The England I grew up in, was well used to the idea of quarantine. In those days the big threat to public health was rabies. We were pretty strict about enforcing a lengthy quarantine period on animals from overseas. Australia too, has always had strict bio security measures in place. When I had first visited Australia, I remember being warned that everything would be sprayed.
Let’s not forget Barnaby Joyce and Johnny Depp’s dogs possibly my favourite tale involving a politician in recent years. Poor old Barnaby will probably always be known as the man who threatened to exterminate Johnny Depps dogs. However as we have seen recently biosecurity is no laughing matter, lives and livelihoods depend on it.
Australia very sensibly, (or so it would appear currently) closed its borders relatively early. They have also put in place, strict quarantine measures, for those arriving from overseas.
Today I had the privilege of talking to an Australian, who has recently returned from the USA during the pandemic. I believe she said there had been a mere fourteen people on her flight. Just about everywhere she passed through had been eerily empty.
She was then placed in the obligatory quarantine. The government had clearly done their best to ensure people were comfortable and the experience had not appeared to be particularly unpleasant for her. See Johnny Depp’s dogs, you would have been fine too…
Of course it must have been a little more frustrating for those with young children. It has been challenging enough for me confined with my two college age youngsters. Had my two still been toddlers, I am sure I would have been begging for solitary confinement.
We have all been placed in unusual situations in the last few months. I still suspect I made a starring, albeit brief, appearance in one of my son’s lectures, fully clothed fortunately.
We have been confronted with things like empty shelves and our own mortality. Let’s hope we retain the lessons we have all learned and remember that most of us have merely had to endure temporary inconvenience and not the permanent heart-breaking reality of those, for whom isolation and/or a struggle to buy daily essentials, is nothing unusual.