I had intended to interview my friend Angela Sun for my 39 Travel Questions YouTube/Podcast series but when I learned that she was the first person to test positive for Covid-19 in Cairns, Australia, I had to change the course of this interview. In fact, I interviewed her twice. Once to do the 39 Travel Questions and again to find out what her experience was like Down Under, as well as the flight back to the U.S.A.

It’s really interesting. When she tested positive, she had to quarantine in a hospital for 14 days even though she didn’t have severe symptoms. In fact, she said, she was mostly tired and it came in waves. So some days she felt good but others not so good with a mild fever.

Then she quarantined for another 14 days once she got out of the hospital and before she flew home, and then quarantined again for another 14 days in the U.S. What’s even more remarkable is that her hospital bill didn’t cost her anything. That’s right, zilch, nada, $0. Imagine what the bill would have  been in the U.S.?
What I also found interesting is that when leaving Australia, they tested people and even to get into the airport, there were checkpoints. But when she landed at SFO there was absolutely nothing. No temperature tests, no questions and no mandatory quarantine. What’s up with that, USA?

It took her multiple flights to get home: Cairns to Brisbane, Brisbane to Sydney, Sydney to San Francisco and San Francisco to Los Angeles – so she was in five different airports. She says the airports were like ghost towns, even in the middle of the day. No shops open and no Ubers outside. It was bizarre.

If you listen to the podcast or watch on YouTube, you can tell there’s a huge difference between how things are handled in Australia and the U.S. To compare and contrast, listen to my podcast with Kylie Robertson about her flight from San Francisco to Sydney and what it’s like being quarantined once you arrive in Australia from an overseas flight.

Johnny Jet

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