As the cost of the Commonwealth's ineffective COVIDsafe app heads northward of $6 million and state borders slam shut across the country yet again, the key question which has to be asked is how our national leadership failed us at such an important time?
Lygon Street in Carlton was awash with people after Italy's big win in the European Championship final, heaving with celebration. It was thought the danger had passed but little did they know the highly contagious Delta Covid variant was out there, swirling around.
For the virus, there are no borders.
Down at Albury-Wodonga and up at Tweed Heads, the temporary barriers are back up and police are back on duty.
Without sufficient supplies from the Commonwealth to flood the population with vaccine, the country is caught up in a fairground whack-a-mole game where new outbreaks of contagion emerge in hours, and premiers and chief ministers are forced to react.
Among a jaded, increasingly angry populace in Victoria, now in lockdown 5.0, that reaction manifests itself in strong language, edged with bitterness and recrimination.
The latest outbreaks are being referred to as the "NSW virus" leaking north and south. This fans the flames of parochialism, setting one state against another. None of this finger-pointing and sniping is helpful when quite clearly, we're all in this together.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison likes to remind us Australia is far better off than many countries around the world and, yes, that point is inescapable. We look incredulously across to the UK where restrictions have been eased, sports stadiums are packed, and yet over 48,000 people are day are testing positive.
Indonesia is almost a coronavirus basket case with 2.7 million confirmed cases and record numbers of new cases every day, triple the pace of early this year. It's south-east Asia's new Covid epicentre.
That holiday in Bali, which for West Australians is a shorter plane flight than one to the east coast of their own country, appears a very long way off.
The international context is useful but doesn't address the key concerns internally.
In April, Mr Morrison brought in the military to run the vaccine rollout program, appointing a Navy commander, Eric Young, to take over the logistics.
When the barbs about the pace of the vaccine rollout intensified through April-June, the PM reached for a higher-ranking officer in Lieutenant General John Frewen to head up the taskforce as coordinator general of Operation Covid Shield, perhaps in the hope the more heavyweight the brass running the show, the more serious the effort appears.
This militarisation of the vaccine rollout effectively throws a camouflage net over the operation, protecting the PM, federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and his senior public servant cohort from bearing the brunt of the accountability. Mr Morrison didn't hesitate to turn on the expert vaccine advisory group when looking for someone to blame for the slow pace of the rollout.
The 2013 Abbott government campaign initiated to arrest the arrival of "suspected illegal entry vessels" and where military-led "on-the-water" activity very quickly became veiled in security language and secrecy, preventing any genuine public scrutiny.
By injecting the military, Mr Morrison knows he can better limit his political damage. And our respected military officers are placed in the invidious position of being unable to refuse a direct order.
When the country desperately needs national leadership, we're once again all at sea.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: