Stories of hope, strength, and acceptance for COVID-19 protective measures as social distancing, hand hygiene, and even lockdowns are found in a national study of Australians’ responses.
Flinders University researchers, as part of a team of regional health experts in the Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria, and South Australia, analyzed feedback from 90 adult participants about their positive perceptions of the large-scale interventions rolled out during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020.
“Despite negative impacts of public health directives, such as mental wellbeing and restrictions of movement connected to lockdowns, people were cognisant of positives such as safety and security, gratitude and appreciation, social cohesion, community resilience and the opportunity to reset priorities,” says lead author Associate Professor Narelle Campbell, from Flinders University.
The study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, confirms that the disruptions to daily life during the pandemic provided an opportunity for many to reflect on and reassess their values and priorities – and to consider what is important for them, their families, and their communities.
These findings provide unique perspectives when considering the priorities of Australians and the public health implications for a post-pandemic society.