When Michelle Mitchell first moved to Ararat in January, she imagined a stress-free life in a picturesque country town.
COVID-19 changed all of that.
"My partner and I are from The Basin, which is in the City of Knox (eastern Melbourne)," she said.
"It's not a hotspot, but it's in the lockdown area now.
"We had made some friends up here, mostly through work, but the majority of our friends and family are in Melbourne."
She has three children: Jaxon, 17, Bailey, 14, and the adorable Cooper, 2.
When Michelle decided to move to Ararat, her middle son chose to remain in Melbourne with his father.
Co-parenting 250km wasn't an issue in January, but by March one big problem emerged.
"I'm pretty sure separated families are still allowed to swap kids," she said.
"But I don't want to run the risk of bringing it (COVID-19) here."
She last saw Bailey on July 2 and understands she won't be able to hug him for six weeks.
"Bailey is 15 at the end of August and we hope this will be all over by then," she said.
"It's tough not being there for him, knowing that there are cases where he is.
"But he's not in my house, so I can't control everything he does.
"We facetime and chat. We've been through a lockdown before, but that was the whole state.
"I probably get to chat to him more now than before the pandemic."
In further frustration to 2020, Michelle adds she and her partner Ash were to be married this year.
"We were supposed to get married in March ... obviously that got postponed," she lamented.
"We were going to get married in the Yarra Valley, but all of our guests are in lockdown.
"There was the option of reducing guests, but we decided we didn't want to take the risk.
"My parents are in their 70s, my future mother-in-law is too, and we didn't want to risk it for them either."
Michelle said with the second lockdown now in effect, she was considering a local wedding.
"It's Plan F, because we've exhausted plans A through to D and Plan E was the Yarra Valley," she joked.
"We'll live stream it to all of the guests who can't attend and then eventually catch up with everyone in Melbourne once this is all over and have a big party."
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