Job losses, family separation, mental health issues and financial stress created dark times for millions of Australians during the coronavirus epidemic, but some people experienced a silver lining.
Whether it was knocking over a health issue, spending more time with family, learning new skills, delving into creativity or starting a new business it wasn’t all doom and gloom.
For Sydney based photographer Kristian Taylor-Wood, the pandemic spurred his creativity and gave him time to write his first short film ‘Good Times, Bad Moon,’ based on the relentless bullying he experienced as a child.
“I had long hair and hand me down clothes and kids used to call me a tramp and beat me up. I have such a disturbing memory of going out and living in fear every single day.
“The problem with the creative industry is we can’t just sit there doing nothing. It definitely breeds some dark s***.
“I went through depression and was very aware of it in lockdown so I needed to be proactive.”
Kristian has started a Go Fund Me Page to get funding for the film.
“It’s a coming of age bullying film with a supernatural twist. I managed to get all the great creatives involved because they had the time off during COVID so this nasty pandemic really worked to my advantage.”
Alyse Grace started her own small business coaching company while working from home during lockdown.
“I think that the coronavirus really made us analyse our lives and think about what we really want to do in our life and I started thinking about my legacy,” she said.
“It put a bit of a rocket up my butt to do what I’ve always wanted to do, which is to do some coaching, give myself permission to shine in that niche and I’ve had great success in doing that.
“The pandemic also gave me the opportunity to consult with clients online and people were also a lot more open to doing consultations online,” she said.
Her partner Jacinta Robinson started an online fitness community in May, inspiring people working from home to keep healthy and share sweaty selfies.
“As corona hit we decided to branch online because we saw the opportunity that everyone was stuck at home and would be neglected from that community feel and feeling a bit under the weather.
“It was a great opportunity to create a community online that could just jump online and help each other with their health and fitness journey,” she said.
Hula-Hoop entertainer Donna Sparx was also forced to diversify her business when COVID hit and says business has never been better.
“I couldn’t wait around and so I diversified my business by setting up online hula-hoop tutorials and exercise classes,” she said.
“Many of my students are from Melbourne and are excited about joining my classes and retreats once we can gather face-to-face again.”
“My online classes are now full and my hoop sales have gone through the roof!”
AON reporter Mike Goldman took to the streets of Brisbane to discover the silver lining to the pandemic.
One man he interviewed survived prostate cancer during COVID; and his experience was made easier by the postponing of non-urgent surgery.
“I had a very interesting experience. I’ve had prostate cancer and I had the surgery and it was a piece of cake.
“I got in early. There were no holdups with waiting in hospital queues and there was plenty of people to look after me,” he said.
Another woman found a new job at Fox in a Box escape rooms.
“Fox in a Box was my silver lining. I lost my job so this has given me the energy to get out of bed. A depression cure I guess.”
Even Mike himself discovered a new skill during the pandemic.
“I got on Cameo and started doing videos as the Tiger King doing birthday messages for people and I was actually making money from it, it was great!”