A national study of Australians’ responses to COVID-19 public health measures found stories of hope, strength and acceptance of protective measures like social distancing, hand hygiene and even bans.

Dr. Narelle Campbell. Image source: Flinders University

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 on their perception of positive or “silver linings” for large-scale interventions during the first wave of the pandemic of the year Rolled out in 2020.

Despite the negative impact of public health policies such as mental well-being and restricted mobility associated with lockdowns, people were aware of the positives such as safety, gratitude and appreciation, social cohesion, community resilience, and the ability to reset priorities.

Associate Professor Narelle Campbell, Lead Author, Flinders University

“By examining the silver lining that Australians expressed at a time of significant public health restrictions and uncertainty from COVID-19, this study has shown people’s remarkable ability to express positivity and general resilience in the face of adversity” says Associate Professor Campbell, who lives in Darwin,

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 and reassess their values ​​and priorities – and to consider what is important to them, theirs Families and their communities.

These results offer unique perspectives when considering Australian priorities and the public health implications for a post-pandemic society.

Co-authored University of Queensland Associate Professor Geoff Argus, Director of Southern Queensland Rural Health, based in Toowoomba

Other contributors to the study include the WA Center for Rural Health (University of WA), Darling Downs Health in Toowoomba and University of Queensland, Torrens University Australia in Adelaide, and La Trobe Rural Health School, Bendigo, Victoria.

The new article, Silver Linings Reported by Australians Experiening Public Health Restrictions during the First Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Report (2021) by Narelle Campbell, Sandra C Thompson, Anna Tynan, Louise Townsin, Lauren A Booker and Geoff Argus was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


Journal reference:

Campbell, N., et al. (2021) Silver Linings Reported by Australians Experiencing Public Health Restrictions During Phase One of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Report. International journal of environmental research and public health. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111406.


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