Public health and masks are the reason for democracy in the first place.

In ages past, kings took poor care of small farmers and villagers. They protected the inhabitants of the castle during outbreaks while others suffered.

Plutarch tells about a group of people who had their property seized for debts and then were sent to colonize a plague-infested area. In quick order, they rose up and established the famous Roman democracy, so they could have good health like the wealthy landowners.

The ancient Hebrews left Egypt after enduring 10 vicious plagues. They set up a society based on distribution of land, prevention of disease, and remembering why their founders did what they did.

The breaking of peace treaties often brought plague, like the one that arrived after Athens and Sparta tore up their agreement for a 30-year peace.

Greeks believed it was either the gods or the natural order of things that was upset in such cases. They taught that the people must keep good faith and maintain good scientific sense in order to preserve society.

In the early 1900s, the United States learned the importance of integrity, science and history. America broke the promise she made to her ancestors to stay out of wars between European kings. She entered World War I in 1918, which then upset the healthy order of things by bringing a deadly influenza pandemic to her shores.

Democracies decline when groups within it lose respect for the health of the people. Those groups pooh-pooh history, disdain science and eat promises for breakfast.

Kimball Shinkoskey, Woods Cross