Quarantine Sweet Quarantine

This is the Captain speaking. We’ve landed in Sydney. Now after spending 24 hours in a small space, you’re about to spending 14-days in an even smaller one.

Kept together in the herd

Overall, it took “us” 2 hours to exit the airport. Our flight (all 20 of “us”) was kept together the entire time — you don’t mingle with other flights to avoid cross-contamination. To master the airport quarantine shuffle, just learn these six easy steps:

  1. Wait an hour for the flights in front of you to clear the Health Interview.
  2. Ace your Health Interview: Do you have any of the following 40 symptoms? No? Okay move on. And, if you didn’t already know, you are about to be quarantined in a hotel-not-of-your-choice for 14 days. Hopefully this is not a surprise? I would love to see a surprise case.
  3. Pass thru Immigration: The usual, but with more glass between you and the immigration officer.
  4. Get your bags at Baggage Claim. You are the only flight allowed in all of baggage claim. This is your chance to ride on the carousel!
  5. Clear Customs. I got into the wrong line and then got out, and of course that made them think I was dodging inspection, but when I explained things they backed off.
  6. Wait for the Hotel Bus for 30 minutes, then wait on that bus to leave.

The Big Reveal

I was really excited about the bus ride. It’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to reality tv, where they drag out the drama of some mundane occurrence (“Master Chefs, the secret ingredient is E. coli!”). You board a bus with your fellow flight-mates, and the bus rolls out of the airport, with only the driver knowing your destination. With each turn (“West? We’re going West? Are there hotels in Western Sydney?”) it starts to narrow down where you’ll be spending the next 14 days. Chatter throughout the bus confirmed that the previous four buses had gone to Homebush.

Life among the Dust Bunnies

The Novotel is not The Sheraton, and my room was not a suite. There was no room to workout, but moving around some furniture gave me enough space for prison cell pushups and anything that fit on a yoga mat (mat not included).

I will never forget this room — even after shock therapy, large amounts of quaaludes, and injecting bleach into my veins.
The view was great. It was the thing that kept me sane during the two weeks, and the eleven imaginary people in the room with me agreed.

If the COVID doesn’t get you, malnutrition will

The first three days of food weren’t that bad, but it went quickly downhill from there. If I hadn’t had the massive care packages from Leigh, I would have been calling Deliveroo twice a day.

I didn’t expect the food to be amazing. Some days it was good, some days it was comedic.

To the rescue: Care Packages!

Leigh and I could wave at each other. I’m on the 16th (top) floor. Look very carefully, you can see my hand waving out of one of the windows.
My sister is pretty amazing. Before leaving the states, she gave me an envelope with a note from here to read for every day I was in quarantine.

Prison Cell Workouts

Without exercise, I’m not the world’s greatest human being. So getting a solid workout in every day was key. I had hauled some resistance bands and an off brand TRX system with me, so I could use those in the states and in hotel quarantine.

The guard on the other side of the door had to wonder where all the banging and grunting were coming from.

For Those About to Quarantine, We Salute You

The day before exit, you get a wristband showing that you’re free to go tomorrow.
Freedom! Waiting for the uber to take me home.

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