The thought of being stuck in a hotel room for two weeks while being served food out of plastic containers and having to buy expensive vino via room service sounds incredibly dismal. But for Australians coming home from overseas, there’s no other option: quarantine directly from the plane to an assigned hotel room – which could be five star or two and it will cost you AUD $3000 (USD $2334) – or don’t bother thinking about coming home at all. 

As everyone with children will know: add a few of them to the mix and it’s a recipe for disaster. Case in point, New Zealand film director Taika Waititi’s photo from his quarantine hotel in September (NZ has the same rules as Australia), showing a trashed room and gleeful children just halfway through his 14-day stay. 

But Nicole Trunfio seems to be taking it all in stride – as far as Instagram will show, anyway. 

The Australian-born model, who lives in the US with her musician husband, Gary Clark Jr., and their three children, has come home for the summer, family in tow, and is posting photos of a very glam looking quarantine situation. Not only did Trunfio luck out and manage to get a room with a balcony (fresh air! A view! Extra space)! but she’s also managed to find time to dress up and enjoy a red wine in the evenings. Unless the woman has a couple of nannies hidden somewhere in her suitcase, all power to her. 

Of course, Trunfio posting from her quarantine is a reminder of how vastly different Australia and New Zealand have tackled the pandemic from that of other countries overseas. Unlike the UK and the USA, where people arriving into the country are told to self-isolate at home, which isn’t heavily policed, before being let out into the wild Down Under, you barely get a chance to step onto Australian or New Zealand soil before you’re thrown onto a bus and assigned a hotel. Here, you’re COVID tested twice in 14 days.

With a few advantages – such as competent leaders (Hello, NZ prime minister, Jacinda Arden), the benefit of being quite literally at the bottom of the world with a much smaller population is that for the most part, Australians and Kiwis are free to enjoy their lives, socializing, eating out and even going to live music festivals. Can you imagine?!

But with a new strain of COVID already running rampant in the UK and slowly filtering into the USA, even those Down Under will have to stay vigilant. The fact that one muck-up at a quarantine hotel in Melbourne sent the entire city into one of the world’s strictest lockdowns in July proves that even when you have measures in place to stop the spread, there’s still a chance that they could fail.

For now, at least though, Australians, please follow Trunfio’s lead and raise a glass of vino for us, eat out at those delicious restaurants, and make the most of that time with family and friends. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to value each other – and our health – above all else.

thoughts?