Back in February, caution was in order, as we knew little about the COVID-19 but in light of what we know now, it’s clear that other leaders besides Gov. Beshear could have played an influential role in helping to elevate safety while minimizing disruptive overreach. Instead of one person unilaterally determining what businesses are essential why not let the owners determine for themselves what is best for their employees—based on their age, health, type of business, etc.— and whether they stayed open or closed? Why not let mayors and judge-executives review the data and determine what approaches to take for their community. Why not pursue a targeted approach to the most vulnerable instead of a blanket approach that inflicts unnecessary pain on the healthy? Heeding input from diverse groups of leaders could have maintained safety without the extreme disruptions that hurt many Kentuckians.