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US-based Home & Away star Tammin Sursok was looking forward to two things when she touched down in Australia with her husband, Sean McEwen, and their two daughters in late June.
First, the 38-year-old was keen to get stuck into some homegrown projects and also spend long-overdue time with her parents in Sydney.
Now, two months on, Tammin has already wrapped filming the rom-com You, Me and the Penguins in Queensland, but due to Sydney's ongoing lockdown, she's still yet to see her mum and dad
"It was incredible to come back because I haven't been home for a couple of years," she tells Yahoo Lifestyle in an exclusive chat.
"What's been very difficult is, one of the main reasons for my coming back was obviously work but also the chance to see my parents, but that hasn't been the case because of the lockdowns."
While it's no doubt tough being just across the state border from her loved ones, Pretty Little Liars star Tammin knows her situation isn't unique.
"I know a lot of people are in the same position so I think we're all mourning the loss of seeing people we love.
"That's been really hard [...] But the most important thing is to keep people safe and to try to get these cases down."
Tammin also knows just how serious Covid can be first-hand after her writer-producer husband Sean contracted the virus back in LA earlier this year.
Eight months on, Tammin says he is still battling a variety of symptoms — such as short-term memory loss and severe joint pain — commonly referred to as 'Long Covid'.
"He is still struggling for sure," she says. "He had Covid in January, he had no pre-existing conditions, he's young, he's fit.
"I think that the information or the misinformation that we're getting is that [Covid] only affects older people with pre-existing conditions, my husband is proof that that is not true."
Neither Tammin nor the couples' girls, Phoenix, 8, and Lennon, 2, tested positive despite their close contact with Sean. "I kissed him two hours before he had symptoms," Tammin recalls.
"Covid is very sneaky. You don't know how it's going to affect you and that's what's scary.
"Sean has a lot of long-term effects; he has short-term memory issues, his joints are in severe pain constantly because Covid is an inflammation disease. It doesn't just affect the lungs, it can affect so many other parts of the body.
The challenge now for Tammin and Sean is trying to learn as much as they can about Long Covid, a condition that medical experts themselves are scrambling to understand in real-time.
"I think statistically we hear about the death rate [from Covid], we're just not really seeing how it affects people for the long term," she says.
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