As Wendy Hunter waited in self-isolation for the results of her COVID-19 test, she had no idea how anxious she was until her daughter's doctor called her on Saturday with the news.
Suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma, for days Ms Hunter had mild symptoms of the virus, including a headache, sore throat and muscle aches.
Finally the call came. She had tested negative.
"Prior to that I thought I was okay, but when I found out I didn't have it everything just lifted from my shoulders," Ms Hunter said from her daughter Amy's Wollongong home.
Ms Hunter's dream six day New Zealand cruise aboard the Ovation of the Seas ended in tragedy when multiple people aboard the ship tested positive for the disease in the days after it docked in Sydney on March 18.
It doesn't matter where you are people are complacent. They think they will be okay, but the virus doesn't play that game.Bega's Wendy Hunter
She is now one of more than 300 Bega Valley residents to be tested so far, with nine confirmed to have contracted the disease.
Her self-isolation finished on Wednesday, and Ms Hunter said she will be "hunkering down at home and not going anywhere" when she returns to Bega this week after a month away.
"I have a really kind neighbour who will do the shopping for me," she said.
"I'll be so glad to get back home. I will open all the windows to let in some air and I'm looking forward to seeing my two little chooks.
"I will touch base and just breathe."
Ms Hunter inadvertently found herself "amidst" what has become a cruise ship fiasco, with the army possibly being called on by the NSW government over coming days to help helicopter doctors onto eight vessels refusing to leave.
Ms Hunter and the rest of the Ovation of the Seas passengers were not screened after disembarking, and were not advised to self-isolate by NSW Health for days, despite two showing COVID-19 symptoms towards the end of the cruise. With infections later detected in communities, the situation led to a blame game between the federal and state government over who was at fault.
Australian Border Force commissioner Michael Outram said his officers were not at fault, putting the blame squarely on NSW Health and the federal Department of Agriculture.
Ovation of the Seas docked the same day federal health minister Greg Hunt issued an emergency biosecurity order preventing any vessels from docking in Australia for one month, and a day before the Ruby Princess docked in Sydney's Circular Quay despite 13 people being sick on board. According to health departments the vessel is linked to over 400 cases of COVID-19 across Australia.
South East Regional Hospital medical services director Liz Mullins said last week, she "wouldn't be surprised" if local cases were linked to the Ruby Princess.
While the current COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, current Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton was involved in putting together Australia's influenza pandemic plan of action while health minister in 2014.
The Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza states while the screening of passengers on cruise ships prior to disembarkation of a ship with evidence of influenza on board "may slow [the] introduction of the disease into the community in early stages of the pandemic", the government was also concerned this would damage "the international perception of Australian tourism".
The plan also states "WHO International Health Regulations require that measures not unnecessarily interfere with international trade and travel".
According to the federal government, "the majority of confirmed cases in all states were acquired overseas".
Ms Hunter, said she is concerned Australians have been complacent, including the Prime Minister who she said "was telling everyone to go to the football", despite the first virus cases being discovered in January.
"It doesn't matter where you are people are complacent. They think they will be okay, but the virus doesn't play that game," she said.
She said the hygiene aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship was "second to none", adding passengers were "probably" exposed to the virus before boarding as foreign travellers arrived in Australia on planes.
"The cruise ship industry is very aware of how things can spread," she said.
"I don't know what it is about Australia, but we get so much more stuck on boats than we do planes. It's the same view we have on asylum seekers," Ms Hunter said.
After spending weeks in isolation, Ms Hunter has a few pointers on how to get through the two week period trapped inside.
"If you are in isolation, try to stick to your routine. Sleep and eat your meals at a regular time and find a way to do exercise," she said.
"Staying in touch with friends has also been really important. They have been a good support. I feel like I'm part of a community that really cares.
"People have been offering to do things for me which helps me feel secure."
The Ovation of the Sea also hit the headlines in December when a number of passengers were killed while taking part in a day trip during New Zealand's White Island volcano eruption.