Australia has managed to do what few other nations around the world have done. But now that could all be undone by two groups.
Australia really is the lucky country but that description was never meant as a compliment.
Instead, historian Donald Horne observed Australia was "a lucky country run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck".
It was an acerbically sneering assessment, but looking at the Morrison government's new confused, contradictory and cynical line on border closures it's hard not to think that Horne was right.
We have taken the near miracle of our world-beating Covid response – a mixture of geographical good fortune, pragmatic policymaking and, in the case of our largest state at least, phenomenal contact tracing – and pissed it up against the wall in the name of base political populism.
Two polls this week prove this is true. The first, a Newspoll in The Australian, found 73 per cent of voters supported the Prime Minister's hard line on borders, namely that they will remain shut until halfway through 2022.
The second, a survey by Resolve Strategic commissioned by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, found almost 30 per cent of respondents said they were unlikely to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
And why? Well, more than one in five vaccine sceptics surveyed said there was no rush to take it while the borders are closed.
In other words, the government's lazy populism has locked the country in a Covid catch-22: The borders are closed because not enough people are getting the vaccine and not enough people are getting the vaccine because the borders are closed.
It is hard to imagine a more moronic hamster wheel for the nation to be caught on as we try to get our society and economy moving forward.
Indeed, it is almost unbelievable that after our extraordinary success in beating the virus we have arrived at a place where anti-vaxxers and loony lockdowners are effectively running the country.
It is also telling that the pro-lockdown brigade – largely of the authoritarian left – and the anti-vax brigade – largely of the libertarian right – now find themselves on the same side.
This is not in itself surprising – as I have often said, all extremists are the same – but it is staggering that they are dictating public policy.
This is the result of precisely the kind of irrational fearmongering Scott Morrison once condemned the states for but he himself has clearly seen the political advantage in as a federal election edges ever closer.
And while it is supposedly on the basis of the often referred to but rarely seen "medical advice", that fig leaf has been thoroughly blown away by the federal government's own former deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth, who has publicly called for a realistic reopening of borders starting from early next year and blasted the eradication strategy as a "false idol".
It is clear Australia cannot stay closed off from the rest of the world forever and so the only real question is when and how we open up.
Remarkably, the government has pushed back the when and yet given no how – no vaccination threshold or target to be met in order for the borders to be safely reopened.
And with no common goal, no national reward, why should Australians rush to get the jab?
If Morrison really wanted to use a fixed date to drive up the vaccination rate he should have stuck to the original target of October and let the anti-vaxxers decide whether they'd prefer to take their chances with the needle or the virus.
Instead the new timetable of mid-2022 smacks of shameless political opportunism, coming just after the latest possible date for the next federal election. Clearly the Coalition has eyed off Labor's success in Fortress Queensland and Fortress WA and decided it wants a piece of that pie.
A few new coronavirus cases would not be much of a health problem for a population in which all the high-risk groups were vaccinated nor for a well-resourced contact tracing regime but it could be a big political problem for a PM on the campaign trail.
Ironically this is especially because so many citizens have been drilled into a Pavlovian response of soiling their britches if there is the slightest rise in case numbers.
It was once considered the duty of a good leader to calm their people's fears. In Australia today the prevailing will is to cash in on them. It is an unstatesmanlike, unintelligent and unsustainable strategy.
True, a lot of our political leaders have got very lucky in this luckiest of countries. But the problem with luck is that it always runs out.