How about Australia

"In Australia, life is 99 percent normal"

Series: Families and Corona Worldwide - Part 2

How are you Families abroad in the Corona time? What do you want and how will you spend Christmas? We went on a search and interviewed a few families in other countries. Here Sabrina Forlin reports on the situation in Australia.

Editor: Hanna Lauer
Pictures: Sabrina Forlin

Sabrina Forlin, 38, is a marketing specialist at a university. The Swiss immigrated to Australia nine years ago. She lives in Brisbane, Australia with her partner Jonathan Miller, 40, and their two children Luca, 4, and Luna, 2. Born in England, Jonathan Miller runs a men's hairdressing salon here.

What is the current situation with the coronavirus in your country?

We live in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The corona situation hardly affects us at all - we have very few active cases. We don't have to wear a mask and life feels 99 percent normal. It is up to us whether we want to work in the office or in the home office. I myself work in marketing at a university, but mostly from home. This is how 80 percent of my work colleagues do it. I think people prefer to work from home, even if Corona is not an issue at all.

The border to the neighboring state of New South Wales (where Sydney is also located) was reopened in early December. Other states were more severely affected, in the state of Victoria with the city of Melbourne, for example, the measures were only recently relaxed.

How is the work situation with you and your partner?

Jonathan works five days a week. He is self-employed and works in his men's hairdressing salon from Tuesday to Saturday. I work three days a week, Monday to Wednesday, mostly in the home office. Sometimes I have to go to university for a meeting.

How is child care organized?

The children are in the day care center on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

How close is Corona? Have you already been in isolation or quarantine yourself?

Fortunately, we are all negative. With us, Corona is really far away. In March we adults in Queensland were all quarantined for five weeks as a precaution, but the daycare was still open and the government waived the daycare fees.

Christmas is just around the corner: do you already know how you are going to celebrate?

We will either spend our Christmas with friends by the sea or near a pool. At Christmas time, it's hot 35 degrees in Brisbane. Our families in Switzerland and England cannot celebrate with us, but we are used to that. That is why we spend the festive season with families we are friends with.

How do you experience the situation as a whole: Has Corona opened unfamiliar doors for family life or did it cause additional stress?

For us personally, not much has changed, except that we were not able to travel to Switzerland in June as planned. And yet it is difficult to see how things are going on in other countries - especially in our home countries. Especially because in Australia everything is now under control when it comes to Corona.

I think that in Australia, thanks to rigorous contact tracing and tough lockdowns (Melbourne was locked down for around five months!), The crisis was managed quite well - let's hope it stays that way.

What do you wish for in 2021?

That we can visit our families and travel without restrictions.

Read part 3 of our series Families in everyday corona all over the world, what the situation is like in America. You can read all of the family portraits published so far here: Families and Corona worldwide.

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