‘Sickening’: Qld dad stranded for months in UK
GOLD Coaster Peter Morgan is one of thousands of Aussies trapped overseas unlikely to be home for Christmas because of "genuinely sickening political gaming".
"To me it seems Australia started out like the UK with a suppression strategy, but then each state seemed to get into some kind of contest to see who could eliminate it," he said.
"Now the whole country seems trapped in an elimination strategy, initiated at state level, that it will really struggle to dig itself out of without a vaccine."
The Ormeau local travelled to the UK in early February after his terminally ill father became really sick. Sadly he died weeks after his arrival. After the March 20 funeral, Europe was heavily impacted by COVID-19 and Mr Morgan's eldest son Conor had his scheduled operation for Crohn's disease delayed indefinitely. The country was then in lockdown for three months.
"I had to look after his needs and those of my bereaved mother through that," he said, "then my son's operation was rescheduled and completed in late June."
After overseeing his son's recovery in late August he booked a flight for November 19 because availability was already impacted by travel caps.
"I got bumped off that in mid-September. So I have missed my wife Maria for eight months now, and my middle son Sean who lives in Melbourne, and my youngest son Finn in Ormeau," he said.
"I have missed him passing his driving test, his entire last year at school and his formal. I have never met his girlfriend and now it's possible I might miss both Christmas and his 18th birthday as well."
Mr Morgan is now on an Emirates waiting list for a flight later in November, but he's doubtful he'll get on "unless the government shows some will to fix this".
It comes as the NT and Australian Governments make a deal to quarantine an estimated 5000 vulnerable citizens from the UK, South Africa and India in the Howard Springs facility on Darwin's outskirts between now and March.
Mr Morgan said while the initiative was worthy, he questioned what would happen to the rest of the nearly 30,000 Australians registered with DFAT.
"It seems once that's done the rest of the list is going to get binned and we'll be left to fend for ourselves," he said.
"With fruit pickers now allowed in and business travellers also now going in and out, I fear I may be caught in the backwash and not be able to make a flight stick with my Emirates economy ticket for a very long time.
"Currently thinking it will probably be after Christmas, but could be longer, much longer. Very distressing. And all caused by a genuinely sickening political gaming and a flawed elimination strategy."
Mr Morgan is part of the Remove the Cap Facebook page, where thousands of citizens stuck overseas, due to caps on international arrivals, discuss cancelled flights and the latest government announcements.
Increasingly, members are discussing their worsening mental health and how they're "addicted to social media, I'm so desperate for some good news," wrote one user.
Mr Morgan said he was luckier than hundreds of other Aussies because he had a job and could live with his mother, but he was still "staggered at the way the government is treating us".
Originally published as 'Sickening': Coast dad stranded for months in UK