Isolation is relative to the environment and lifestyle you grow up in.
I’ll try and explain. Some years ago, as I was paying my fee and entering the Qantas founders museum in Longreach, I spoke to the young woman behind the counter. I asked how she liked living in Longreach and how long she had been here. Her answer was not what I expected. She said she had been here too long and found the place too crowded. I then asked her where she came from to which her answer was Boulia.
Boulia is in the far, far, west of the [Central Queensland] Diocese – a small town and thousands of kilometres from anywhere that we would probably call normal. For us, to live there we would likely feel isolated, but for this young woman it was far from that. For her it was home – it was her normal.
During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, social isolation for people in the outback has been almost non-existent. Life for us is fairly normal, as we live in isolation, from a coastal, SE corner of QLD perspective, all of the time. What has been abnormal and highlighted the pandemic for us, is the lack of tourists, the closing down of major tourist attractions such as the Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Qantas Founders' Museum, plus the closing of churches and schools.
Other than this the question for us is: “What Isolation?" When the restrictions are lifted and the country opens up, please come west, immerse yourself in the remoteness of the outback and experience the lack of isolation.
This article was intially published in CQ First (Vol 1. Issue 4) – the newsletter of the Anglican Church of Central Queensland – is is republished here with permission