BY XENIA SANUT
Businesses and communities are spreading Easter joy despite COVID-19 lockdowns.
Premier Daniel Andrews has issued multiple, stern warnings for people to stay inside during stage three lockdown restrictions over the religious holiday - encouraging businesses and communities to adapt for the “not a holiday weekend”.
The Chocolate Mill co-owner Nicki Straton said her Mount Franklin-based chocolate shop has been selling most of its products online, after losing 90 per cent of their regular foot traffic.
“Our Easter sales have largely been online instead of in-store,” Ms Straton said.
“We have adapted by adding more and varied options to our online store.”
One such option is the playfully named ‘quarantine survival kit’, which has been a hot seller and contains some of their most popular products.
Ms Straton said the circulation of the survival kits on social media sites such as Facebook has helped increase their sales.
"We hope customers will continue to purchase [goods] online for themselves and their friends after Easter and across the isolation period,” Ms Straton said.
While COVID-19 has not impacted the sales of Easter products at Cadbury, the company’s marketing director Paul Chatfield said they have increased their donations of Easter products.
“There will be many families who this year will struggle to afford Easter treats, so we’ve ramped up our donations of Easter products to ensure families don’t miss out,” Mr Chatfield said.
“We’re donating hundreds of thousands of Easter eggs and chocolate to Foodbank, the Salvation Army, SecondBite, and people in quarantine, hospitals and aged care homes around the country.”
Cadbury also ran an online Easter egg hunt on their Facebook page last week to provide participants a chance at winning Easter treats.
370,000 people took part in the hunt this year - double the number of participants in 2019.
To compensate for banned local community chocolate egg hunts, communities around the globe are decorating their windows with Easter decorations for children to find when walking around their neighbourhood.
The Easter Egg Hunt 2020 With Social Distancing Facebook group was created by Charlotte Pardely after she and her son were disappointed they could only find one shamrock in their neighbourhood hunt on St Patrick’s Day.
“I started thinking about doing this for Easter and turning it into an Easter egg hunt for the kids,” Ms Pardely said.
“But I had to make this happen and make it really big so there were enough eggs to make taking the kids out worthwhile.”
As of April 10, the group has more than 172,000 members worldwide.
Ms Pardely said the event has given her a sense of community at a time when she felt like there was none.
“We have received so many messages about this lifting peoples’ spirits and filling their hearts with joy,” Ms Pardely said.
“Families are spending quality time enjoying making their projects together and getting outside in a responsible way to go and look at what others have created.”
Ms Pardely said the Facebook page has also received many messages from seniors and people with compromised immune systems “who simply can’t get out and see their neighbours’ projects”.
“[They] enjoy looking at what people have created all over the world and it gives them hope that [COVID-19] will end and we will get through it together.”