Level 3 was a hard blow for Auckland.
And even at level 2, regional New Zealand got a huge wake-up call.
Level 1? We had kicked back, wiped our collective brows, said 'whew' and began waiting for the slide toward level zero.
• Covid 19 coronavirus: Auckland moving to alert level 2 and NZ to level 1 - Jacinda Ardern
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And then bang - back up a notch.
We knew the journey to eradicate Covid-19 was a marathon, not a sprint.
But now we all know, it's an ultramarathon with the occasional steeplechase hurdle thrown in for good measure.
There seemed to be a blase attitude among some Hawke's Bay hospitality businesses as to what constituted level 2 regulations.
For some, it meant business as usual - service at the counter or bar, no table service, and cluster together as tightly as you like.
A few weeks ago, I was in Wellington for a weekend. We drove because, at the time, there were no direct flights from Napier to Wellington.
That has changed in the past few weeks - direct flights are opening up again.
Almost every hospitality venue we visited was vigilant about signing in, social distancing and table service.
Two of three taxi or Uber drivers insisted on face masks, or had some form of protective screen in their vehicles.
"Where mask? Where mask?," one Uber driver shouted at us.
There seemed to be a far greater emphasis on the level 2 regulations and guidelines in the capital.
That's not surprising, given our capital city is far more tuned into the national political psyche than other regions or cities.
In Auckland, the impact of another level 3 experience was far greater than what we had to endure in level 2.
The rules were tougher, the stakes higher. But here in the regions, were we getting a little casual?
Auckland has just taken one for the team of 4.8 million, and those of us in the regions should be grateful.
Our largest city's level 3 pain in the past month or so has been a stark reminder that it could still happen to us, and that we should still collectively work hard to ensure there are no further outbreaks.
The finish line of this ultramarathon is somewhere up ahead, but it's still not clearly visible.