Human Efforts With Divinity And Spirituality Always Win Pandemics…


Human Efforts With Divinity And Spirituality Always Win Pandemics



When a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as it they were his own, he has attained the highest state of spiritual union.

———- Bhagvad Gita

Epidemic is the spread of a disease to a large number of people in given population within a short period of time. Pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease which has spread across a large region.

The ancient people thought that the disease was created spontaneously and not by microorganisms. The Hindu scripture. Atharvaveda mentioned that a disease is caused by small organisms which we now call bacteria and viruses, probably it is the first germ theory. Louis Pasteur is credited as the main contributor of germ theory.

As human civilization flourished, so does infectious disease. Large numbers of people living in close proximity with poor simulation and nutrition, provided fertile breeding ground for disease1.

WHO keeps an eye, constant alert and monitors on threats of epidemics and pandemics. In the first half of the 20th century there were no antibiotics and vaccination was still in its infancy. Slum dwellings in the major cities of Britain were still overcrowded and with unhealthy conditions. In these circumstances, infectious diseases were readily able to spread, carrying off both adults and children alike. An example of this was the Spanish flu epidemic that killed 228,000 people in Britain between the years 1918 to 1919 and millions more worldwide. Complications resulting from influenza, such as pneumonia, are still a cause of death among the elderly, ill and vulnerable, but protective vaccine and good health care mean that most people can survive.2

A story published in Reader’s Digest, December 2020 issue root that, the potential of a simple gesture to capture the public’s imagination in time of crisis was illustrated when 99-year-old British army veteran Captain Tom Moore decided to raise money for health workers and patients. Inspired by the excellent treatment he had received in hospital for skin cancer and broken hip in 2018, in early April he pledged to complete 100 laps of his garden, using his walking frame for support, before his 100th birthday later that month. By the time he reached his 100th birthday on 30 April, he had raised nearly 33 million. He was honoured with a fly-past by Britain’s air force, and the public sent more than 1,50,000 birthday cards.

Smallpox is believed to have appeared in 10,000 BCE, in African and then spread to India and other Asian countries by Egyptian travellers as confirmed by finding smallpox lesions in mummies. Smallpox killed millions of people all over the world. Smallpox was endemic to Europe, Asia and Arabia for centuries, a persistent menace that killed three out of ten people it infected and left the rest with pockmarked sears. There hasn’t been a kill off in human history to match with what happened in the Americas 90 to 95 percent of the indigenous population wiped out over a century.

Jack Hill, describing New York City at the height of the smallpox pandemic that as the dead increased, it became apparent that we weren’t going to be able to deal with it in a conventional manner in the city morgues. So, we decided to take over Governor’s Island and turn it into a morgue. And we took Army issue, air conditioned tents, and every morning when the bodies were collected from the hospitals, they were taken to Governor’s Island and laid out. And we filled one tent and then we filled another tent, and then we filled another tent. And that’s what we did with the dead”. In 8th century according to CDC (origin of smallpox), it is estimated that 4,00,000 people died from disease per year3.

Jenner developed the process of producing immunity to smallpox by inoculation (vaccination) with cowpox (vaccinia) vaccine in 1796. On 14th May 1796, he introduced pus from the cowpox sore of a milkmaid into two cuts made on the arm of a, 8-year-old young boy named James Phipps, his gardener’s son. He developed cowpox, but not smallpox, after injecting pus from smallpox to cuts on his arm. Jenner started the smallpox vaccination in 1796 and today it has been eradicated all over the world. In 1806, Thomas Jefferson, President of USA, appreciated the efforts of Jenner and wrote him a letter “Future generations will know by history only that the loathsome smallpox existed and by you have been extirpated”. Jenner is called the “Father of Immunology”. Jenner is widely credited as the pioneer of the smallpox vaccine, and is sometimes referred to as the “Father of Immunology”; his works have been said to have saved more lives than the work of any other man.

Last case of smallpox was observed in October 1977 and WHO certified the global eradication of the disease in 1980. WHO certified the eradication of smallpox. The first disease in history to be eliminated by human efforts.



Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium yersenia pestis. Globally about 600 cases are reported a year. Yarsenia pestis circulates in animal resources, particularly in rodents. It has occurred in large outbreaks, the best known being the Black Death in the 14th century which resulted in greater than 50 million dead. It was the deadlist pandemic recorded in human history. It is estimated that Black Death have killed 30% to 60% of Europe’s population. The plague has a long history as a biological weapon also. Now plague is not seen, it is rare. It’s vaccination is not a routine vaccination. It is given only to high risk cases such as those engaged in yersenia pestis works in laboratories.

Deepak Chopra and David Simon write in their book, Freedom, about meditation an its value that, “The regular experience of restful awareness through meditation provides physical benefits to the body through its natural ability to neutralize the physiological imbalance caused by stress. Meditation also help improve one’s psychological state by reducing the mental turmoil associated with worry, nervousness, and insomnia. The advantages alone support the value of meditation’s traditional role is as a technology for spiritual development, and it is here we find its most profound value to free negative habits.

A spiritual path is one that leads us from suffering to peace. Life is brief and interspersed with challenges. Every human being goes through times of confusion during which we experience anxiety and insecurity about the next steps to take. A spiritual practice provides an underlying peace that enable us to feel connected to a dimension of our being that transcends the confusion-generating distress. Whether we call this domain of life God, spirit, nature, creative intelligence, or consciousness is of minor consequence, despite the religiously motivated battles that have been fought for millennia over its name. What is important is having access to this realm of awareness through direct experience.

Giovanni Boccaccio says, “Many died in the open street, others dying in their houses, made it know by the stench of their rotting bodies. Consecrated churchyards did not suffice for the burial of the vast multitude of bodies, which were heaped by the hundreds in vast trenches, like goods in a ships hold and covered with a little earth”. A saying about plague, Boccaccio said that “the victims ate lunch with their friend and dinner with their ancestors in paradise”.

In 1894, Alkexander Yersin, a French doctor, isolated plague bacillus from buboes of cadavers in Hong Kong during Black Death epidemic, which killed millions in various epidemics all over world. Plague is a deadly disease which is carried by rats and spread to many fleas. Plague can be cured with treatment if diagnosed at an early stage, otherwise it is fatal. Plague is also known as “The Black Death” due to its devastating prognosis. The origin of plague is uncertain, it is also mentioned in the ancient Bible. Discovery of Plague bacillus by Alexander Yersin in 1894 helped in termination of the deadly black death.

Epidemics and pandemics are with us from prehistoric times. Prehistoric epidemic Circa 3000 BC wiped out villages in china it happened so quickly that there was no time for proper burials, plague of Athens 430 BC killed about 1,00,000 people, Antonine plague 165-180 AD killed more than 5 millions in Rome, plague of Cyprian 250-271 AD killed 5000 people per day in Rome alone, The Black Death 1346-1353 wiped out over half of Europe’s population, Cocoliztli epidemic 1545-1548 a viral haemorrhage fever killed 15 million people in Mexico and America, American plague 16th century killed 90% of indigenous population, Great plague of London 1665-1666 killed 15% population of London, Great plague of Marseille 1720-1723 wiped out 30% population of Marseille, Russian plague 1770-1772 took away lives of 1,00,000 people, flu pandemic 1889-1890 killed 1 million people, American polio epidemic 1916 killed 6000 children, Spanish flu 1918-1920 wiped out 100 million people, Asian flu 1957-1958 started from China and claimed more than 1 million lives, AIDS pandemic 1981 – present day claimed 35 million lives, H1N1 swine flu pandemic 2009-2010 killed about 5,00,000 people, Western African Ebola epidemic 2014-2016 killed 12000 people. Now we are facing COVID-19 pandemic.

Swami Gautamnanda writes in his book, Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, that Swami Vivekananda said, “Serve every person as God”. This concept alone can bring a revolutionary change in our attitudes in medicare. This concept pleads with our doctors and their assistance to consider treatment of the their patients as service of God Himself. They would be making their profession itself a spiritual practice, through which great spiritual graces like peace, sympathy, love ,freedom and fearlessness can flow”.

Bibliography

1. Dave Roos. How 5 of History’s worst Pandemics Finally Ended. Aug 17, 2020. History.

2. Write, K. Extend Your Life, Geddess & Grosse, 2002;11.

3. Smallpox.WHOFactsheet.2007.

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