Queensland darts star reveals his lockdown 'hell'
By Phil Dillon
For a month, Queensland darts star Kyle Anderson patiently waited just a short drive away from his wife and son. But he might as well have been on the other side of the world.
Anderson was forced into isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 following a flight back from England in early March, just before both countries went into coronavirus lockdown.
The World No.52 spoke yesterday for the first time about how the last six weeks had affected him as he was forced to stay on his own in a donga on a property owned by wife Tara's family near their own home in the Central Queensland town of Mt Morgan.
Anderson flew back home alongside fellow professional Damon Heta and his wife Meghan to Perth before taking off on his own to Brisbane and then to Rockhampton in early March.
Heta and his wife escaped without catching the virus, but Anderson, 32, was not so lucky.
"When I got back to Rocky they tested myself, Tara and Charles (Anderson's nine-year-old son)," Anderson told News Regional Media.
"They were cleared, but I tested positive. So, I had to go into isolation."
Anderson, who is a diabetic, was expecting to be on his own away from his family for only a couple of weeks. It turned out to be a lot longer.
"I think I tested positive five times over the next few weeks," he explained. "Every time they took a swab, I thought I would be cleared it came back positive. I wasn't showing symptoms but there was a chance I was still carrying the virus, so they did not want to take any chances."
Anderson said the worst part was having poor internet coverage and next to no phone signal, meaning he had little or no contact with his loved ones.
"The coverage was s...," he said.
"That was hell not being able to talk to anyone.
"I was getting my food brought to me and it was left outside the donga.
"There are four dogs on the property I played with every day, but when I flew back 31 hours (from the UK) a few weeks ago it was to be with my family, and I couldn't see them. It was terrible.
"Of course I am away from the family a lot when I am playing in the UK, but that's by choice. This was hard to deal with because I had no control over it."
Anderson, a popular figure on the international darts tour, eventually tested negative earlier this week and was reunited with his family just in time for Charles's ninth birthday on Thursday.
"I was glad I was out in time to help him celebrate," he said. "It's nice to be able to be a dad and a husband."
Anderson's escape from his own lockdown has also come just in time for him to take his turn on the Professional Darts Corporation's Home Tour. He will be part of Group 23 tomorrow morning from about 5.30am (AEST).
Anderson will be hoping to emulate his best mate Heta's performance last week, as the Perth star became the first Aussie into the next stage of the competition.
But Anderson said he did not expect too much from himself against the other players in his group - Daniel Larsson from Sweden, the Netherlands' Dirk van Duijvenbode and Martin Schindler from Germany.
The Aussie has not picked up a dart since returning Down Under.
"My focus has been on the family," he said. "I only brought one set of darts and flights with me (from his base in the UK)... I haven't even got my darts shirt. "Luckily the board I have in my garage has not been used much, but it's not going to be pretty."
Anderson is not sure about what the next few months has in store for him or Heta, with travel restrictions expected to be in place for at least the next few months.
Heta has returned to his former job as a roofer in Perth while on his enforced break, but Anderson has no work to fall back on.
Wife Tara does work, and she says it is more important that Anderson just focuses on himself, his health and family.
"It's not ideal," he said. "But now it's all about the family.
"I can't see the players getting back out there until at least November of December, which is when the World Championships are on, and it could be a lot longer for myself and Damon and it could be a problem for us to even get back to the UK at this stage."
The PDC Home Tour is live on Foxtel and streamed live on Kayo.