(Note: Names have been changed to protect the writer’s identity.)
It has been a while since we last spoke, so you may be wondering where we have got to.
You will recall that my 87-year old mother, who lives in the EU, has lost her partner and now has no other relatives there, so we intended to bring her to Australia to live with us.
I would have been happy to sign whatever undertaking the government wanted regarding covering all her costs, including any future medical ones, but alas, that was not to be. The migration lawyer in Brisbane I had on that job informed me that Australia is not giving any visas to anyone apart from a few cases of immediate spouses and that this is unlikely to change at least until June 2022.
So I thought, okay, let’s go over to Europe and stay with her until the Australian politicians come to their senses.
Being a law-abiding citizen, I applied with the relevant government department for a “permit” to leave the country indefinitely due to compassionate reasons. This was denied without any explanation.
We then thought we’d use Jane’s New Zealand passport to go to NZ and instead fly out from there, by-passing the Australian gulag policies.
The first flight out of Brisbane was cancelled, but a couple of days later we were lucky to get on one of the NZ government’s last ‘green flights’, provided to NZ citizens “returning home”. Just before the “travel bubble” slammed shut, too.
Of course, a PCR test was compulsory before departure; these cost $150 each in Brisbane.
We were supposed to fly on to Europe the next day, on a separate ticket obviously, because having the same flight on the one from Australia would have seen us refused departure.
Alas, apparently the PCR test now must be done no less than 72 hours before arriving in the first port of entry to EU, which is Germany in our case. Funnily enough, one still needs the test even if “fully vaccinated” – so much for the “freedom pass”! In any case, we are not, and will not subject ourselves to any experimental “vaccines”.
So we were refused boarding and got stuck in Auckland for at least a week.
Now the fun starts: The PCR tests cost $250 each in NZ, but there is nobody who will guarantee to do them in 24 hours. It is basically “pay up and take your chance”.
Allowing for having the test 2 days before departure, so as to get the result before trying to check in, presents a true Catch-22 because the travelling time from NZ to Europe, with one stopover, pretty much means you cannot quite make the 72-hour limit.
So here we are, waiting for the most recent test and hoping we may be allowed to get on the next flight.
Meanwhile, next door to where we are staying is a “quarantine hotel”. If you ever visited any of the Nazi concentration camps in Europe, you will see some eerie similarities. Double-layered barbed wire fences, huge warning signs, complete with menacing-looking guards.
Once a day the inmates get to walk around in circles outside, to get some fresh air, presumably – we can see them from our window because we are several stories up. Mind you, there must be a limit on how much “air” they are allowed to breathe, because they are all duly masked up and have to walk well apart from one another.
This is where the western world is in mid-2021.
Jane and I are financially independent, but I am still terrified of where this new totalitarianism may end up. Or even where WE may end up. Stuck in NZ, perhaps, waiting for Jacinda Ardern to invoke their very own version of the Orwellian nightmare Australia is going through? Or, if we get to the EU, stuck there, unable to even go to a grocery store without a “passport”?
Keep well mate.