The world is abuzz with the news that it’s actually going to happen… Australia is finally talking about opening its international borders. I’ve been hearing murmurings for a while, but when it hit globally the other day, a number of people got in touch to spread the love. It even made it to Austrian news, so you know it’s big.
Except I can’t help but feel a little bit cynical about the whole thing.
Don’t get me wrong, its great news. It’s a step in the right direction. But does it actually mean I’ll be able to book a flight and see my family for Christmas, just a few short months away? I’m not convinced.
The first news stories were all glitz and glamour, and then details began to emerge. First up it will only be for Australian citizens, who are vaccinated, and there will still be mandatory home quarantine. Which means you have to have a home. Does that mean I could quarantine with my parents (essentially putting them into quarantine), or do I need to essentially find an empty house to do it in alone? Would I be able to take a walk down to the beach, or around the local streets? Or will I be completely housebound? How do I get from the airport to home? Is getting a lift or taxing a taxi possible, even if that means exposing the air in my lungs that I’ve sucked through an aeroplane for 24 hours on someone else?
I just can’t help but imagine it’s all going to be a bit of a logistical disaster – at least to begin with – managing the sudden influx of travellers and trying to get them all to do the right thing. I can’t envision that the transition out of Covid times is going to be any less tricky than the drop into it. It’s tedious just crossing neighbouring country borders in Europe at the moment with the extra checks. So I’m imagining that, adding in a 24 hour flight, stopover in a random airport, before even hitting border security in Oz, may not be all fun and games (and let’s be honest, it’s not that fun in usual times).
So while it’s great news, there’s a lot of unanswered questions that I want answered before I’m going to take the plunge, and allow hope back in.
There are still thousands of stranded Australians trying to get home. Sure, not all the sob stories are true, but some of them are. Many just want to come home – not for a holiday, like me – but for good. Others have personal reasons as to why they are aching to get back. I’m safe and well; my family in Oz is safe and well; and we all plan to stay that way.
So I’m going to hold out a little bit longer. Because I can. Because in a way my technique for dealing with this Covid situation has been partly by not letting hope in, and then having it subsequently ruin everything.
The thing is, just by knowing that the end could soon be in sight, takes a little of the stress away. Knowing that some other Australians out there who desperately want to get home, will, makes me feel better. Because it will mean that it’s possible again.
And then it will be my turn.