Closed borders and self-isolation orders have forced a Gympie father to be separated from his family indefinitely.
Closed borders and self-isolation orders have forced a Gympie father to be separated from his family indefinitely.

Pandemic splits Gympie family

A GYMPIE region dad has no idea when he will see his family again after the coronavirus pandemic split his family in two.

The interstate fly-in-fly-out worker, who wished to remain anonymous to protect his job, has been forced to remain in another state indefinitely for work as a result of mandatory health rules.

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He is required to self-isolate every time he crosses the border - a big problem on a fortnightly FIFO schedule.

The closed Qld/NSW border. Picture: Jerad Williams
The closed Qld/NSW border. Picture: Jerad Williams

"It's a bit of a s--- situation," he said.

"Once I'm on site, I don't know if I'll be able to leave again."

His wife and children can now do nothing but wait for an unknown future.

 

With the extraordinary economic impact of the pandemic she called it the "most common sense option … but the heart says you want to be with your family".

Her father was headed up from Sydney to help until the pandemic is under control.

The worker said the day before he left for his latest stretch on the job was the hardest.

He remembers the 2007-2009 global financial crisis, and said there was no comparison between it and this latest disaster.

Travellers who cross Australias borders are required to self-isolate for 14 days. Picture: iStock
Travellers who cross Australias borders are required to self-isolate for 14 days. Picture: iStock

"It's worse," he said, especially in terms of the widespread unemployment and the amount of money already being pumped into the economy by governments.

"We never had that."

But his wife is under no illusions about whether her family has been hit the hardest.

"This might be a sticky situation for us, but we know there are many other families in far worse situations," she said.

"We're unlucky, but lucky."