An Australian mum pleading for fresh air while in isolation at a hotel with her young sons butted heads with the hosts of the Today show during a tense interview on Thursday.
Sarah Greig and her two sons, Jake and Bryce, were escorted to the Novotel Hotel in Brisbane after arriving back in Australia from Jakarta on Sunday. They will remain in mandatory isolation for two weeks in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.
While the accommodation is “really nice”, Ms Greig told Allison Langdon and Karl Stefanovic she and others in the same situation don’t have access to fresh air and are struggling to cope.
“I think the best thing for us right now is for the Australian public to understand that nobody is complaining about conditions of the hotel,” she said.
“We’ve got fresh, clean sheets, we’ve got running water, all of those things are fantastic but we don’t have access to fresh air.”
She said during their second day at the hotel, the trio were allowed outside briefly by police officers.
But on Wednesday, Ms Greig said those in isolation were told they could no longer go outside or leave the door of their hotel room.
“I think what the people in these hotels really want is we just want a solution to be able to get access to sunlight and fresh air,” she said, adding that she didn’t think the request was unreasonable.
“I certainly don’t think that makes us whingers,” she said.
Following her comments, Mr Stefanovic asked Ms Greig if she was worried about possibly catching coronavirus if they are allowed outside.
“I would wear a garbage bag over my body to be allowed some fresh air and sunlight right now. I am very concerned about that, don’t get me wrong, but there has got to be a solution to us going outside,” she responded.
The mum of two said she had seen people outside her window riding their bikes and walking within the strict 1.5 metre distance rule.
“Just because we came from overseas, that makes us different to the people outside - I don’t think that’s entirely the case.”
Ms Langdon then interjected, saying she disagreed with Ms Grieg.
“The majority of cases we have in Australia are from people overseas bringing it in and we’ve got to think about the wider good here,” she said.
“This is the price you and the boys, unfortunately, have to pay, which is two weeks in self-isolation, but in the grand scheme of things, if this means keeping everyone healthy, is it not a price worth paying?” the Today show host asked.
Ms Grieg quickly retorted that she was asked to come on the show to talk about finding solutions in regards to fresh air, not to whinge “about any of the things [Ms Langdon] said to [her]”.
While many viewers took to social media to say Ms Greig should be grateful for the accommodation, others accused Ms Langdon of being rude to the mum.
“Huge props to the lady and her children just interviewed from her ‘quarantine hotel room’,” one woman wrote.
“Ally, you were horrible to this lady, a bully. She came onto your show not to whinge, but discuss her circumstances, the need for people to have access to a balcony, fresh air, something those that are isolating in their homes have access to. The woman/mother showed dignity and class amid a barrage from the hosts.”
A man said on Facebook “they should have been transferred to hotels outside the city where the hotels would have windows and it would have been easier to facilitate quarantined exercise.”
Several viewers said Ms Grieg should be grateful she hasn’t lost any loved ones to the deadly virus.
“The story with the mum and her two boys complaining about their isolation for COVID-19 absolutely INFURIATED me no end! You have so MANY things to be thankful for - you and your sons are healthy and the isolation is to keep it that way; you have your two boys with you; I assume you have your luggage; you are in hotel....and that’s just just the start,” a woman wrote.
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