Back in the day when as a teenager I frequented spacies parlours to play the 20 cent video games I spent the bulk of my time playing a game called Time Pilot.
The premise was that you were flying a 1980s based craft and had to wipe out all of the opposing craft in different time zones.
As you progressed through the levels the technology of the opponents advanced, and the game became harder to progress.
Moving from bullets in WWI through to fighting aliens with lasers in the 2000s, as you progressed your tactics had to change and your reaction times shortened to enable you to survive.
I never played a game where you moved down levels and it got easier but, when thinking about how countries have approached managing Covid-19, in particular New Zealand and Australia's current response, I was reminded about how the different levels have markedly different impacts for those affected.
Essential workers and businesses aside, unlike Time Pilot you go straight to level 4 which is the hardest level when in lockdown.
However, it isn't a walk in the park (within 5km of your bubble) for many businesses able to operate at level 4 as they need to significantly amend how they operate to accommodate the health requirements such as social distancing.
And for many business owners the process is exhausting and, unfortunately as cases popping up in Auckland show, not entirely guaranteed to prevent the spread of the virus.
And level 3, while it enables more businesses to operate, is a long way from "normal" for those that are able or choose to operate.
For many businesses they will choose not to open to keep themselves, their staff, and their customers safe until level 2 arrives.
Even then, for the number of businesses who will wait until level 2 is brought in (whenever that will be) there are in some cases major changes required to operate effectively.
Again, the distancing requirements and restrictions on the number of visitors a business can have mean that it may not be practical for some to open dependent on their circumstances.
I guess where I am going with this is that we need to applaud our local businesses who operate at all of the levels, because there is significant mahi and effort expended to make things happen and operate in an effective way so that rules are followed.
Finally, there are a number of posts on social media emerging over the last few days asking locals to "avoid national chains and support locals".
By all means, make a decision which you feel is best for the local economy but remember that these national chains in many cases are owned by locals, employ locals, support the community through sponsorship and donations and are having to work extremely hard themselves to be in a position to provide their goods and services.
If you want to support local I suggest you delete Amazon from your devices and 'click and collect' with locals.
For me as a consumer, level 3 is much like level 4, but I will be going out where I can to support local businesses which are open.
I will also be hoping that the next few weeks will be the same as what happened when I actually clocked Time Pilot – you go back to level 1.