Frantic dash home to lockdown for local dad

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
In lockdown: Scott Lewis takes a family selfie with children Cailean and Ash and partner Sarina Kamini as they undergo two weeks in isolation.
Camera IconIn lockdown: Scott Lewis takes a family selfie with children Cailean and Ash and partner Sarina Kamini as they undergo two weeks in isolation.

An increasing number of Augusta-Margaret River Shire residents are bunkering down in their homes this weekend adhering to Government self-isolation guidelines as the COVID-19 crisis worsens across the planet.

Margaret River’s Scott Lewis was among those who made the desperate journey back to the region from the UK last week before international travel restrictions hit.

Scott’s wife Sarina Kamini said the family confronted an impossible decision — with their boys Ash and Cailean’s loving father facing isolation for two weeks at one end of their house — and finally elected to go into lockdown as a family unit.

“Kids are bored on day three but whaddya do? Online work is available for our high schooler, and our Year 4 guy is busy in books,” she said.

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“For now, we’re loving the ‘together’ side of the family. We’re playing soccer in the evening, and riding our bikes in circles around the house when we need to move.”

For Scott, the disruption was nothing compared to the relief of a family reunion after extremely challenging circumstances getting back into the country.

“It was really tricky to get back,” he told the Times.

“Then to work out what to do whenI got back. I had been in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Lyon and Edinburgh in the four weeks prior, so I was a class-A risk.”

Scott was not sick, but didn’t begrudge the time in isolation.

“I was also very concerned about being the first case into Margs and getting the trace-back,” he said.

“If there was any risk at all, I didn’t want to come home.

“If this thing gets into Margs, it could be horrific. I had friends working in the ICU in London telling us what was going on,” Scott said. “In my mind, we all needed to go into quarantine because any one of them could have already been exposed anyway.”

He described the flight back to Perth as “surreal”.

“The plane was absolutely packed to the brim, but only about 5 per cent of people wore gloves or face masks,” he said.

“Almost none of the Qantas crew. People coughing and sneezing. It was hopeless.”

There were no police or border control agents at Perth Airport and arriving passengers bought coffee and jumped into taxis headed for home or the shops.

“Even the customs and immigration guys had no face masks, no gloves,” Scott said.

“I walked straight into the car, and we drove straight back, straight in our driveway and that’s it.”

Sarina prepared meals and stocked up on goods before making the trip to collect her husband.

“Stocking the house in a way that didn’t negatively impact on the broader community was a huge concern for me,” she said.

“There’s certainly plenty of time to get inventive in the kitchen.”

“At this point, our quarantine is easily executed,” Sarina said.

“We have enough friends and family on the ‘outside’ willing to facilitate our needs if they arise. It’s fortunate we live in the kind of community that we do.

“The days before Scott’s arrival induced far more anxiety – not knowing what would happen, if his arrival would be disrupted by the changing situation or if he’d be able to come home at all.”

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