That may be your view, but it's not the way that the media and the opposition look at it.
And I would like you to defend your position. The only ways to prevent a rapid spread of the virus were vaccination (takes time), isolationism (not possible because we're a non-self sufficient island, and the virus was already established by the time action could be taken), rapid and comprehensive testing (works quite well if the population is small and not very mobile - neither of which describe the UK, and it took too long to set up) followed up by enforced isolation, or lockdown, which was always going to affect the consumer economy, one way or another.
In theory, there were halfway houses like local lockdowns, enforced testing or at least temperature checks where people gather, but all of these things fail in the UK because it is a small, highly populated country with multi-generational households, with population gathered in large conurbations, and a society where people don't like being dictated to by anyone, let alone the government.
I'd love to know who you think "..most to protected their citizens". Germany? Sweden? Japan? They all did well in a first wave, but all became complacent, relaxed and stumbled with later waves (and Germany is not far behind the UK w.r.t. deaths now).
Australia and New Zealand did well, but only by closing their borders, something that is possible with countries which are net exporters of food, but closing your borders also affects exports, which affect GDP and (again) the economy.
The UK is not a poster boy by a long way, but I don't think that there is one shining example anywhere in the world. Everywhere struggled in one way or another, and I don't think we even know how less developed countries with poorer health systems have actually done, and their story is far from over.
If you have any other ideas, then I'm sure that the Government would welcome a something new to consider