I like your devil’s advocate thinking.
In southern Alberta, we have two beef packing plants that produce 60% of Canada’s beef. They were left open because they were deemed essential as food production. Neither plant can be converted to social distancing requirements. So workers are still next to each other on the production line or cafeteria.
Last week, one factory had almost 500 of its employees with Covid-19. This factory of 2500 was shut down in the interests of health and safety, but it’s kind of hard to run a factory efficiently when so many people are sick.
The second factory (in my home town) currently has about 150 cases. It is still running, but a shutdown is expected any time. I know two poultry plants and one pork plant in Canada have also been shut down.
My take is that if the government did not shut down the economy, the disease would have anyways.
As of Saturday, my home town has 400 Covid-19 cases out of a population of 15,000. And two people have died. It seems our curve has not flattened yet.