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Corona virus is the trending topic in present day world. From Most medically advance nation to the poorest among poor and the most intellect to the illiterate each individual knows it, CORONA. Yet the source is unknown, some says it transmitted from bat to human and some claim it to be developed in lab as a bioweapon. Whatever it may be the case, it is transmitted to human due to unnatural, unlawful behavior of humans. Viruses in itself are not even a complete cell with size of one hundredth the size of bacteria in most cases and yet entire world population (eight billion) each one with 37.2 trillion cells in average is locked down by an insignificant submicroscopic body with no sign of life in itself.
Since time antiquity the epidemics are the cause of mass destruction for human race. They are the biggest challenge for us always. Starting from typhoid fever of Athens dated 429 BC with death around 100,000 at Greece, Libya, Egypt and Ethiopia, Antonine plague dated 165-180 BC with death of 6 million plus at Rome empire, Plague of Justinian dated 541-542 AD spread around Europe and west Asia with death of 10 million equivalent to 50% of Europe and west Asia population of that date, epidemic of smallpox dated 735-737 AD wiping out one third people of entire population of Japan, cocoliztli epidemic of Mexico with death of 10million+ (around 80% population of the country) dated 1545-48, one million plus death in Russia due to cholera on 1846-60, twelve million Plus death in our neighbor (INDIA and CHINA alone) due to Bubonic plague on 1855-60, five hundred million death in hundred years starting from 1877 to 1977 globally due to smallpox, around three million death due to Hong Kong flu between 1968-70, 43.8 million deaths globally from 1981-2018 due to HIV/AIDS Up to 575,400 deaths worldwide due to H1N1/09 on 2009-10. (Source: WHO archives 1991-2019 and “pandemics that changed history” history.com archive)
We came through all these disasters, fought it, won it. These are transmissible (communicable) diseases and next we have non communicable diseases like cancer, heart diseases, diabetes etc. with average death of two people every three second with almost 19.98 million death globally each year, and not stopping here the death due to these NCD increase by almost 7 percent every year globally. We have medicine, medical preparation and setups, specialized hospitals and vaccine for all these diseases and yet we cannot save lives or excuse death. We have seen the death is invincible.
COVID19 commonly known as CORONA epidemic with death rate of 5% in average (4,558,971 cases, 304,252 deaths and 1,723,234 recovery. till 5-15-2020) is in fact not that scary to that epidemics hunted us earlier. All our medical and technological advancement seems to be insignificant when they are confronted with the situation of real assessment. We supposed (?) to have space busses to moon by 2020 and planned to send humans on mars by 2023, but back on the earth we cannot even step out from our homes.
And truly looking around this situation is not just because of the CORONA only, because we have encountered much more bigger epidemics, threat of climate change, wars and other diseases. We developed medicine, vaccines etc. for all above mentioned diseases and epidemics but still people are dying out of those diseases. But we are not that afraid of them now, Why? It’s because we overcome the fear after hearing there is solution or medicine. And when we overcome fear half war is already won. Any war, war with virus, with mind, with enemy, bacteria whatever more, if we are fearless then the half battle is won.
The fact is that great valor of an untiring worker in this material world can be crushed underfoot at any movement under the pressure of fear created by different circumstances. Fear is very natural, powerful, and primeval human emotion. It involves a universal biochemical response as well as a high individual emotional response. Fear is incredibly complex. Some fears may be a result of experiences or trauma, while others may represent a fear of something else entirely, such as a loss of control. Still, other fears may occur because they cause physical symptoms, such as being afraid of heights because they make us feel dizzy and sick to our stomach.
The fear often refers to the physiological changes that occur when experiencing terror anxiety as the fight-or-flight response. Overall, as the name suggests, the changes prepare us to either fight or run. If fear is in gross bodily level then breathing rate increases, heart rate follows suit, peripheral blood vessels constrict, central blood vessels around vital organs dilate to flood them with oxygen and nutrients, and muscles are pumped with blood, ready to react. Muscles including those, at the base of each hair become tighter, causing piloerection called goosebumps. Metabolically, levels of glucose in the blood spike, providing a ready store of energy if the need for action arises. Similarly, levels of calcium and white blood cells in the bloodstream increase.
The fight-or-flight response begins in the amygdala, which is an almond-shaped bundle of neurons that forms part of the limbic system. It plays an important role in the processing of emotions, including fear. When we are afraid, it sets off a sophisticated, coordinated response in our brains and bodies.
