The Spiritual Way To Face Covid-19
O God, grant spiritual health to my soul that resides in the body. Free it from the ailment of anger and hatred. Release my soul from moral ill-health. Atharva Veda
Corona virus is an infective agent which causes COVID-19 (corona virus disease 2019). It causes respiratory tract infection. COVID-19 started recently from Wuhan province of China and now has involved more than 150 countries.
COVID-19 spreads by droplet in air and by contact. Social distancing is the basic factor to contain the virus. Common symptoms are fever, cough with coryza, headache and bodyache. It can also have throat pain and shortness of breath and neglected cases can develop pneumonia. If the disease is not in control then it can eventually lead to multiple organs failure and death. The symptoms are usually mild and common, which leads to negligence and delayed diagnosis. Death rate at present is 3.4% but it can reach upto 15% if the patient has some comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension, heart and kidney diseases.
How to prevent COVID-19
- Handwashing with soap and water frequently. Wash hands for 20 seconds. To count 20 seconds just say slowly, “Happy Birthday to You” three times. Soap layer on the surface of virus breaks the fat covering and destroys the virus and then water washes the remains out to drain.
- Cleaning of hands with sanitizer. Alcohol also destroys the virus-like soap but soap is better than alcohol. CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends alcohol in sanitizers should be at least 60%.
- Social distancing – maintaining distance of atleast 1 metre from others. Keep distance, stay connected.
- Avoid touching face.
- Using mask when going to crowded places or by a suspected person or care giver. General population do not require use of mask.
- Travel restrictions.
- Covering the month with elbow when coughing
- Incoming passenger’s restrictions.
- Screening at airports and train and bus stations.
- Namaste instead of handshake.
- Closure of schools and colleges.
- Closure of shopping malls, theatres and game stadiums.
- Self-isolation – Any suspected person or who travelled to a country recently with wide spread disease should be kept in self-isolation at home for 14 days from the time of last possible exposure.
There is no treatment or vaccine so far for COVID-19 only following measures are required:
- Treatment of symptoms.
- Isolation or quarantine
- Supportive care
- Use of mask by suspect as well as caregiver.
The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in china was in a 55-year old man who fell ill on 17 November 2019, in Wuhan, Hubei. In December and January, cases increased and it was found on investigation that Human Seafood Wholesale Market was involved and so a Zoonotic origin of COVID-19 established.
Spiritual practices help to reduce distress and panic in COVID-19 patient and others. It also focuses on unannounced questions such as what is purpose of our lives. During self isolation or quarentine read spiritual and inspirational books which may fill your heart, and soul with positive thoughts and courage. Reading of spiritual scriptures, prayer and meditation, deep abdominal breathing and visualization will help you to calm down and develop strength to fight with COVID-19. Spiritual practices also help to strengthen the immune system. The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide states that some studies have found that therapies aimed at reducing stress may boost the function of certain immune system cells.
Prayer is talking, meditation is listening. Western science has only just begun to study the effects of meditation and visualization on diseases. East is experiencing and doing this for centuries. Alberto Villoldo of San Francisco State College showed that regular meditation and self-healing visualization improved WBC response and immune system functioning.
Scientists believe the world runs on natural laws, which can be influenced by prayer for health gains. Physicians believe that supernatural healing occurs through auto suggestion and by combining the power of the body, mind and spirit. Belief in spirituality, religion and God has strong roots in India, with 95 per cent of Indians believing that their prayers will be answered.
Meditation is a safe and simple way to balance a person’s physical, emotional and mental states. It is easy to learn and can be useful for treating stress and pain. It keeps the attention focused o the present. It is neither about reacting to past events or being preoccupied with future places.
Meditation is for everybody. Age or sex is no bar. One can meditate from childhood to old age. It is not a religion-based practice since people of all faiths can do it. Moreover, meditation can be achieved through speech, by listening to the sounds of speech or breathing by concentrating on breathing process.
Prayer can be defined as a conscious relationship with God or whatever one recognizes as the creative and organizing force of the universe. Prayer is the psychological boost of knowing that God or a supernatural power is on your side. Intercessory prayer is one which is done for another’s benefit.
Fear, anxiety and panic response are common among COVID-19 suspects, COVID-19 patients and caregivers and family members and friends. This stress can lead to fear and, extreme worry, altered sleeping patterns, eating disorders and enhanced alcohol consumption. Such degree of stress, can even worsen the preexisting comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and renal problems. In COVID-19 indirect emotional trauma, fear and stress can lead to mental and physical problems.
Spirituality and its practices increase courage, determination, will power and concentration, which such situations require.
A Dutch author, Esther ‘Etty’ Hillesum, Jewish girl who was in 1943 deported to Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Poland and killed. She had tremendous faith in God and wrote in her diary which she maintain in concentration camp. Her diaries describe the spiritual development and deepening faith in God. She wrote, “Sometimes when I stand in some corner of the camp, my feet planted on your earth, my eyes raised towards your Heaven, tears sometimes run down my face, tears of deep emotion and gratitude…. For once you have begun to walk with God, you need only keep on walking with God and all life becomes one long stroll, a marvellous feeling”.
Carry home message is that, “stay at home, stay connected, take precautions, exercise well, eat well, think positive, meditate and pray for yourself and others”.
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