How these Aussies are thriving during self-isolation

Meet three people who are finding the silver linings of the coronavirus shutdown, and using it to refocus, fulfil long-held dreams, and change lives.

For weeks now, we have all been asked to stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

But rather than putting their lives on hold, some people are embracing this uncertain time and using it to tackle new challenges, adapt their business or recover from career burnout.

Here are three people who are not just surviving, but thriving, during the coronavirus crisis.

coronavirus thriving

A recipe for making ambitions come true

When Brisbane-raised Electra Alcorn, 34, was ordered to bunker down in France, she knew it was the perfect time to fulfil her long-held dream of starting an online cooking channel.

“I had ordered a tripod online for my phone, but it was likely to be one of those objects I purchased for a project that would never really happen,” she says.

“However, being stuck in isolation has meant I didn’t really have an excuse.”

Within days of the lockdown Electra, started her Curly Girl Cooking in Paris channel on YouTube.

So far, among the delicious recipes she has whipped up on camera is a traditional French quiche, an apple cake and ginger biscuit.

“It has absolutely helped take my mind off isolation,” she says.

It’s also helped her mentally with friends back home logging on and getting in touch to see what’s up next on the menu.

coronavirus thriving

Embracing the quiet life

Before coronavirus, Victorian mum Cazz Redding, 47, was always busy.

In fact, raising her 13-year-old son while running a town planning consultancy from the regional town of Bright, she often was overworked and had a hard time switching off to relax.

But when the state began to shut down, Cazz’s busy life slowed dramatically.

“I used to have to drive to Melbourne all the time for meetings – that’s six hours return, which was constantly exhausting, but now everyone is online working from home it has really changed my work-life balance,” she says.

With the extra time Cazz has been bike riding every day, walking the dog and relaxing at home with the family.

“It has taken a pandemic for me and many other people to achieve work-life balance,” she says.

coronavirus thriving

Turning a business on its head

As the coronavirus pandemic spread, Brisbane business owner Graeme Twine knew this would impact his fresh produce delivery operation.

Within a matter of weeks, hundreds of previously bustling restaurants on his Suncoast Fresh client list were forced to close their doors and overnight Graeme’s business came to a screeching halt.

“We had to let 30 of about 100 casuals go and that was just horrible,” Graeme says.

“I rang as many as I could and said, ‘Don’t worry, I will fix this’. Immediately I started thinking – people are going to be cooking at home more than ever and they need amazing produce.

“There was an opportunity to use the same resources and build something new. We had to make a few changes but basically it was like someone threw the jigsaw puzzle on the ground and if we put it back together in a different way there was going to be a real opportunity.”

Within two weeks, Graeme redesigned his business to deliver directly to households.

He hit social media to spread the word, created an online store, figured out logistics and retrained dozens of workers.

“I’ve been blown away by the response,” he says. “We are delivering thousands of boxes and have even been able to rehire some of our staff back.”

Written by Alex White.