‘I’m so excited’: A family glad to be able to make plans again

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The state government’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions was like a ray of light for Northcote woman Dianne Bruzzaniti.

At last, she can make plans to see loved ones, some of whom she hasn’t seen for six months. “It’s been so hard,” said Mrs Bruzzaniti about the impact of lockdowns.

Ready to get out and about: Dianne Bruzzaniti (second from right) and children Joseph, Keira and Orlando.Credit:Penny Stephens

“I’m so excited to be able to entertain, and to go out, and see people not just by passing them in the street.”

A self-described social butterfly, Mrs Bruzzaniti, 41, is already planning to visit her husband Giovanni’s parents who live in Taylors Lakes, and his siblings and their families.

She and Giovanni plan to eat out with friends on Friday night, and their son Joseph can invite friends to his 18th birthday on Sunday.

Mrs Bruzzaniti said as a VCE student who has had to spend long stretches schooling from home, Joseph “has had the worst year ever, so this is a bit of happiness for him”.

Better times ahead: Dianne Bruzzaniti, second from right, and chkldren Joseph, Keira, and Orlando.Credit:Penny Stephens

Mrs Bruzzaniti’s own parents, who she hasn’t seen since Easter, and five of her siblings live in Sydney. Another sister lives in Brisbane.

“We’re hoping, fingers crossed, that we can go to Sydney for Christmas.”

On Friday, she will open her beauty salon, Beauty by Di, for the first time in 11 weeks.

Clients had been messaging her to fit them in, and she is scrambling to get stock in, in time.
She said being off work had been boring and stressful.

“It’s hard because I can’t go anywhere or do anything, stuck at home twiddling my thumbs.”

Her oldest son Joseph missed having his final VCE weeks at school due to a COVID-19 case sending kids home, but he will return for one day before exams, on Monday.

From Friday, her daughter Keira, 15, who is in year 10, will go back Thursdays and Fridays and younger son Orlando, 13, in year 8, will go back Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

“It’s good they will be able to socialise with their friends, and see their teachers face to face,” Mrs Bruzzaniti said. “And just to get the out of the house. They’ve been cooped up for so long.”

Terence Huynh, 28, of Richmond, is excited that “there is an end in sight” of the lockdown.

His parents and 27-year-old brother live in Springvale, in Melbourne’s south-east, and he hasn’t seen them since June.

He plans to be cautious about get-togethers with family and friends, as COVID0-19 case numbers are still high. “I want to avoid a situation where we have some freedoms then have to go backwards.”

“I want them to do it right. If I have to wait 10 days before being able to do a whole lot of more things, I’m happy to wait.”

Tom Mullens, 59, of Montrose, east of Melbourne, is “happy that things are starting to gradually get back to normal” but wants to see aged care homes allow visitors again and be consistent with rules.

He said families were bitter at their loved ones being “locked away”. His father’s home is allowing double vaccinated visitors but his mother’s home is only letting people for specified purposes such as ‘end of life’.

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