COVID-19 is not our geographic region's first brush with an illness of epidemic proportions. We now know that the ""conquest"" by Christopher Columbus (1492) of native people was not due to guns nor weapons, rather to the fact that Columbus and his crew of invaders brought disease pathogens--carried invisibly--to indigenous communities of the Americas. These diseases had evolved over hundreds of years across the ocean in Europe--to which Europeans had become immune, but to which native populations of the 'New World' had no resistance or immunity . Mahicans lived communally; women had equal rights as men, there was no slavery, all group members were cared for equally. Village or group elders managed activities of daily life, restricting overuse of resources so as to preserve them for the next seven generations. Discovery of a small Native American campsites point to occupation of the land for at least 4,000 years prior to the Dutch settlers in this region.