The pandemic afflicting all of us has been disrupting our normal lifestyle. It has forced us to stay indoors most of the time. It has not allowed us to mingle with each other and enjoy festivals and family events the way we used to. The places of worship are not as open and welcoming as they used to be. The pleasure of travelling with family and friends and seeing new places together seems a distant dream. The schools and colleges are closed and classes are being conducted online. Life has changed suddenly and most pervasively across all the countries. This, consequently, continues to create anxiety with each passing day. For many, the future seems uncertain. How long will this restricted and constricted lifestyle last? After how many days and months will we return to the lifestyle we had got used to?
There are no easy answers to these questions. There is no single definitive answer to most of the question. But a few things are clear. More people are getting affected in our country, mostly in large cities, than in the previous months. The epidemiologists estimate that these numbers are going to go up in the coming months. But the good news is that many of those affected are overcoming the virus and only a small percentage of the affected population needs hospitalization.
Certainly, these are not normal, happy times that we are used to. These are times that create anxiety about our lives, livelihoods, healthcare, education, employment and economics. These are stressful times. We have to probably live with both the uncertainty of the duration of the pandemic and the stress it has induced.
We are the largest democracy and second most populous country in the world. We must collectively fight against this unprecedented health crisis. Our country strength lies in our faith in spirituality and trust in science. I just thought I will share some thoughts with all of you on how we can cope with the inevitable stress. I would like each one of us to not press the ‘panic’ button but reach out for the ‘prevention’ and ‘protection’ buttons.
Solution lies in simple precautions:
The virus can be checked by following simple precautions. Use a face mask when you go outdoors or when you are meeting strangers. Maintain a safe distance of 6 feet with others so that the droplets carrying virus do not reach you and you also don’t infect others. Maintain personal hygiene by washing hands well as frequently as possible. These are simple steps but the only known way of staying safe.
Traditional remedies to boost immunity
Along with these simple actions, you may have to boost your immunity. Traditional foods, herbal and medicinal plant preparations have proved to be great immunity boosters.
Yoga, Pranayama and regular physical exercise which can be done at home with practically no equipment can make our bodies strong enough to keep the virus at bay.
Don’t get anxious
A lot depends on our mind. How do we react to the external turbulence? Does our mind get perturbed and over anxious? Do we not know how to spend our time?
Do you get frustrated because the normal routine is upset? All these are real problems many of us face. We should search for minimizing our anxiety and let it not get better of us. That would be most disastrous to our body and mind.
Stay connected with family and friends
Fortunately, technology helps us to stay connected. We can talk to our friends and relatives and enjoy the feeling of togetherness and connectedness even if it is virtually.
Discover what makes you happy
For those who feel that time hangs heavily, a new interest in music, fine arts, literature, cooking, learning new languages etc. can keep us fruitfully occupied. Meditation and mindful relaxation techniques may work well for some. Each of us must discover as to what will make us happy and pursue it.
Don’t get carried away by sensational News
We should not get carried away by the sensational news coverage or the panic-inducing social media posts. Also, we should refrain yourself from forwarding unfounded, unverified and panic causing messages. We should develop an attitude of accepting the reality and working hard to protect ourselves and our families. If possible, help others in need. It is not a time to panic and drive ourselves into a deep anxiety tunnel but to drive steadily, carefully by keeping the headlights on. We shall reach the end of the tunnel safely.
So far many steps have been taken by various countries to prevent the spread of the virus. Lockdown was one such step which was effective in controlling the spread of the virus but took a massive toll on the economies of the countries, particularly the developing nations At present most of the countries have ended the lockdowns and have started focusing on the economy along with containing the virus spread. In India also, lockdowns in most parts of the country have been lifted, the businesses and lives of people are getting back on track. Government is taking continuous measures to give a boost to the economy in such challenging times. It is time that along with lives, livelihoods of individuals are also protected. We must also support the government by taking the necessary precautions and following the guidelines. I urge every individual to adopt anti-COVID strategies to not only protect your own self but to protect your loved ones and everyone around you.
Krishna advice to Arjuna
Some of you may remember what Lord Krishna had told Arjuna. He had said, please keep doing what you need to do and do it well. Try to stay as calm as you can and have a firm belief that that no storm can continue forever. It will pass. But, we have to take shelter and protect ourselves. When it is so simple to protect ourselves, the question is why can’twe do it. Certainly, we can and we should. We should easily weather this violent storm.
Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravishankar once said, “Your real-life partner is your body. Once your body stops responding no one is with you and the more you care for your body, the more your body will care for you”. Therefore we must take utmost care of our body by eating the right kind of food and by doing physical exercise to stay fit. Only then will our body support us in fighting diseases