A plane arrives in the middle of the night from overseas. Its passengers are taken to an exquisite five-star hotel overlooking Darling Harbour on the 19th floor for their mandatory fourteen days isolation period.

They arrive at the hotel at around 11pm. If you were personally responsible for counting out their fourteen days stay, where would you start? Would day one begin the following day considering their late arrival time, or would it begin that very night?

With cases building of COVID19 from people returning to Australia from overseas, but only developing symptoms after their isolation period is over, I was extremely interested in understanding how this could possibly be occurring. If the isolation period needed to be longer or if something else was going amiss.

Something’s Not Right!

Then my in-laws arrived back in Sydney and I learned something which I found deeply disturbing. Their fourteen days quarantine began at 11pm on the night they arrived.

Although they were only in isolation for an hour, it counted as a twenty-four hour period of time. And even though they were rejoicing with the news, it simply did not sit well with me.

One Day Can Make All The Difference!

If you have ever unexpectedly lost someone you loved deeply, you will understand the immense possibilities that a day can hold. Just a single day can make an absolute world of difference. In the instance of COVID19, one can only imagine the untold damage twenty-four hours of carelessness can unleash.

In this case, just imagine if my in-laws decide to visit my family immediately as they leave isolation. It’s not impossible, especially when they only live down the street. And often there is no control over it. It isn’t easy stopping family from randomly popping over… my life is like Everybody Loves Raymond’, I kid you not.

So Much Damage

I am blessed with a family of nine, with little ones who attend two different schools – one of which is a school for children with severe disabilities. My hubby is still fortunate enough to go to work. Just with those three locations alone, picture the magnitude of damage that could potentially be caused by one single visit from my in-laws if they were unwell and didn’t realise and especially if mandatory isolation is miscalculated.

God forbid they were carrying COVID19 without realising and passed it to us. How much unnecessary infections could a large family cause to the community?

What’s Another Day?

If counting the days for something as life threatening, on such a vast scale, as COVID19 truly is, I would do it by hours and I would insist that it was done even if it meant having to stay a fifteenth night at the hotel.

Realistically I don’t have too much to worry about because I have laid down some very firm rules to ensure that we as a family don’t wreak havoc on the community. I don’t want to be responsible for something like that. In fact other than for school, the only person to leave our home for essentials is still my husband because I feel a great responsibility especially with so many little lives involved.

So many little ones, who could potentially spread it to so many others! Thankfully none of my children are in childcare, so it’s only really school that is of concern.

Considering that I’m not venturing out for anything which isn’t necessary, I feel it only fair that I am able to set up these boundaries and request that anyone having been overseas does not visit our home immediately after their mandatory isolation period has ended.

Common Sense

It should really be common sense. Health and safety should come before the need to fill that void of missing one’s grandchildren, as awful a feeling as it must be. If we don’t want to see a second wave of COVID19, mindfulness must prevail.

Of course, I might sound mean, and more than likely crazy with my suggestions. But I believe that a day does matter, it counts for something and in all reality, 24hrs can change a person’s life.

It would definitely be an expensive exercise for the government to monitor the days more strictly than what they are already doing, but could it have the potential of preventing a second wave of COVID19?

Instead of merely looking at it as fourteen days of isolation should we be looking at it as a certain number of hours of observation instead?

What would you do in this situation? Do you think fourteen days of quarantine is enough? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • So….if it begins on the night that they arrive and counts 14 days from then – that’s still 14 days.

    • I think you are missing the point. even if they arrived at 11.55 that night ….those 5mins before midnight are classed as one day…. one day should equal 24hours and not 5mins.


  • Fourteen full days to make sure you are healthy and stop the spread of Covid19


  • I think it’s good. Health and safety need to be priority.


  • I’d start counting from the next day or, better still, start from the hour they arrive. I’d still be cautious for another 7 days but that’s just me.


  • I think it would be fine. It’s one day, and it’s a suggested quarantine, but it’s shown to still be possible after anyways. I’d enforce the social distancing which I’ve noticed many people are forgetting.


  • I think the 14 days is enough and a great idea. I would spend the first week sleeping!


  • I would rather stay isolated for longer to be absolutely certain.


  • I would definitely have begun counting from the next day not that one hour as a full day! I don’t think it’s mean or wrong to insist nobody visit immediately after their isolation period. They would feel horrendous if visiting and infecting one or more of their grandchildren.


  • Always better to go an extra day than to risk infecting anyone.


  • I think it should be 14 complete days, I think that 14 is long enough but i would still be cautious about meeting up with loved ones if I had spent any time overseas.

    • I would simply and respectfully say “no” to visitors until feeling comfortable with visitors in the house.


  • 14 days of isolation has been proven to be enough in the majority of cases.


  • For me, a day wouldn’t be counted until it had 24 hours to back it up. So if they arrive at 11pm Monday night, it’ll be 1 day in isolation at 11pm on Tuesday night. Common sense to me to do it this way


  • Its a tricky one, because there have been cases where its taken more than 14 days…I think common sense and being strict with social distancing is warranted.


  • I would count only full days as the required quarantine period, not 1 hour as a day! One extra day is nothing compared to the possible consequences!


  • An extra day is nothing, better safe than sorry !


  • Sounds rather dramatic but the rules are in place for a reason. It would be nice if people could look at the bigger picture in trying to stop the spread instead of picking apart the rules and what they can get away with


  • In this situation I would follow science and the rules defined for quarantine. Fourteen days is the defined time and rules need to be adhered too with people not being able to adjust the time/days according to preference.


  • Have to agree, it’s an extra day but it’s an extra day that could save a life


  • I have to agree! An extra day to avoid spreading wont hurt at all


  • I would tend to agree with you and err on the side of caution. Some of those passengers on the Ruby Princess infected others well after the 14 days as they were asymptomatic and because they hadn’t been tested they didn’t know they had the virus. At least these days people are being tested for the whole 14 days they are isolated in a hotel room, so there is somewhat less to worry about.


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