For some Wimmera residents, the second round of stage three restrictions is taking a greater toll than the first.
For others, the toll is smaller.
It is these inconsistent impacts Hindmarsh Shire Council is looking to address, as it begins to prepare a recovery plan for residents.
Oasis Motel Nhill's Lyndon Carter said the first few months of the pandemic "weren't too bad" for the region's accommodation sector.
"Business dropped 30 or 40 per cent," he said. "But we kept going because farmers were getting a lot of maintenance done they hadn't gotten around to, so there were heaps of people - extra electricians, essential workers - coming up from Melbourne.
"Now I think most businesses have got those jobs done, so there is less of that happening. This is the first time in the twelve years we've been here that we are having nights of no one staying here."
Mr Carter's motel and adjoining Australian Pinball Museum, which he created with his father Simon, was set to be a hive of flashing lights and arcade noises at this time of year before lockdowns came back in on August 6.
"For that month (July) when people thought things were going back to normal, there were quite a few bookings. People were getting ready to go out again," he said.
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"Before COVID, close to half our business was tourists going between Melbourne and Adelaide. There were also overseas tourists which we aren't going to see for a while at this rate."
He and his staff are on JobKeeper payments, and he has also taken advantage of the Victorian government's Tourism Accommodation Support Program, which saw regional hotels and motels paid $225 for every night of cancelled bookings.
An estimated 12.8 per cent of Hindmarsh Shire businesses have applied for JobKeeper.
Mr Carter said the hardest part was not knowing when recovery could start, with South Australia's border still closed to tourists and current restriction levels likely to continue across Melbourne and Victoria.
"It would be good if the federal government could extend JobKeeper and target it to industries that haven't even started to recover, like tourism and music," he said.
"It is having an impact on community morale, because people just like to go out and chat. Ninety-nine per cent of the time, people aren't silly: If you tell them to stay 1.5 metres away at all times they will, so I think some of the restrictions could be going too far. Right now you can't even have visitors over to your house."
Dimboola Town Committee president and hairdresser Kaylene Pietsch said morale had remained positive in the town.
"People were probably a bit better prepared this time around, not being too complacent," she said.
"I think supporting each other is the biggest thing. We are supporting each other by talking it through: If anyone is facing a bit of depression, they can come out and have a chat about it and find a lot of people are feeling the same. People seem very open and easy to come out about the way they are feeling."
READ MORE: Could Dimboola be the next Daylesford?
Since May, two Natimuk residents have opened up businesses on Dimboola's main street
Ms Pietsch said the town committee continued to work on long-term projects to develop the town during stage three.
"We've got a soundshell extension project, so once the lockdown ends we can put on a community event," she said.
"We've also got a shelter so we can do all our food and barbecue preparation down there as well, and we are trying to get some landscaping done on our high street gardens. There are a lot of things that are affordable and doable once we can get going again."
"When we formed, we had a rock-solid group of people that worked through things and stuck together. I think other towns can learn from that."
Hindmarsh Shire's Revitalisation Reference Group wants to hear from people such as Lyndon and Kaylene.
In a statement, the council said people could fill out a survey with questions for adults and children on areas including business, employment, homeschooling, family pressures and mental wellbeing.
"The goal for recovery is to support our communities to successfully deal with the impacts of the pandemic whilst at the same time building community cohesion and community resilience," the council said.
The survey is available on Hindmarsh Shire Council's website www.hindmarsh.vic.gov.au/community-revitalisation-reference-group or in hard copy by contacting the council's customer services team on 03 5391 4444.
Survey responses close Friday, September 11 2020.
Mayor Rob Gersch has previously called on the state government to consider relaxing restrictions on the shire, to allow residents to support local businesses to a greater extent during the pandemic.
The council area has not recorded a single case of the virus since the pandemic began.
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