The coronavirus is hitting Australians in both their hip pockets and headspace.
One in three households are worse-off financially since COVID-19 hit our shores, new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows.
And nearly twice as many people are reporting feelings of nervousness or restlessness – both associated with anxiety – compared with a national health survey in 2017-18.
Working-age people were more likely to have worsened finances than those aged over 65 years.
One in eight had lost hours or their job in the first half of April.
And one in six Australians said their household had taken action to support their basic living expenses, including drawing on long-term savings or reducing home loan payments.
The first of the business cashflow payments and $750 stimulus cheques for people on welfare have hit bank accounts over the past fortnight.
But the ABS data shows more than half of those who have received the $750 have banked it or not spent it yet.
Another one in six put it towards paying bills.
That’s not great news for retailers, who have put together a plan to get people back into their stores and protect everyone’s health.
Five peak bodies covering shopping centre owners, retailers and shop assistants have joined forces to endorse a recovery protocol.
Major retail companies that have voluntarily closed stores and stood down staff include Myer, hairdressing chain Just Cuts and Premier Investments – the company behind a number of chains including Smiggle, Just Jeans and Dotti.
Governments have also ordered food courts closed along with restaurants, cafes and bars, although they can provide takeaway.
But states are starting to ease restrictions and leaders meeting on Friday are looking more closely at the way out of the crisis.
Suggestions to enable a safe reopening of shops include providing hand sanitiser at centre entrances, regular cleaning of surfaces and working on ways to make sure the 1.5-metre distance is kept between customers and workers.
The protocol also recommends retailers check on employee wellbeing each day, monitor customer behaviour to crack down on any abuse towards workers, and ensuring open and frequent communication between centre management and shopkeepers.