Borders closed, families separated
My Mum and I are extremely close, however, she lives in Brisbane, and I’m here in Canberra working at the National Museum of Australia. I also have a brother, who lives in Sydney as he is in the Defence Force and must be close to his ship. I was lucky enough that in March 2020 when the Museum shut down, I was able to get into Queensland just before the border shut and could work from my Mum’s place and spend the initial lockdown period with her.
When the Museum reopened at the end of May, however, I was required back on site. I came back to Canberra with no idea of when I would be able to see my family again. I was actually able to see them much sooner than I thought, although not under particularly nice circumstances. In early June my Aunt passed away, so the family converged in Melbourne for her funeral. My Mum was granted an exemption to travel out of Queensland and had to quarantine at home on her return. She didn’t mind so much but the dog suffered without his daily walk.
After the funeral, my Mum was back in Queensland and my brother back in Sydney and I was here in Canberra and we all have no idea when we’ll be able to be together again. Our best hope is that by Christmas my brother and I will be allowed into Queensland again so we can spend time as a family before his six-month deployment to the United States – another scary thought!
We are a very close family, especially my Mum and I, so to be away from them for so long makes me very unhappy. I do have to remind myself that a lot of people have it far worse – we are all healthy, we have jobs, and roofs over our heads. And we will be able to be together again eventually.
I do think my feelings are valid and situations like this are happening all over the world to many people. To me, it is probably one of the biggest impacts COVID-19 has had – borders closed and families separated with no idea of when they will be able to be together again.