They had it all planned out. From Jeffrey A. Tucker at brownstone.org:
The lockdowns of March 2020 shocked the American people and most public health agencies, not to mention infectious disease doctors. The idea of school shutdowns, business closures, plus mandatory remote work and other restrictions have previously seemed inconceivable. It was especially remarkable to have such an “all-of-government” response to a virus that we already knew posed a threat mainly to the elderly and infirm.
Issues like public-health precedent, American legal tradition, and medical knowledge about dealing with respiratory viruses, not to mention natural immunity and collateral damage of lockdowns, were all thrown out the window.
Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s book The Real Anthony Fauci mentions a tabletop exercise called Crimson Contagion that ran from January through August, 2019. I had not previously heard of it and I found the mention remarkable, simply because it proves that not everyone was shocked by lockdowns. They were not part of official planning documents of either the CDC or WHO but they were clearly in the plans of someone.
I’ve only followed up on this report in light of growing focus on the person who coordinated Crimson Contagion: Robert Kadlec, who served in the Trump administration as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, Preparedness and Response. It was he who also ran the Covid response between HHS and the Department of Homeland Security.
Kadec’s lifetime government service (and, yes, he is said to be CIA) extends all the way back to the G.W. Bush administration when in 2007 he took the position of Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Biodefense Policy on the Homeland Security Council from 2007 to 2009. The very notion of lockdowns originated in that administration.