The amygdala is able to trigger activity in the hypothalamus, which activates the pituitary gland, which is where the nervous system meets the endocrine (hormone) system. The pituitary gland secretes adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) hormone into the blood. At this time, the sympathetic nervous system — a division of the nervous system responsible for the fight-or-flight response — gives the adrenal gland a nudge, encouraging it to squirt a dose of epinephrine into the bloodstream. The body also releases cortisol in response to ACTH, which brings about the rise in blood pressure, blood sugar, and white blood cells. Circulating cortisol turns fatty acids into energy, ready for the muscles to use, should the need arise.
Catecholamine hormones, including epinephrine and norepinephrine, prepare muscles for violent action. These hormones can also: boost activity in the heart and lungs; reduce activity in the stomach and intestines, which explains the feeling of “butterflies” in the stomach; inhibit the production of tears and salivation, explaining the dry mouth that comes with a fright; dilate the pupils; and produce tunnel vision and reduce hearing.
The hippocampus, which is a brain region that is dedicated to memory storage, helps control the fear response. Along with the prefrontal cortex, which is part of the brain involved in high-level decision-making, these centers assess the threat.
Here we can see a person in fear devour dedicatedly all body mechanism countering the fear as immediate response leaving the immunity system unaided (by itself) to fight with upcoming dangers of bacterial or epidemiological attack.
The universal trigger for fear is the threat of harm, real or imagined. This threat sometimes can be for our physical, emotional, spiritual or psychological well-being, while almost all other times we observe negative impact. While there are certain things that trigger fear in most of us, we can learn to become afraid of nearly anything. Some common fear triggers include:
- Real environmental dangers or loss of visibility of surroundings due to darkness etc.
- Response to certain specific objects or situations (spiders, snakes, heights, flying, etc.)
- Future; especially socio-economical securities or sense of being unprotected.
- Imagined events.
- Social interaction and/or rejection.
- The unknown or Death.
Among common triggers of fear the first six kinds fears arose are in gross bodily level and seen, observed, tested by self-evaluation, psychological counselling or similar methods so can be treated by repeating exposure to similar situations leads to familiarity, systematic desensitization, flooding technique, coping under the guidance of trained mental health professional. Other supportive treatments can be give/get social support, practice mindfulness, use stress management technique etc.
The last one fear trigger “the death” is the subtle fear that cannot be seen, identified, evaluated or treated by external means. All of us (all living entity has this fear) inbuilt and we alone are able to tackle the situation. As we know more the energy is subtle more it is powerful. The fear of death is very subtle in level. Cannot be easily identified. We take external factors like viruses, bacteria, diseases etc. as the source of fear but in fact it is the fear of death. If it was only the fear of Virus or any diseases then we supposed to have fear from all kind of diseases but no, we are afraid of only those diseases which don’t have vaccine or medicine. Where as in current scenario more people are dying out of seasonal flu then that of COVID19 every year, but the fear of COVID19 is locking us inside the rooms. And as we explained earlier the more fearful, we are, the more our immunity systems degrade.
Now to tackle FEAR of COVID19 or any epidemics, four basic points needed to be espoused.
- Eating habits: Energy cannot be destroyed; Universal fact. All thoughts are energy influenced from our diet and when our diet is outcome of meek, terror, flesh, bloodshed, torture, fear etc. or the GMO foods then we do have to bear ominous consequences. These foods mess with the universal intelligence, the core DNA of each seed and animal. This DNA contains the primordial essence, which makes a plant or animal healthy, happy and nutritious. Food tampering and modification, intensive farming is simply not harmonious. If our food source is not happy, tempered or full of fear, then we too are absorbing this disharmony and fear. The same energy is flowing in us.
- Comprehensive Lifestyle: Immunity theory in ayurveda called the beej-bhumitheory, which means “seed and land” where the body is analogous to the land, and infection are like seeds. If the body is filled with ama (the sticky product of undigested food, lowers immunity in the body when it spreads and clogs the channels that carry food to the cells and the channels that remove wastes. It also blocks the micro-channels that are part of the immune system. Finally, it provides a breeding ground for infection and free radicals.) and lacking in ojas (Ojas is the opposite of ama), the infection will find it to be fertile ground for spreading, just like the seeds sprouting in fertile land.
