The intent of the shutdown was to slow the progress of contagion so that our medical facilities would not be overwhelmed and fail.

At the outset, little was known except that COVID-19 could be deadly and that it spread like wildfire. A think tank in the United Kingdom’s Midlands, called SAGE, suggested that the U.S. could see 2 million dead.

Neil Ferguson, an adviser there to the UK government, detailed a “lockdown” scenario that was picked up in the U.S. as “the shutdown.” The planned economic havoc was to give the medical eggheads time to formulate cures and treatments.

Great. It worked. We have blunted a global pandemic and presented ourselves with a near-complete economic disaster.

A pork-processing plant suffers an outbreak among the employees and shuts down for a week. Then the pork suppliers have no place to sell their pigs.

The pigs are slaughtered — no money for feed, you know. So the processing plant has no income for a week.

Their supplier has no income plus a huge loss of inventory. The processing plant’s employees may come back to work, if they have not been too terrified by the liars at cable news.

Then there’s no inventory, as it has all been slaughtered.

It sounds like an Arthur C. Clarke doomsday novel. But this has actually happened in the last few weeks.

Don’t bother trying for chicken instead of pork; one guy had to “euthanize” 60,000 chickens because of a similar processing-plant problem. Pretty soon, we will be no better off than the old Soviet Union, with empty store shelves and making our own vodka in the bathtub.

And now we see, on the CDC website, that to report a COVID-19 death, the deceased needs only to have “respiratory distress.” How many of the deaths in New York City are due to coronavirus, not something else, then?

They are lying to us in order to scare us into compliance with Neil Ferguson’s suggestion. Well, hey, last week Neil resigned because they found out he sneaked out for an “over-nighter” with his girlfriend. Twice.

It is obvious he thinks the risk of coronavirus is not that risky at all. I believe him.

Our society is heading back to the Middle Ages if we cannot meet each other in the marketplace. We have the wherewithal to protect the elderly and the immuno-deficient.

We can do that and still have the rest of us out and about. But government bureaucracies are too inept to retract this edict.

So we will all just have to venture out on our own. I’m going back to work. See you there.

I really don’t want to go back to the Stone Age. Thanks, but don’t bother trying to “save” me if my life isn’t worth living.

Alastair Black

Rio Rancho