Like the Great Depression, COVID-19 has resulted in a caravan-like migration as thousands of Australians relocate for work - an unfortunate necessity that has been the Bulldogs' gain.
In the case of the Bulldogs' new Victorian recruit, Jaydon Stiles, the pandemic cost him his job and the chance to make his AFL coaching debut but "opened up other doors" for him, he said.
It brought him closer to his younger brother, Josh, then brought them both to Gunnedah this month and into the kennel of the reigning premiers.
The siblings made their Gunnedah debut in a 115-point defeat of Inverell at Wolseley Oval on Saturday.
Jaydon, 26, booted a match-high four goals and Josh, 19, was also in the thick of the action.
It was the first time they had played together.
"It was good," Josh said of that experience.
After playing for Natimuk United in the Horsham Football League, Jaydon scored a coaching-playing job at the Macorna Tigers in the Golden Rivers Football League.
But then COVID struck like a Mike Tyson lunging right hook, and that exciting opportunity vanished - as did his personal-trainer job.
He returned to his hometown, Portland, on the southwest coast of Victoria. It was there that he plotted his next move, with his younger brother also in mind. They had not lived together for about a decade.
Josh played for the Portland Tigers' under-18 side last year.
"I was living back with Josh," Jaydon said, "living back at home due to COVID and other reasons, and I thought, 'Yeah, why not go play together.'"
He knows people who know Bulldogs coach Doug Meagher, who hails from Horsham in western Victorian.
An email exchange with Meagher resulted in the brothers landing maintenance jobs at Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club, where Meagher is general manager, and giving a class injection to a Bulldogs side already flush with quality.