First major events cancelled. Then cafes, bars, restaurants, clubs and pubs shut.
Schools were next, then even small gatherings were banned.
Central Victorians have watched as a deadly virus spreads worldwide, killing thousands, crippling economies and overwhelming hospitals.
The community was confined to their homes for weeks on end, aside from essential activities.
A glimmer of hope came for many as restrictions eased, but uncertainty remains after case numbers rose in the past week.
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Wednesday marks 100 days since Victoria first implemented a State of Emergency, as it began to battle COVID-19.
Since then Australia has watched as tens of thousands died, first in China, Italy, Iran, Spain then New York, London and Brazil.
It came after a new coronavirus emerged from a wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, in late 2019.
Soon named COVID-19, the World Health Organisation declared it a pandemic in early March.
A Bendigo family enjoying a holiday on cruise ship the Diamond Princess were among the first central Victorians affected.
Siblings Paul and Laura Tangey, with their mother Liz Tangey were quarantined after an outbreak on board.
After isolation in Darwin the family were able to return to Bendigo, about a month after their vessel was first locked down.
COVID-19 hits Bendigo
Bendigo's first COVID-19 patient was a young man - who wished to remain anonymous - diagnosed with the virus in late March after returning from study in London.
He recovered in early April.
At that time it hadn't really taken hold, he said.
But he's since realised how lucky he was to recover, after seeing thousands of deaths around the world.
Many friends in London's grandparents, even parents, have died of the virus.
He said some friends there have shown symptoms, but low testing rates mean none knew whether they had the coronavirus.
The man said he realised how lucky he was to escape the United Kingdom. When he left restaurants were open, there was no social distancing.
"As soon as I landed in Australia, it was a whole different picture," he said.
"I've been quite lucky to come home at the right time.
"When I see how they've responded, and I see how Australia's responded. It couldn't be any more polar opposite."
Back in Bendigo it was hard to keep to the quarantine rules he said, but okay once he got into the routine. He spent the time on Netflix, Facetime, and playing Monopoly with his siblings.
He urged anyone with symptoms, however minor, to get tested.
He himself thought he just had the flu, before his test results confirmed COVID-19.
It was a pity to see people in Melbourne breaking the rules, costing the whole state, he said.
Bendigo students were left learning online, as universities and schools halted face to face classes in March.
For some university students this meant they were no longer anchored to Melbourne.
Sports teams were unable to train or play.
Sandhurst netballer Meg Williams has felt the effects of both. Ms Williams had just moved into a sharehouse in Melbourne when her osteopathy course at RMIT moved online.
After picking up work in Bendigo she moved back in to her family home, with parents and three sisters.
It has been a chance to slow down and spend quality time with her family and friends, she said.
Ms Williams moved back to Bendigo in late March.
She was in her second year of study, while playing for Victorian Netball League team the North East Melbourne Blaze and Bendigo Football Netball League team Sandhurst.
Both leagues had cancelled the netball season.
Leaving Melbourne was a difficult decision, but Ms Williams has appreciated what she has in Bendigo.
Ms Williams has been able to pick up more work at a drive through coffee shop on the McIvor Highway.
She has been training online for both netball teams since the season was cancelled, and trying to keep busy with her sisters.
But Ms Williams is still in a bit of a limbo about what will happen next, as she waits to hear about the VNL and university.
She's eager to get back on the court. But living a busy life, it's been good to stop and appreciate the little things.
Ms Williams said she was lucky compared to some people, who had lost jobs.
"It's been really good, I've really enjoyed the time to come back and spend the quality time with my family," she said.
"I have lived out of home for a year and a half now. So it's good to get back."
Wed or wait?
Engaged couples suffered early as COVID-19 restrictions limited guest numbers at weddings.
Early restrictions allowed just five guests.
Maiden Gully's Brian Stratford and Bronwyn Davis decided early to stick with their date of June 21, despite the uncertainty.
Engaged for about seven months, they have watched Daniel Andrews' announcements since February to see whether they could invite five, 10, 20 or 50 people.
The couple had 100 on their guest list initially.
Their children, siblings and elderly mothers brought the guest list up to about 20 on Sunday.
A large marquee allowed for social distancing.
Little safety measures - sanitising stations, cupcakes instead of wedding cake - kept the guests safe.
Mr Stratford said having a smaller, intimate wedding was good.
He said guests had been been happy to stay socially distanced, mingling in their own groups.
"We kept the bride and groom's families separated," he said.
"Everyone was happy enough to stay in their own family groups and have a good catch up."
Mr Stratford said supporting local business had been important for the couple as they planned their wedding.
"We knew local businesses were suffering, and we didn't want to cancel on them," he said.
"The local economy side of it was important. It felt right to have the photographer, to pay the pizza people, and we hired a local bathroom."
Wedding celebrant Rosemary Taylor has performed two ceremonies since the State of Emergency began.
One couple has cancelled their wedding, three have postponed.
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