Laura, Marina, Ben and their dog Birra. Urunga Australia

“At the end of March, the governments of all states implemented serious social distancing rules and other necessary policies, such as no gatherings of more than 2 people, no travels, etc. Gyms, Restaurants, pubs and bars were closed. We have only been allowed to go outside for work (if it cannot be done from home), shop for necessary items, and exercise. In our region, Mid North Coast of New South Wales, we have been allowed to go to the beach for a swim or a surf. The low population density in our area makes social distancing relatively easy, even when going to the supermarket. In general, we feel pretty fortunate. Work hasn’t slowed down for us. The family business is going well. We can still pay the mortgage and get groceries every week. We can also grow some vegetables at home and we’re allowed to go fishing to provide for our family. We cannot hang out with our friends, but we keep in touch with them regularly. Both of us are from overseas. We have been in Australia for nearly 10 years. Our families are in Barcelona and in New Zealand. Last July we had our first child, Marina. We were planning to go to Barcelona so her great-grandparents could meet her before the inevitable happens. They are in their 90s. Now, we don’t know when we’re going to go, Whether Laura ever will see them again. If Marina will ever meet them. Laura’s mum and sister are both ICU nurses in a big hospital in Barcelona. They are ok but things have been very hectic for them. We have been extremely worried for them, thinking about them at all times, knowing we couldn’t be with them if they got sick. For us, this uncertainty is the worst of all. When are we going to be allowed to visit our families? Can we afford it? (airline tickets are through the roof at the moment). That’s the hardest for us. The loneliness. The not being able to share the joy Marina brings with the people we love. Social media has become key to keep in touch with our families. But it’s just not enough”.