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  • Nancy Rizk

Hotel Quarantine in Sydney!

So, this is my first blog. Why am I writing my first blog you ask? Well firstly I think it's important to share information to those who have upcoming hotel quarantine and what to expect.


I am not your typical structured writer. I am what you would call a potty mouth, realist. I won't structure my blogs. I will just share my experiences.


I am a huge germaphobe so you can imagine what it's like for a germaphobe to travel from the highest Covid count in the world. LA, to the most government controlled place, Australia.

And YES, I travelled in a full hazmat suit, copper gloves, a portable air purifier around my neck, disposable seat covers and 2 N95 masks. Plus, the countless sanitizer spray and wipes. It was exhausting, BUT I want to keep safe and healthy. Sure, if I did get Covid, I would probably be fine, but I don't want to find out!


LANDING IN AUSTRALIA

I thought I had mentally prepared for my upcoming 14 day quarantine. I would call it my 14 day retreat to get my shit together. But I was very wrong.

Firstly, when you land, be prepared to see the ADF/army, police and government officials. I felt like I was off to a detention centre. However, they were all very nice and not bad eye candy.


We all got escorted to a bus after disembarking our flight. At this stage I had a HUGE headache from waiting, lack of water and stress of travelling with 4 suitcases not to mention the personal shit I was going through.

We got escorted to a bus, where the Australian Defence Force was waiting for us, they took my bags, and I took a seat inside the bus. Keep in mind I’m still suited up and dehydrated.

We had no idea where we were going. And I get motion sickness! The whole ride I was trying to hold back my vomit. I ended up stripping off my hazmat suit, dropping down my mask and felt like I was dying.


The bus stops and I look at where we are. ParkRoyal Darling Harbour. I was relieved. I thought this isn't too bad.

A policeman enters the bus, explaining what happens now. The ADF was removing all the luggage and we had to fill out some papers. I smashed out the forms in a matter of minutes, mind you I looked at the sergeant & I begged for water, which he did given how deathly I looked, he was my saviour!


I was the first one out of the bus. At this point my headache turned into a migraine and I just needed a fucken shower!!!

From there I was sent to a table with hotel staff asking questions, where I got given a room number and info pack, then I got taken up to another police officer. After that the ADF was waiting for me near the elevator with my bags. I was given a brown paper bag with yogurt, fruit, cereal and milk.


I was taken to my room. The ADF was lovely enough to wheel my 4 suitcases in. As soon as he closed the door, I looked at the room. I BROKE DOWN.

I cried so much the veins in my forehead looked like they were going to pop out of my head.

The room was small and my worst fear, there was not enough light. My view was staring at a fucken brick wall and some women’s bra closet. That was my view for 15 days. Oh, they don't tell you, but you are in quarantine for 15 days, they don't count the day of arrival. What a fucken shit show!!!!


I stripped all my clothes off, so I had no airport germs on me, and I cried. Not only because of the room, but again I was going through some life changing personal shit. No wonder you don't get a balcony or an open window, for mental health reasons, it's a smart move!

After 3 Panadols and facetiming the one person in the world I love and trust the most, they calmed me down. I then jumped in the shower for at least 30 minutes. After that I felt a little better but lost. I mean I was prepared coming into this and you will see how below when I show you the list of stuff, I bought with me. But for now, I am standing in my room, not knowing what the fuck I was going to do. Keep in mind I am also due for my period, so everything is 10 fold for me right now on the emotional scale.


I hear a knock at the door and its lunch. The lunch was horrible, it was a weird 2 minute noodle thing. I did not eat it. And not to mention a security guard sitting in plain sight of my door as if I was about to escape.

The phone rang and it was the hotel nurse. After answering all her questions, she asked if I suffer from depression, anxiety etc. I said yes and told her my situation. She then said she would get a specialist to call and talk to me. I stressed my concerns about not getting any natural light and looking at a fucken brick wall but that did not get me a room upgrade. Damn it!


WHAT COMES IN THE ROOM

  1. Kettle

  2. Plates, cutlery, glasses and mugs

  3. Tea for days

  4. Wi-Fi

  5. Hair dryer

  6. Towels

I was thrilled I had a kettle for tea and my hot water bottle for when my period does surface.


