ISSUE ADDRESSED: To investigate whether Australians have experienced any positive effects during the COVID-19 pandemic .
METHODS: National online longitudinal survey . As part of a June 2020 survey, participants (n=1370) were asked 'In your life, have you experienced any positive effects from the COVID-19 pandemic' (yes/no) and also completed the World Health Organisation-Five well-being index . Differences were explored by demographic variables . Free-text responses were thematically coded .
RESULTS : 960 participants (70 %) reported experiencing at least one positive effect during the COVID-19 pandemic . Living with others (p=.045) and employment situation (p <.001) at baseline (April), were associated with experiencing positive effects . Individuals working for pay from home were more likely to experience positive effects compared to those who were not working for pay (aOR=0.45 , 95% CI : 0.32 , 0.63, p <.001), or who were working for pay outside the home (aOR=0.40 , 95% CI : 0.28 , 0.58, p <.001). 54.2% of participants reported a sufficient level of wellbeing , 23.2% low wellbeing and a further 22.6% very low wellbeing . Of those experiencing positive effects , 945/960 (98 %) provided an explanation . The three most common themes were 'Family time' (33 %), 'Work flexibility' (29 %), and 'Calmer life' (19 %).
CONCLUSIONS: A large proportion of participants reported positive effects resulting from changes to daily life due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia . SO WHAT: The needs of people living alone, and of those having to work outside the home or who are unemployed, should be considered by health policy makers and employers in future pandemic preparedness efforts.