Rotary president returns to home confinement
After the adventurous freedom of 18 days travelling and trout fishing in New Zealand, Woy Woy Rotary Club president Mr Don Tee and wife Sue have returned to home soil and straight into lock down at home.
They are due to come out of 14-day social isolation at their Bensville home tomorrow (March 31) because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We're probably safer in here than out there anyway at the moment," Don said.
The Tees say that at the time they left New Zealand, there were next to no cases of the coronavirus but at the time of this interview there were 155 confirmed cases, and rising, and New Zealand had closed its borders and were preparing for lock down to start on March 25.
They said they were lucky to holiday without restrictions, just as they have every year for the past 15 years and enjoy "the best trout fishing there is".
"The Saturday before we left New Zealand, we went to the county fair and there must have been about 10,000 people there and not a mask in sight," Don said.
"We knew what we were coming home to though and when our flight into Sydney landed, the hostesses told us all to stay in our seats because the Australian Government was coming on board," he said.
"A man and woman came on, all gowned up with protection gear like overalls and masks, and they gave us a foolscap page of rules and regulations of what we had to do and made sure none of us were feeling ill.
"When we came through customs there was a questionnaire to fill in and acknowledge that we understood that we must self-isolate when we got home.
"There was no excuse and you'd have to be pretty silly if you didn't know what was happening.
"The customs people were wearing masks but other than that there were very few wearing masks in the airport and you wouldn't have known if things were anything else than normal.
"We always declare that we've got fishing rods and gear and they just asked us where we'd been and so on - that's fairly normal - they just checked our gear and then we're on our way.
"We hopped in the car and drove home and here we are.
"It doesn't worry us really - being in self-isolation - it's just the morally right thing to do."
The Tees said they were lucky to have good friends who had been helping them and their groceries had been delivered from online orders.
"We bought some toilet rolls back with us though because while we were over there we were talking to people back home who told us about the toilet roll situation so we bought half a dozen rolls back with us," Sue laughed.
They said when they were no longer grounded the first thing they would do would be to visit Don's 100-year-old mother because by that time it would be more than a month between visits.
"That was probably the only unfortunate restriction we had really - at 100 years old, every day is a bonus and she didn't like the idea much of not seeing us," Don said.
Sue said she was going to have a haircut.
Then it's back to work for them both - Sue as a medical receptionist and Don as a plumber.
As far as the Woy Woy Rotary Club goes, Don said face-to-face meetings had been postponed and they were investigating the possibility of having meetings through internet programs such as Zoom.
Interview (Sue Murray), 24 Mar 2020
Don and Sue Tee, Bensville