It has been 100 days since the Victorian Government announced a state of emergency. From starting new businesses and home projects to archery and painting, we take a look at how Wimmera residents have spent their time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Migrant liaison worker at Centre for Participation
I have not only felt anxious about the coronavirus in Australia, but also for my family in the Philippines. I keep my family in mind as my biggest inspiration to move forward and see the brighter side of life. I am fortunate to be part of the Centre for Participation which has given me the opportunity to work remotely during the coronavirus. Every Thursday I look forward to running my English conversational class because we have fun catching up online while learning. Once a week I have also been doing voluntary work at the Laneway - Cafe without Borders, preparing meals for delivery. I have missed the badminton court as sports have always played an important part in my life.
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Owner of Chickpea Catering
Lockdown was quite dramatic for me as it prompted questions of my future and the future of the cafe business I owned. I have always done catering so it was a natural progression to call it a day on Chickpea Cafe. Of course with the restrictions still in place there is not a huge demand for function catering, so I'am spending my down time setting up the business. I'am also studying to become a teacher so I can teach young people skills in hospitality and cooking. Although financially and socially it's been a hard time, for me personally it has been the catalyst for a change of direction in my life.
Owner of Black Cat Tattoo Collective
My business Black Cat Tattoo Collective was closed for a couple of months during the lockdown, so I kept busy drawing and painting tattoo designs. Like most people, I painted the outside of my house which filled up a week. We couldn't visit any of our kids during the stage three restrictions and I missed having the freedom to visit friends. When restrictions eased the first thing I did was jam with my band - I had missed rehearsing and playing the guitar with them.
Life hasn't really changed much for my husband and I - we stay indoors and potter around our acreage at Nhill and in general enjoy each day. Having had a very busy working life over the years I have learnt to take things quietly, smell the roses and pull out the old cook books. It seems that people have calmed down, taken things into their stride and appreciate home cooked comfort meals a lot more. I miss not having my person to person meetings at Rotary Club of Nhill, and I am waiting for the borders to open so we can freely go over to South Australia.
I have been riding on Zwift, a multiplayer online cycling program, to build riding fitness and cycle with Cardiac Athlete's worldwide. I have also set up a small gym area for my wife and I to share, and I've reignited my interest in archery. I've learned that family time and talking about how we are feeling in this situation is very important. I have kept sane by dragging out heaps of comedy DVDs to watch in the evenings instead of the news. I've missed my regular catch ups with mates and work colleagues, riding and racing outside, the wonderful shows at the Horsham Town Hall and going out for breakfast once in a while.
The first week after businesses closed I felt like I was existing in the middle of a horror movie. I particularly found it challenging as I work with my daughter in her boutique Exquisit - and I know first hand how hard people with small retail stores have worked to stay in business. I also spent time ensuring my 88 -year-old dad was okay during the lockdown. When restrictions first eased I shopped at local businesses to help them through - we need our businesses to ensure we don't become a ghost town and to keep people employed. I can't wait to be able to go back to shows and concerts at the Town Hall, I really miss them.
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