Hello. I know there are many of you doing it tough today.

I know the lock down has been hard. It’s not easy being isolated, longing to see family and friends and to get out and about more.

Now that restrictions are starting to lift, we can relax, just a little bit and look forward to better days.

I’m sure there are lots of you that are patiently waiting to reconnect with family and loved ones from the 8th of November onward.

I know that I’m looking forward to seeing my family and to having more freedom.

Let’s use this time to reflect on how well we’ve done pulling together in the face of what’s been a remarkably difficult episode in our history.

Victorians know good advice when they hear it. Our second wave was deadly serious.

As Dr Norman Swan said on Radio National recently, we could easily have ended up like Israel, which has a similar population to Victoria.

Authorities there acted too slowly and were too relaxed about restrictions. Recently, that country reached a terrible toll of 305,000 cases and 2,260 deaths.

We’re fortunate we had experts prepared to make the hard decisions and a brave community response.

Dr Swan said their response on our behalf was amongst the best in the world. We could have had thousands of deaths.

Now as we emerge from the deathly shadows of the virus, we should pay special attention to the experts from our own state.

We should ignore people throwing stones from other jurisdictions.

The eased restrictions are liberating and exciting, but they’ll only last if we strictly stick to the new guidelines.

That’s the sobering reality through Europe, the UK and the United States.

We’ve stuck the course. Let’s keep at it. I’m very proud of you all.

That’s just as I see it.