WHAT I BOUGHT WITH ME

  1. Portable USB blender for my shakes

  2. Cutlery

  3. Tea towels

  4. Bowl, plate and cup

  5. Collapsible colander

  6. Lemon squeezer

  7. Clothes detergent

  8. Portable clothes hanger

  9. Stainless steel mug for tea and wine

  10. Lightweight yoga travel mat

  11. Exercise bands and skipping rope

  12. Journal

  13. Paint by number set

  14. Protein powder (KaChava) the most nutritious dense shake out

  15. Vitamins

  16. Bluetooth speakers

  17. Ring light- (for meetings and self-tapes)

  18. Voiceover microphone (to keep me busy taping what I need to)

  19. Hot water bottle

  20. HDMI cable

  21. UV phone sanitizer

  22. BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS

Yes, as you can see, I went to the extremes. But the reason I did that was for the simple fact I had no idea where I was going to end up, and what I would have at my disposal.

First night’s dinner:

Was spinach and ricotta lasagne, poppy seed cake and salad.

As you can see half the lasagne ended up on the lid. It was dry and honestly, I wouldn't feed this to anyone. NOT COOL.


At this point I was too tired to order uber eats and just made myself a herbal tea. Oh, and P.S: Apparently you can only order uber eats once a day!!! UMMMMM we are already paying $3000 for this and paying for Uber also. Something is not right here!!!

Day 2:

I decided to unpack what was necessary, set up my little office desk and made it very homey with my sticky notes. And now I was starting to feel normal.

Food was better for day 2 as I told them my dietary restrictions and they did everything they could to accommodate my needs.

The mental health nurse called every day. It was great to have someone to vent to, not only about being in the room, but also the personal stuff going on in my life.

I also made a woollies order online so got some necessities from the grocery store and my glen 20. I was spraying everything!!!

In quarantine you get tested on day 2 and day 12. However, I got tested about 5 times. WHY?

When I actually did get my period, I had symptoms, but I wasn't sure if it was my period or Covid. So, they tested me for that. Then I found out someone on my flight tested positive, so to ensure we didn't catch it, they tested us more than normal.

I used to cringe at getting the tests, but I got so used to it, it didn't bother me anymore.

Day 3-8

Food had been wonderful! I used to hear the rustling of the white paper bag and it was always exciting to see what I was having. Toward the middle of my stay, I started plating it, so it looked more appealing. I LOVED the juices they would send up and sometimes they would send up a freshly squeezed juice.



Day 9-14

This is where the food got a little blah. I started ordering uber eats every couple night. In the photo above is a toasted sandwich, I made that by using the iron. I was desperate for a grilled cheese.

At this point I was loving quarantine. I got SO MUCH DONE!

The only problem was I wasn't moving as much, and I wasn't about to spend $300 on a rental exercise bike which a few people did in our group.

The hotel created a Facebook page for us all and it was great. We all chatted away and it was a great way to connect us all.


I was so excited when I bumped into my neighbour when we opened the door at the same time. She was so sweet and lovely. Until the security told me off for talking to her even though we both had masks on and didn't leave the room. That happened twice, so I left her a note and told her the security had it in for me. Next thing I know she has called my room phone and we spoke for ages. She was great!

As a thank you, the hotel sent up a bottle of champagne to say thank you for our stay, that was really lovely.












Day 15

This was such an exciting moment but also sad. I loved my room and how homey I made it.

But there was no way in hell I was getting on a plane back to Melbourne. So, I booked a beach front apartment so I could spend time near the beach for a few days before I went back to Melbourne.

Checking out, they sent up a trolly, and I am tiny so getting 4 suitcases, a garbage bag of laundry and two grocery bags, was hell for me. The security that had given me grief the previous days was just watching me. I looked at him and said, "can you please help me?" His response was "no, you’re in quarantine!" I was livid. I told him to stop watching me if he wasn't going to help me. Turd! I did not like him at all.

Apart from that checking out was easy and the hotel was great. They really have done a great job!


My first step outside was... MUGGY!

Sydney was boiling hot with no wind, so I felt like I was breathing in nothing but warmth.

I made it to the beach and my room was perfect. RIGHT ON THE BEACH!

I spent the whole day on the beach and my watch congratulated me on moving the most I had in 2 weeks. I just walked and walked in the Coogee beach water; it was bliss. My breakfast the next day was so beautiful I was just beside myself with excitement. I took a hike to Carrington Falls for some greenery and that was magical. And the taco's, they were my favourite!!!

All this prepared me for my trip back to Melbourne.

P.S. LEANNE who works at Virgin was a real bitch to me checking in! Just wanted you all to know that.

All in all, if you are about to quarantine, my word of advice is to treat it as a retreat, set goals and smash them out. Only watch TV in the evenings and keep busy. But also relax, it is your down time!

Good Luck!!!

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