When Osher Oriyah arrived back to Auckland her partner brought her flowers and five issues of Gulf News to help pass the time in MIQ.

After being caught in lockdown in Sydney since 26 June, Waiheke resident Osher Oriyah finally managed to get a flight home and a spot in managed isolation and quarantine last week.

She flew back to Auckland last Wednesday, but it hasn’t been an easy journey for her.

“MIQ is a surreal world of many rules and restrictions that make no sense from physical, mental and emotional health and well-being point of view,” she says.

“Yes, we stay in hotels and many have nice rooms, food is provided, service and some online entertainment, however it is still a prison-like surreal environment. Very concerning to me as a health practitioner and one who has researched and studied PTSD and stress prevention for over 30 years now.”

Although she arrived with letters from doctors outlining her special requirements for a room with an opening window, the room where she spent her first night had no opening window.

“In MIQ facilities no one is allowed to leave their room until first covid test arrives negative. Healthy people can be locked in their rooms for at least two days with no fresh air,” she says.

But the next day she was transferred to another hotel and a room with a door that opens onto a balcony. She will be there for the remainder of her two-week quarantine.• Erin Johnson

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