THACKARINGA HILLS REST AREA, Australia — The four figures huddled in the shade on the side of the highway, eight miles from a border they had hardly noticed until it slammed shut behind them.
As flies buzzed and crows circled and their supplies ran low, they waited for emails that would allow them to leave New South Wales and return to their home state of South Australia.
Teresa Young and her husband had been stuck at the rest stop — little more than a toilet in the middle of the Outback — for 10 days.
“All of a sudden, Australia has been cut up like pieces of a cake,” the 75-year-old said on a recent day.
Welcome to covid-era Australia, where state border closures designed to keep the coronavirus from spreading have turned retired office workers into roadside nomads.