Flowers from a customer meant the world to pharmacist Cardin Le during the initial outbreak of COVID-19.
Like the paramedics and hospital staff in Wagga, Mr Le faced the risk of contracting the virus at work.
"It's stressful, and you feel the pressure," he said.
"People come in, they are coughing, and you think, 'I could be contracting this virus and I'm going to bring it home'. There's always that stress and concern in the back of your mind."
Mental Health Australia has surveyed 255 people working in the healthcare industry for World Mental Health Day, finding 26 per cent have reached out to a trusted friend or family member for mental health support during the pandemic.
Four out of five said working in healthcare during the pandemic has increased the amount of stress and pressure they experience in the workplace.
There have been 14 cases of COVID-19 in Wagga this year, and Mr Le's team at Cincotta Discount Chemist have responded accordingly.
"There was a lot of talk amongst people in the community. As a pharmacist, I advise them of carrying out the guidelines about keeping distanced, hand hygiene, and to get tested even if you have the slightest symptoms," he said.
"We carried out the guidelines, we were marking on the floor where people should stand, and then we had a staff member on the floor just to make sure people followed that.
"Where there may be a possible case of COVID, the customer would ring ahead and pay over the phone, and they or a family member would park outside and we would have a staff member, obviously geared up, bring it out to them.
"We keep reminding people and staff to follow those protocols, to keep everyone safe.
"It's not only affecting you at your workplace, it's affecting your home life.
"It was a scary time for me and my family."
The staff at TerryWhite Chemmart in Wodonga have found support in each other throughout the pandemic.
"With the restrictions at their height as they were, at the end of the day a lot of people were going home to no-one," pharmacist Gabrielle Wilson said.
"We were each other's family every day.
"It's taken its toll on everybody and the unknown has been a huge part of it.
"We didn't know who was coming in or where people had been; we were just trying to make sure our staff and customers would be safe.
"The majority of people that come in are fantastic, but you get the odd person who comes in and takes it out on you if medication is out of stock because of COVID."
Over the months, practices like hand and surface sanitation and masks have become second-nature.
But the ever-present risk of the highly-infectious virus and the uncertainty of when the pandemic will ease continues to take its toll on everyone.
Ms Wilson became re-accredited by Mental Health First Aid Australia last month and has reached out to customers who she was concerned about.
"I first did the training at university - I went to La Trobe at Bendigo and we had a big focus on mental health," she said.
"It's essentially being able to recognise people that might be in a crisis ... and to help them get appropriate help.
"You might notice things and ask, 'How are you going today? You're not quite yourself. Is there something going on, how can I help?'
"It's just having that conversation, and letting them know you are always there if this time, they're not comfortable talking.
"We know that people are struggling and they are more lonely.
"For a lot of people, their one outing was going to the pharmacy."
As a volunteer board member of the Pharmacists Support Service, providing confidential support to the industry, Mr Le knows how important it is that health workers reach out when under stress.
If he was feeling anxious, the father-of-three would take a walk to ease the pressure.
"During the COVID situation, the stress levels are higher," he said.
"One thing I do at the workplace, and I keep reminding the staff as well, is to make sure I take my breaks.
"One of the pharmacists was quite concerned at one stage they would contract the virus from being at work, and we advised them to take some time off.
"The customers know you're there to do your job, but they show their appreciation - it's nice.
"I had a cake delivered to the shop from a doctor, to show that she appreciated what we do. It was a bit of a surprise. I've had customers send cards."
When a vaccine is found for SARS-CoV-2, pharmacists will be very popular.
The Queensland government has already passed legislation that will allow pharmacists to administer a COVID-19 vaccine, and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is calling on all state and territory governments to follow suit.
"I personally follow it very closely; hopefully there can be some success with the vaccines soon," Mr Le said.
"I am qualified as a vaccinator, so when there is success with the COVID vaccine, we will probably get some training and hopefully can deliver them at the pharmacy level.
"There are talks of trials in Queensland and South Australia about having a pharmacy where we can do testing and potentially down the road do vaccinations.
"Hopefully, that will happen soon."
Mr Le, who grew up in Sydney and worked in Albury and Leeton prior to being in Wagga, remembers discussing pandemics during his Charles Sturt University degree.
"You never thought about it at the time that it was going to hit home that closely," he said.
"I would never have imagined this could happen.
"People need to be careful and stay safe.
"You have to do what you have to do - but be safe and be wise about it."
Ms Wilson encouraged people to have a conversation on World Mental Health Day, and to become accredited in mental health first aid.
"Don't be so hard on yourself," she said.
"We're going through a rough trot at the moment with COVID, and it's really normal.
"Asking for help doesn't mean that you're weak, it means you're strong for recognising the signs.
"It's OK not to be OK."
Correction: An earlier version of this report incorrectly referred to Gabrielle Wilson as Gabrielle Williams.