A grief-stricken mum mourning the tragic loss of her son alone in hotel quarantine has described the ordeal as dehumanising after she was cruelly denied an exemption by Queensland authorities to self-isolate at home.
Deborah K Bates recently travelled to Sydney from the Gold Coast to attend the funeral of her son aged in his 20s who was killed in a horror three-car crash on Sydney’s M5 tunnel on August 21.
After attending his funeral, she returned to the hotel to find out her application for an exemption on compassionate grounds to skip the mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine to self-isolate at home instead was denied.
She’s among dozens of residents who have been denied exemption on compassionate and medical grounds by health authorities which were granted to US actor Tom Hanks, The Masked Singer Australia host Danni Minogue and other celebrities.
The rejection ‘absolutely floored’ Ms Bates, who returned to the Gold Coast the next day and remains in solitary confinement in hotel quarantine until September 18.
While she’s enjoying the stunning view of the Surfers Paradise skyline from her hotel room and has nothing but praise for the ‘amazing’ staff, Ms Bates says she’s struggling.
Deborah K Bates takes solace in the view from her hotel room as she mourns the loss of her son killed in a crash in Sydney last month. Her application to self-isolate at home was denied
‘Coming in after burying my son and after doing the right thing by applying for an exemption so I could quarantine at home has added another dimension of pain and suffering,’ Ms Bates told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Certainly being able to quarantine at home in familiar surroundings would, in my opinion be more appropriate for my mental and emotional wellbeing.
‘So in saying that, hotel quarantine for vulnerable people, those who have health issues, grieving, experienced loss… those seeking exemptions on compassionate grounds, need to have compassion applied.
‘n top of the heartbreaking loss of her son, her daughter chose not to travel to Sydney for her brother’s funeral after she too was denied an exemption from quarantine when she returned.
Ms Bates described hotel quarantine ordeal as dehumanising.
‘Hotel quarantine for people who seek compassion is a severe hit especially on the back of celebs being able to dictate their quarantine preferences,’ she said.
‘Not to mention the fee we are expected to pay.’
While Ms Bates and other have been denied exemption from hotel quarantine, Annastacia Palaszczuk let 400 players and officials cross the border
About 400 AFL players and officials flew to Queensland from coronavirus-riddled Victoria a week ago after being given approval to dodge the state’s lockdown.
They’re allowed to enjoy the hotel amenities in their quarantine hub, a luxury not given to everyone else holed up mandatory quarantine.
The vision of WAGS and officials enjoying the pool and bar facilities is a world away from the experience of other travellers who have desperately fought to enter Queensland.
Ms Bates issued a desperate plea to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk regarding hotel quarantine exemptions.
‘I would like to think that every application for exemption was scrutinised, on a personal and individual basis,’ Ms Bates told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I would want to ask why is it so, how is it possible, that Tom Hanks, Dannii Minogue and others be allowed to dictate their quarantine needs when the Premier’s very own constituents, the very people she claims to care for and protect, are not afforded the same privilege.
Playing the harp on her hotel balcony is helping get Ms Bates through hotel quarantine
‘I would want to say to Anastasia, we, who seek exemptions are people who are already crippled, in pain and suffering as a result of the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19.
‘Please hear our voice, please hear our pain. Please honour us and our needs in the same way you have Tom Hanks, Dannii Minogue etc. Remove the disparity. Remove the pain.’
While too distressed to openly discuss her son’s loss, Ms Bates said he was well loved and admired.
‘He was a highly skilled baker and the boutique bakery where he worked in Sydney have named a pie after him to honour him. Such was the love for him,’ she said,
On Saturday, Ms Bates shared an insight into her grief over her son’s death while holed in quarantine.
‘Everyday is a new roller-coaster ride of grief, loneliness and despair,’ she wrote on Facebook.
‘Sometimes the heartache is so great I can do naught-else but surrender into total inertia. I allow grief to wrap its spiny fingers around my brokenness.
Hollywood actor Tom Hanks (pictured with his wife Rita Wilson) was granted permission to skip hotel quarantine when he arrived on the Gold Coast last Tuesday
For it cannot break me anymore. And I do not have enough emotional energy to expend… to ward… fight it off.’
Please do not mistake my words as a slant against anything, anyone – I am not a political person I don’t protest,
‘I am simply a person, not only beset by unimaginable grief and isolation, but one who feels the pain and suffering of my fellow humans – in need, seeking to be heard, to have their compassionate needs met, heartache acknowledged.
Queensland’s border madness: The heartbroken families
Mark Keans, from Brisbane, was diagnosed with inoperable brain and lung cancer in late July and the doctors believe he won’t make it past Christmas.
Health authorities had initially said only one of Mr Keans’ four Sydney-based children – all of whom are under the age of 13 – could cross the border to see him one last time.
Queensland Health did not at first respond to multiple requests for an exemption from the truck driver’s family, but later told them they can drive into the state and pay for two weeks quarantine in a Brisbane hotel.
A fundraising page to pay for their quarantine has raised more than $200,000, including a $1,000 donation from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Mr Keans pictured with his children (L-R) Noah 13, Caitlyn 11, Caleb 11, and Isaac, 7
Kimberley Brown and her husband Scott, from Ballina, in northern New South Wales, were told on August 12 that their unborn twins had developed twin to twin transfusion syndrome.
Mrs Brown needed urgent surgery but despite living just two hours away from Queensland’s Mater Hospital doctors told her she would need to apply for a border exemption, which took too long.
She was flown 750km to Sydney but lost one of her twins.
It came ten days after Premier Palaszczuk declared that Queensland hospitals are ‘for our people’.
Kimberley Brown and her husband Scott, from Ballina, in northern NSW, learned that they had lost their unborn baby after being forced to travel 750kms because of Queensland’s border restrictions
Jayne Brown, 60, spent two weeks confined to a tiny hotel room in Brisbane following her recent return from Sydney, where renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo removed two large tumours on her brain.
The grandmother-of-seven requested an exemption from hotel quarantine to self-isolate at home on the Sunshine Coast, but was rejected twice.
She blasted Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who allowed 400 AFL players and officials from coronavirus-riddled Victoria to enter the state and quarantine in a luxury hotel.
Jayne Brown described the decision to allow 400 AFL officials into Queensland as mindblowing
Sarah Caisip, who lives in coronavirus-free Canberra, applied for an exemption last month to visit her sick father Bernard Prendergast in Brisbane – but it took 20 days to get approved and he died of liver cancer two days before her flight.
The young nurse was banned from attending her father’s funeral on Thursday because officials believed she is a Covid-19 risk even though the ACT has had no cases for 60 days.
Ms Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father’s body, surrounded by guards and forbidden from seeing her shattered mother and 11-year-old sister.
Sarah Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father’s body, surrounded by guards