Queensland Quarantine - pt. 2: food, entertainment, and release
Food. You have to admit that food is a critical part of everyday life. And when your days in quarantine consists of just eating and sleeping, food becomes just that much more consuming (no pun intended). Meals were delivered just outside our hotel room door. We could hear the rustling of the food bags as deliveries were made on our level. Then we'd hear the chorus of door knocks and door bells in series like a doppler effect throughout the hallway. While we were asked to wait 10 seconds before opening the door to minimize contact with hotel staff, we found ourselves getting very excited for one of the few events in our day. We'd jump off the bed, run to the door and look through the peep hole. We'd impatiently wait the 10 seconds by pacing back and forth before grabbing our goodies. There were the occasional sightings of other poor souls confined to rooms across the hall. It was sort of jarring to see other people in the flesh. Instinctively, we'd barely make eye contact and mumble a "hey..."before scurrying back into our rooms as if we might get in trouble for any kind of brief interaction or exchange of words.
The hotel quarantine program follows a weekly menu with vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free options. Rob requested "no red meat." So, for all of the beef and some of the pork dishes, he received the vegetarian or fish option. What do you think? Is pork red or white meat? Additionally, Rob's new coworkers were kind enough to deliver two care packages of lots of fruit, snacks, and wine.
Entertainment. In between meal deliveries we spent a lot of time watching the rest of the world going about their day out the window. We watched folks walking along the foot path across the river, followed the City Cat ferries as they wound around the city like a toy boat, and created narratives for the children playing at the childcare center on a lower floor of the building next to our hotel.
Release. It was pretty simple and smooth, really. On day ten of quarantine, a nurse came by the room to administer a covid test. Then, by day 12, we were given release paperwork and instructions for day 14. The results were in...negative tests and an 8:00am release time. Yay! As you can imagine, that time could not come soon enough. We made sure to have everything packed and ready to go the night before. Then, the morning of, we were up at the crack of dawn and were giddy with excitement to rejoin the rest of the world. We did multiple checks of the bathroom and closets to be sure nothing was left behind. Finally, there was a knock at the door. A friendly police officer greeted us with a luggage trolley and then escorted us down to the lobby and pick-up area. I've never been happier to be kicked to the curb.
My sister aptly described our behavior to be just like her dogs! You know, the running to the door when someone knocks, watching out the window for hours on end, and standing at the door when you know that it's almost time to go outside. She was concerned that, once out of quarantine, we might start sniffing butts and humping legs if weren't careful. Fortunately, we managed to behave ourselves.