The National Capital Region, the most vulnerable area of the country to Covid surges by its sheer population density, was back on lockdown this week. A 7-day enhanced community quarantine had been imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to hold off a runaway increase in positive cases that threatens a debilitating crisis.

We leave it to the independent experts to conclude what exactly did we do wrong to find ourselves back to where we started exactly a year ago, perhaps worse. What is glaring is we’re at rock bottom, no matter how Harry Roque tries to spin this thing to a positive narrative while keeping himself hydrated in his own isolation room.

It remains to be seen if a short ECQ will do the trick and reverse the trend or we find ourselves needing to face the harsher truth and maybe start seeking emergency outside help. We are right now pitifully relying solely on a few donated vaccines, some even smuggled, to inoculate the people manning our frontline healthcare system, while other countries that are similarly situated with us are well underway with their mass vaccination. Even that we couldn’t get right, as we see politicians and other privileged few jumping the queue to help themselves first and foremost.

It has been a dismal failure, this pandemic response of government, and it has been called so by many even in the higher rungs of the bureaucracy. Instead of acknowledging its mistakes, Malacanang has been doing this whack-a-mole routine of slamming anyone of note who would even dare raise a howl.

The safest takeaway for everyone as we un-celebrate the one year lockdown is that we are pretty much on our own at this point. In varying degrees, we have experienced how vulnerable we could be if we keep exposing ourselves to the virus. But we can also cope even with the little resources available to us. The past year should tell us that there are things within our control that we can do to minimize the risk of infection. But for all intents and purposes, yes we are on survival mode, pretty much.