Chris Brown's family are using self-isolation as a chance to reconnect with each other after they lost time together during the catastrophic bushfire season.
The Port News is asking locals to share how they are adapting to changes and life amid the worldwide COVID-19 health crisis.
Mr Brown is captain of the Lake Cathie Rural Fire Brigade. He says he missed quality time with his family when called out for weeks to battle fires which threatened the region.
"It's going to be nice to go back to basics for a while," he said.
Who are the people/person you are spending majority of your time with now?
Mr Brown is spending a lot of time with his children, who are participating in their school classes via the internet.
"They started on Tuesday and had an amazing experience with their school," he said.
"You can tell a lot of hard work has gone into the digital learning space and we extend our thanks to those involved."
How are you coping with working and managing other commitments without leaving your house on a regular basis?
Mr Brown operates his own business and has set up a home office, where he's now mostly working from.
"We are pre-warning our customers about our social distancing obligations before having face to face meetings," he said.
"Our business has so many stages of customer contact, so our team have been working on changing each stage to ensure we are managing the risks.
"Our patio installers are still working on jobs that we deem compliant with the emergency legislation outlined this week.
"Our sales team have closed the office doors. We manage meetings over the phone where we can and also use emails.
"Meeting clients in their homes is probably the most difficult thing to manage."
Meanwhile, members of the Lake Cathie Fire Station have dramatically reduced their time at the station.
"We set up an online meeting platform that we haven't tested out yet," Mr Brown said.
"Our regular maintenance has been reduced to one or two members at a time."
What do you miss the most about not being able to be out and about anymore?
As an athlete, Mr Brown said he misses running, participating in parkrun each week and socialising with friends.
"We are a social family, so we look forward to seeing all the little businesses open their doors and socialising being back in vogue," he said.
We came together during the recent bushfires and I'm not seeing that now.Chris Brown
Is there anything you believe our community could be doing better during this time?
Mr Brown said he's been shocked at the amount of hoarding being carried out in the local community.
"We came together during the recent bushfires and I'm not seeing that now," he said.
"Outside of family and friends it appears to be every man for himself."
Due to the hoarding, Mr Brown said there needs to be a way for businesses to purchase essential items to keep staff safe during work and to comply with current laws.
"It's my responsibility to make sure I can offer a safe, hygienic workplace and I couldn't find toilet paper, hand wash and hand sanitiser," he said.
"We paid one of our workers for two hours to go out searching with no luck. Ridiculous."
What are your top three tips for keeping sane during this time?
Mr Brown is staying sane by communicating and keeping in touch with everyone.
"Whether they be our customer, my brigade members, family and friends," he said.
"Stay calm and count your blessings."
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