WHEN Leeton's Paige Frazer moved to Melbourne at the start of 2020 she envisaged a very different life to the one she is living now.
Paige, a school teacher who hails from Leeton, made the move to the city earlier this year, but the coronavirus pandemic has meant not everything has gone to plan.
COVID-19 restrictions and the strict lockdown four measures currently imposed on Melbourne residents means Paige is only allowed to leave her home for certain reasons, including her work as a teacher.
While life is much different and certainly restricted, Paige said she was one of the lucky ones having been able to continue working, as well as staying healthy and virus free.
"It isn't fun being in lockdown, but it has to be done," she said.
"When restrictions were (first) eased I tried to see and do as much as I could because I knew things could quickly go south, which they did.
"The sooner we see a reduction in numbers, the sooner we can go back to an easing of restrictions and life becoming somewhat 'normal' again.
"I believe life as we knew it before COVID is now a thing of the past."
With Melbourne virtually a "ghost city" and all residents now required to wear a mask when outdoors, Paige said it has taken some getting used to.
"The first word that comes to mind when I think of life in Melbourne at the moment is 'surreal'," she said.
"The roads are quiet and people are on edge.
"For many I have spoken to there is a constant feeling of angst waiting for the numbers to be released each day. It is far from pleasant.
"Wearing a mask obviously isn't ideal, however we as Victorians need to do what has to be done.
"You know you're living in Melbourne when the most exciting part of your week is receiving new masks in the mail. They have just become something we must have with us at all times, kind of like our keys or phone."
It's also not just home life which has completely changed for Paige.
Although life isn't easy at the moment, I know there are people far worse off than me.Leeton's Paige Frazer
When it comes to teaching, there's been a huge shift in delivering education to students in 2020.
"I feel so incredibly lucky I was offered a year's work just as talk of COVID began," Paige said.
She is now the supervising teacher of students whose parents are essential workers.
This means she has a permit to work and can't leave the house without it.
Paige works onsite four days a week and spends one day working from home.
Each morning when the children come to school their parents drop them off without getting out of the car.
Paige checks their temperature before they enter the grounds and they must then sanitise before touching anything in the classroom.
"(It's) nothing is like it used to be, yet every child still comes to school with a huge smile on their face," she said.
Paige said her family and friends in Leeton are also continually checking in on her.
"Although life isn't easy at the moment, I know there are people far worse off than me," she said.
"I am incredibly lucky to be working. I will never take that for granted.
"Knowing so many people back home are thinking of me is comforting. Human connectedness has never been more important."
Paige also said while the virus hasn't reached Leeton, residents should not be complacent.
"Although there are no COVID cases in Leeton I can assure you many people have been directly affected, whether that be financially, socially or mentally," she said.
"Don't think you are immune to this. Your actions affect others. Be sensible. Listen to health advice.
"Don't take spending time with loved ones for granted, you are incredibly lucky you have the freedom to do so."