In the early days of the pandemic, Australia's health authorities were rushing to react to a threat in which much of the danger was unknown.
How the virus affected the body, how long it took for an infection to take hold, and how the virus was transmitted were all questions that were answered only after the federal, state and territory governments began to put measures in place to protect Australians.
Mistakes were made, but largely, Australia's snap reaction to the impending threat can be listed as one of the best in the world.
But as the pandemic drags on, with new strains, new information and new challenges like that presented by the vaccination rollout, Australia is dropping down the table.
The failure to respond adequately to new information about aerosolised transmission of the virus in poorly ventilated spaces like hotel rooms is, alongside the sluggish vaccine rollout, becoming a major speedhump on the road to recovery.
Victoria is now dealing with dozens of cases in an outbreak linked to the transmission of the virus inside hotel quarantine in South Australia. That transmission between rooms has led to Melbourne being locked down for at least two weeks, and is the 21st such leak of the virus out of hotel quarantine.
We are not in the same position as last year: our health experts know significantly more about the virus and how it spreads. We have more than a year's worth of lessons on how a casualised, insecure workforce in multiple jobs has endangered lives both through the hotel system and the aged care system.
Governments not only have at their fingertips lessons from what has gone wrong, but examples of what has worked. The Howard Springs quarantine facility in Darwin is a success on many fronts: residents are in separate cabins with proper airflow, providing both a better and safer experience. Its capacity will soon be at 2000 people.
But that extra knowledge seems to have come alongside a reluctance to act in the same decisive ways we saw last year.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday said he hoped the Victorian lockdown would end as soon as possible, and pointed out that few countries were living with the virus in the way Australia is.
Last week the Victorian government and the federal government agreed to start work on a new quarantine facility at Avalon outside Melbourne. It's the first such agreement to be reached, and it won't be operational until next year.
On Monday it was reported the NSW government would welcome a federally run quarantine site in the state, but the federal government said it would welcome a proposal that abides by its criteria.
On morning radio, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian again put quarantine facilities in the "not our responsibility" basket, but also warned hotel quarantine won't be the solution when international travellers return en masse.
There are two ways to protect the way of life Australia has been able to maintain in the face of the virus, without further lockdowns. One is to ramp up the vaccine rollout, particularly ensuring vulnerable workers face no barriers to getting immunised.
The other is to decide on and implement appropriate quarantine accommodation, which properly mitigates the risks of aerosolised transmission of the virus and can operate at scale for years.
We have seen the consequences of acting too slowly over and over again with this virus. This is one area where the evidence is clear: there are options available, and the only barriers are political, not practical.