As Australians hunkered down, stayed home and socially distanced, those on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis have been paying the price in stress and sickness.

While Australia’s healthcare workers watched thousands of their counterparts in Spain and Italy contract the virus, many of them worried about getting sick and passing the illness onto their loved ones.

The latest data collected by the Federal Government in April shows that 481 healthcare workers in Australia have become infected with the virus, with at least 244 of those contracting it away from work.

With the flattening of the curve, medical staff are grateful for the reprieve from dealing with cases, but warn it’s a long way from being over.

Over the course of five weeks, Four Corners asked doctors, nurses and specialists around the country to record their experiences, hopes and fears.

Their diaries captured moments of a remarkable turnaround, from catastrophic predictions to cautious optimism.