with more cases being uncovered that was slammed shut late last week.
The first airline ticket that I purchased for him to fly to Brisbane was cancelled. We then had to go and buy another ticket on a different airline at a significantly higher rate and so far it hasn’t been cancelled…
Zach applied of a travel exemption so he could fly into Queensland, but this was denied… WTF! 🤯
So, we applied again with proof that he was a returning traveller to his home state (using my water bill as evidence) that his home was here and it was approved.
However, this was a few days ago and so we’re both holding our breath for tomorrow to see if either the flight is cancelled, and he’s stuck in Sydney or he flies to Brisbane but has to do another two weeks of quarantine…
So frustrating, especially given he’s fully vaccinated (with proof) plus he’s had four Covid tests in the two weeks and all are negative.
It truly is an hour-to-hour proposition… There is no grey area, or grounds for common sense…just the black and white rules.
Trust me I get it, but at some point, you would hope that common sense might prevail although in our current world this does not apply.
After exiting his quarantine hotel and getting all his paperwork in order there were just two things remaining before he could get to me here in Queensland.
First, he needed to get a private taxi to take him to the airport, then he had to show proof (with date and time stamp) that he was alone in the taxi via video or photo including proof that the cab had a barrier, and that the driver was wearing a mask.
All this evidence needed to be gathered along with a paper receipt in addition to his quarantine forms and negative covid test results.
Without this documentation there was a strong chance that he would be placed into a further two weeks of quarantine upon arrival into Brisbane…
Given that Zach did not yet have an Australian phone number I booked the taxi with my mobile number. When the taxi arrived at the hotel the taxi driver (Hassan) called me to see where I was.
I explained the situation to him and that the taxi was for my son and that he was in the midst of checking out and he’d be with him shortly.
Once Zach got out of the hotel he videotaped the walk to the taxi, as well as the inside of the cab as per the travel exemption outline.
Hassan called me to say that Zach was with him in the taxi when they were on the way to the airport and again once he’d dropped him off at the terminal he called again.
He didn’t have to do this, but a very kind and unexpected gesture!
All Zach had to do now was check-in and wait for the flight. He’d given himself a couple of hours before the flight boarded so grabbed a coffee and waited.
I was trying to remain positive. After all, he had all his paperwork and additional evidence documented however sometimes, depending on the situation things can go awry…
Arriving at the airport around the same time as his flight landed, I waited outside in the sunshine until he texted to say they had landed and was deplaning.
Currently in New South Wales, and indeed Sydney they have quite a number of active cases in the community which they are contact tracing. This means that the border between NSW and Queensland is shut except for residents returning.
This is the part where I held my breath as I knew he’d be going through the police checkpoint.
After some 15 minutes I saw Zach walking toward me, not from the expected escalator but from the other end of the terminal as he walked to pick up his checked bag from the carousel.
I felt was a flood of emotions surge through me… ❤️
After nine months of separation, it was hard to believe that he was finally here.
We embraced and held each other, both thankful that he’d gotten through the last checkpoint without issue. ❤️
As we walked to the car, he told me that he needed to get another covid test (this would be the fifth in 16 days) on Wednesday as the final exclamation point in his adventure from Canada via the USA to Australia.
Cooking one of his favourite dinners last night I reflected on the nine months, and the journey that he’d made both physically and emotionally, and of the journey that my daughter Sam is still to make. 💔
It’s impossible for her to visit until they open the borders up to International visitors again. This unfortunately, is likely to early to mid 2022 at the earliest as Australia must roll out the vaccine to the majority of Australians first before they’ll consider this.
My fingers are crossed that it’ll be sooner.
Until next week