Geschichten aus der Quarantäne … Part 2
Well, I talked about the Covid testing … it’s compulsory, done within 24 hrs of arrival. A second test will be done around day 10/11. Makes sense, as our experts tell us – the great unwashed – that there is a 10-14 day incubation period, provided one’s symptons are strong enough to show up … BTW, the rule of this quarantine clearly state thst if one does not/resists to undergo this second test, they will be kept at this facoity for another 10 days – at their own cost of course. Another `$1800 into the pocket of the NT Government.
The actual test performed here all of us know from watching TV. A person in a blue walla-walla gown, masked and most likely shielded as a double-up cautionary act, well this person sticks an oversized Q-tip right into your wide open mouth “AAAAAHHHHHHhhhhhhh” creting an most uncomfortable gag-reflex, but before you know it, the same Q-tip as disappeared into nostril one, quickly followed by nostril number 2. Really, it’s over before you even can get annoyed about it. Then the Q-Tip disappears into a small plastic-pipe tube, and needs to be broken off its stem to fit there. Off to the laboratory.
Two days latter, I received my Covid test out come via text message:
Pheww, I knew – hoped – it all the way, but it’s nice to get a confirmation. But, I am only half-way out of the woods. The second test shall confirm – or deny – my negativ status. Quite strane to look forward to a “negative status” …. always thought life ought to be more about positive status/statuses …. Well, strange times these are
Well, why in the first place did I expose myself being stabbed with oversized Q-tips, limited living in one small room and all the other rigmaroles for a fortnight? What made me deliver myself into quarantine – voluntarily??
Why the heck am I here anyway?
Let me try to find reason(s):
‘Work’, ‘Adventure’, ‘Travel” – come to mind first. So allow me to expand:
Work: recently, well one or two years ago, I started a part-time job as a Tour-guide. Really enjoyed it! The pay is relatively lousy, but the task is great: getting to know new, often interesting people, managing the few difficult ones, travelling around Australia to past and new places, showing-off my new home. This task is even more enjoyable as it is entirely “in-bound”, also only overseas travellers. Moreover, the groups are limited to a max of 12 guest, “Pax” in the industry jargon. But wait there is even more ….! These Pax are all Germans, usually more mature ones, say between late thirties to mid seventies. Mostly busy professionals, or retirees, but rather prefer arranging their annual holiday through a professional service (travel agency), instead of spending time doing this themselves. So they are prepared to spend a bit ore coin to get what they want investing less of their own time in doing so. They arrive with high and firm expectations and it is my pleasure to fulfil and sometimes even exceed these. ‘My’ groups are a mix from the ‘Neue Bundes Staaten’, meaning the former East-Germany (DDR) and the other half of course of the ‘old’ West-Germany. It really is fun! and indeed I get paid for it, not much, but sometimes the final tip makes up for it, but really not so important (better let not my boss read these lines). BTW, my boss and I, over a period of time, have grown into a solid partnership and “we are in this together” ….. well, not quite, but couldn’t help to use the current slogan 😉 and brin Heike into the equation of this blog.
Suffcient to say that the in-bound tourist business is right now on the nose. Nil!, Nix, no business whatsoever, no Pax arriving here, from nowhere (perhaps NZ soon?)
So, now I ask you to reflect on the recent, on YOUR recent lock-down experience. Especially if you are in Melbourne, Mitchell Shire you certainly know what lock-down feels like. The longer, the more you want OUT!! In Germany, as explained before our main target country for our small group tours, the emergence of a 2nd wave seems unavoidable. France, Spain, the UK – to name a few – are in a similar, perhaps worse situation right now and numbers are rising again! On top of this, Winter will be coming, cold, rainy, just miserable in Europe, so it is likely these countries have a whopper of a 2nd wave. Let me be clear: – I do not wish this to anybody, anywhere!! But it is a strong probability with an almost certain course of events. It is almost predictable that, as a consequence these people might experience similar lock-down blues, just as we just did, some of us still do! They will arrive at a stage of mind where all they can think about is: “GET ME OUT OF HERE!!” Ready to pack and travel away from it all – preferably far away.
Ok, so where to? Well, why not to a country which appears to have a firm grip on the pandemic, and a recent track record about low figures, able to manage efficiently new emerging cases and, on top, looking exotic. Australia! If my assumptions are even half-way correct, then there will be plenty of penned-up demand to travel to a save country. Even if it is a long journey in a plane (yes, I know, another potential trap, but one would hope airlines work on improving the effectiveness of their filtering systems). Otherwise, they just pop-in one or several stopovers. With such a ‘run’ – people willing to get out NOW, one wants to be prepared and have a larger-than-usual range of tours ready to be conducted. Therefore some research for new destinations, new routes, new activities is best conducted now. Think about it: all these places in the NT and right now no o/s tourist. Well, dare I say it: Bliss – one wants to experience 😉
No doubt, this trip – despite a business focus – will also be most enjoyable. Our exact plan is not yet firm, as several options depend on being able to travel over-land into W.A, or QLD, or even NSW. Seems to me as if these entry restrictions change more often than my underwear (still daily in my case). Therefore a few options need to be worked out, so we can select the best possible according to the prevailing circumstances.
So, enough for today. I am sitting outside on ‘my’ piece of the veranda. It’s 32 degrees, overcast and humid, approaching the hottest part of the day. Better now to retreat into my cubby-hole and take a afternoon snooze … – see you – hopefully – in Part 3