Groundhog’s Year: My second hotel quarantine

Bryan J. Rollins
3 min readOct 7, 2021

It seems like it was just December and I was leaving hotel quarantine at the sub-par Novotel in Homebush. Yet:

Here I go again on my own,
Quarantine me and I-I will atone
Really wish I would have brought my trombone
But I’ve made up my mind
I’m going to strengthen my behind
But here I go aga-a-a-in

I could see Darling Harbour just off to the right. This room has a better view that my home office. And my commute to a bed is even shorter.

I landed in Sydney after a month in the US taking care of my mom, and was guided on to the quarantine bus! Most people expressed their condolences knowing I was about to go through a second round of quarantine — but it was easy. I knew what I was getting into and was prepared:

  • I dropped my TT bike, bike trainer, and a suitcase full of cycling stuff off with a friend who dropped it all by (along with fresh fruit!) on my first day. I rode every day but one, and the endorphin fixes kept me sane, so I didn’t fight with any of the imaginary people in the room with me.
  • I ordered the extras I needed from Harris Farms to make up for the not-quite-enough-calories vego meals.
  • I had a bunch of special projects, like organising and labelling the 1000 slides I had digitised while I was in the states, that kept me busy.
  • I limited my Netflix time to only when on the bike or eating the not-quite-enough-calories dinner.
  • I bought a super-portable espresso display (which is actually made by an an Aussie company) for my laptop while I was in the states and it made me so much more productive (which we all know, is very, very important for not-quite-enough-calories BJR) at work.

Aussie Hotel Quarantine is largely the same as last year, with only a few changes:

  • The test you four times for COVID, on day 2, 7, 12, and then 16 (two days after you leave) instead of two times, due to the difference in strength of the delta variant.
  • They offer to vaccinate you while in quarantine! How great is that, to make sure people who couldn’t get vaxxed have the chance to do it before entering gen-pop. They were impressed that I already had three doses. I asked if instead of a dose of vax they could hook me up with a prison tat. No dice.
  • And of the PARKROYAL (all caps, they are not f’ing around) did a much better job at everything than the Novotel in Homebush.
Vegemite and a few other goodies upon arrival, and a bottle of champagne for your final night!
A hamper from Brighte to celebrate a team milestone was a great surprise in quarantine (I did not eat the beef jerky)

I left quarantine at the time of my choosing (4:30 AM, why stay another minute?), came home, and within a few hours was swimming in the ocean. Despite how easy it was, here’s to never doing it again.