For nearly three months Shashi Amar has been separated from her two grandsons by a virus which has wrought painful social impacts, beyond its public health toll.
She hasn't cooked them her signature Indian dishes, she hasn't played table tennis or chased them around the yard, and she hasn't hugged them.
"[It's] just me and my husband home alone, it's been very, very, very hard with this lockdown," Ms Amar said.
She used to see her grandsons Hrishi, 12, and Torion, 9, at least once a week, but the family has been separated by fears around COVID transmission for 2.5 months.
Seven weeks into Canberra's lockdown, restrictions have eased to allow up to two visitors in homes at one time.
It's a small step toward more social interaction for the national capital, but for Ms Amar it's everything.
"They're my only family here, my son and his family ... We've been so lonely and I can't wait to see them."
"When they come to our house, the house is filled with joy and happiness," she said.
She'll be reunited with Hrishi and Torion next week, and already knows what's on the menu.
"I'll cook dinner they'll really love it and then we play table tennis, and if there is light we go run around in the yard."
"I make Indian food for them and they really love it, they really like the chicken and the chickpea curry I make, and potato curry and rice, and then I make Indian bread: roti."
The ACT on Thursday recorded 31 new cases of the virus, with the highest cases reported for any one day being 32.
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Household contacts have represented a large portion of the territory's transmission, representing eight of the seventeen linked cases on Thursday.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said high vaccination take-up would help to protect the community, but urged caution around residential visits.
"The biggest cause of transmission of the virus is household close contacts. So let's not have this important opportunity for families to reunite face-to-face for the first time in a while be a super spreader event," he said.
Canberra Hospital nurse Laura Wilson can't yet see her family in NSW, but being able to visit close friends at home will make a big difference.
"I got really excited, I started making plans almost immediately," she said, of hearing the change of rules.
For Ms Wilson, who had generally maintained a busy social schedule, being cut off from friends in Canberra "was a real shock to the system."
"Going from having a really, really full social calendar to having just nothing ... I struggled quite a lot with that," she said.
She's eager to catch up with her friend Keira and her daughter Ellie, who was born last year.
"[With] little ones at that stage, she's just growing up so quickly, and I feel like I'm missing out a little bit," she said.
"We have dinner once a week and we watch trashy TV and I can't wait to just get back to doing normal stuff again."
The two have plans to do just that next week, and Ms Wilson will also have a few people to introduce her new puppy, Sadie, to.
"My family are in New South Wales, and we've had a pretty tough year and not being able to ... see my mum and my grandma."
"It's rough, but it's been rough on everyone," she said.
As a healthcare worker, she said the compliance with health restrictions she'd seen from the community had been reassuring.
"Working in health at the moment, it has been really nice when I have had to go to the shops and things to see people generally adhering to the rules and the restrictions."
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