Those faces in the street, how are they coping? 

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“CityNews” asked some locals about how the coronavirus crisis was affecting their lives. 


Singer, composer and political satirist 

How are you travelling?


John Shortis.

Me and my partner (singer Moya Simpson) have lost all work indefinitely, so we’re carefully working out how to deal with that. We’re working on a new show for future streaming called “Going Viral”, which is a satire about the current situation. We’re creating a virtual choir for the choir we run. And we’re writing and recording songs that last 20 seconds for people to play and sing while they wash their hands. The level of creativity continues. We are self-isolating, going for walks, and shopping for essentials which definitely include alcohol and books (hard copy, of course).

How does your future look?

Immediately it looks grim, but the constant flow of songs and YouTubes and on-line activities by fellow artists who are rising above this gives us all reason to keep going and surviving. I think it will change the world forever, like 9/11 did. Exactly how I don’t know. I hope we don’t get too used to isolation, working from home, doing activities on the internet. We need the actual gathering of people to return as it was, or better than it was. It may also have an effect on our climate (much less flying for example), which would be a good outcome.


Birth doula 

How are you travelling?

As a professional birth support person, I have a lot of close contact with clients in their homes and in hospitals. To reduce the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, I’m now offering appointments using Skype instead of doing home visits. 

Amey Bencke.

All of our local hospitals have limited the number of support people allowed in labour, so sometimes I can’t be there. This is a massive blow to my small business and has kept me up most nights, but it’s devastating to my clients – most of whom have previous birth trauma and have hired me to keep them calm during labour. 

I get calls every day from expecting parents asking what’s happening, but the advice changes daily and varies with each care provider. 

How does your future look? 

I’m working hard to make sure my clients are well prepared and know that they can have amazing births, with or without me.


Hair stylist and salon owner 

How are you travelling?

Michael Minglis.

We are currently being affected by firm restrictions from the government to have one person per four square metres, which of course limits our opportunity to have a fully operating salon. 

Our clients cannot have a normal salon experience under these restrictions. 

And with the ever-changing guidelines, we have current uncertainties about what we can book and what our options are for the next couple of months. 

The hours of some of my staff have been cut back due to the lack of clients booking in and restrictions put in place by the government. 

How does your future look?

I am confident that my business will continue to thrive and be stable once again from the support of my valuable staff and clients. 


Yoga studio owner

How are you travelling?

In the current situation, yoga classes, workshops and retreats as we know them are on hold. The only possible way to practice yoga together and connect is online. 

We are building a beautiful new yoga studio right now. If the current situation remains, we will postpone the July opening until we can gather again. 

Odona Farska.

I suppose like most of us I’m going through a range of emotions and have felt fairly overwhelmed, but I am focusing more on time outdoors, online work, spending time with my children, drawing and other creative activities. 

How does your future look? 

I have made a very quick transition to online live streaming of my yoga classes. Technical setup was challenging, but we’re getting there. I love teaching face-to-face yoga classes. You can feel the energy, connection, and there is a strong sense of community. Moving classes online is a little strange, but better than nothing. There is still a sense of connection, which is important for our mental health at this time. 

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