Lawyer and mum-of-two, Kylie Joiner, felt a growing sense of unease towards the end of 2021 as Omicron case numbers climbed in Victoria.
"We had been through two years and seven very strict lockdowns so this new COVID 'normal' world with no restrictions was a very scary place for me," Kylie says.
"In December, as case numbers doubled every day, so did my anxiety. I had a newborn at home and I knew how vulnerable he was.
"My two-year-old Thomas was at daycare and we were used to him bringing home viruses, but with COVID, it was this fear of the unknown. I was less anxious about catching it myself but I was worried about what would happen to our little baby Teddy."
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Kylie spoke to her GP about her fears, because she could feel her mind running away with the stress of it all.
"My GP reassured me that if COVID ended up coming into our house, I would instinctively know how to cope given we had dealt with plenty of daycare viruses before. He also reminded me of all the resources - GPs, doctors, hospitals, hotlines - that were available to me if I ever needed them."
To limit their chances of contracting COVID, Kylie and her husband Duncan scaled back as many activities as they could, outside of the essentials.
"We also considered removing Thomas from daycare but in the September lockdown, he had been bouncing off the walls at home and we wanted to keep his routine as normal as possible," she says.
"It was a tough decision though as it felt like we were playing Russian roulette with our family's health. I would think, 'Is today the day we'll get it?'"
As Omicron case numbers continued to skyrocket, Kylie and Duncan prepared as best they could.
"We scrambled to get our booster vaccines and stocked up on RAT tests, feeling like we had done everything we could. When we found out that there had been an exposure at Thomas' daycare one Wednesday, we still held out hope that we had avoided it. But at 1am that Sunday night, Thomas developed a nasty cough."