We can see everyone is more susceptible to respiratory problems when the seasons are changing. This is because the body functions differently in each season, and in the transition between the hot-cold seasons the agni (fire element), or digestive fire, can start to fluctuate dramatically. If we do not adjust our eating habits and lifestyle following the standard Vedic guidelines for the seasonal transitions, we may end up producing ama. Once the body is fertile for disease, it is easy for a cold or flu to sprout, as in the seed and land theory.
To strengthening immune our lifestyle plays a huge role. Make short yoga session early Brahmamuhartha (4:00 AM-5:00 AM) and ayurvedic oil massage before bath as a daily routine. Daily short oil massage is very important for opening the channels, stimulating the digestion, removing toxins from the body, and pacifying the doshas. It is especially soothing to Vata dosha, which is seated in the skin. All of these factors make massage a vital therapy in strengthening immunity and preventing respiratory problems. A ground water cool bath (or a Luke warm bath) each day is very necessary to keep body temperature intact with external environment and to open the pores, and regulate our body’s internal thermostat. This is important in both Vata and Kapha season.
Yoga (exercise) is another important aspect of the ayurvedic routine, because it helps enhance agni and burns away toxins. It’s important to choose the right exercise for our body type and for the season. Though, daily walks and yoga postures are good for balancing all the doshas and especially suit Vata types, while more vigorous daily exercise is required by Kapha types to stay healthy. Exercise is especially important during Kapha season, because it helps to boost agni and our immunity when toxins are flooding the body.
Mantra meditation, the prescribed methodology to make our human form of life materially, mentally and spiritually success should be always in focus. It helps us to be focused, elevated and sharp sighted.
Take Blissful Sleep and if there is trouble falling asleep (a Vata disorder) or wake frequently, especially between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m. with energy (a Pitta disorder), then read spiritual and motivating books like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita etc. at least for 1 to 1.5 hours daily before sleep. Reading these books helps us to uplift our consciousness in higher dimensional platform and stops mind to be washed away by splashes of negative thoughts, resulting deep and blissful sleep. Anyway, study is always best part of life weather we do have these sleeping disorders or not.
- Search for ultimate truth: Ignorance is the main cause of fear. When we place ourselves in the light of knowledge then fear of darkness disappears. Vedic scriptures explain:
bhayaà dvitéyäbhiniveçataù syäd / éçäd apetasya viparyayo ‘småtiù
Fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of absorption in the external, illusory energy of the creator. When the living entity thus turns away from the absolute, he also forgets his own constitutional position as a part and parcel of the supreme. (SB 11.2.37)
When a living entity turn away from the truth then loose his constitutional position resulting unknown fear in the core of mind. Death is invincible. But fear of death can be overruled if we fix ourselves in relation with the absolute. We can take an example of a mouse, kitten and a cat. Considering cat as a death if we can establish the loving relation with death as kitten has with cat, then the death is safest place in whole universe but if we turn our back to truth then our position becomes that of mouse, for whom the same safest mouth of cat can be the most fearful place in the universe.
Furthermore, it is explained in SB 1.7.7:
yasyäà vai çrüyamäëäyäà kåñëa parama-püruñe
bhaktir utpadayate puàsaù çoka-moha-bhayäpahä
Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, the feeling for loving devotional service to Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire of lamentation, illusion and fearfulness.
- Developing Herd immunity: In any type of epidemics, we always have two options with us. First One we are practicing is to hide ourselves till we don’t develop the vaccines or antivirus for the diseases. But this option is temporary. Till when we will hide? After few days of hiding ourselves from the fear of death by CORONA or any such epidemics, the fear of death from hunger, stress, depression etc. will overrule us creating defect in immune system. Immune may get worsen due to fearful state of mind and we might lose the capacity to fight simple types of mental, physical, social or psychological disorder or We might reach to the degree to choose instant death fearing the slow approaching death.
Second option is to overcome the fear as mentioned earlier by which half war is won and for other half, develop herd immunity by maintaining safety measures. Live next to nature, don’t exploit her. To develop herd immunity system overcoming fear and consuming natural foodstuffs helping to boost the immune system is minimum requirements. When we go for this second option, at beginning more people may get affected, but along with increase in number of infected, parallel increment in people with antibodies will also happens. Increment in these fearless population with good immune and antibody gradually creates the herd immune in society. Medically we have seen in 65-70% of COVID19 positive population no any symptoms are seen, 15-20% some symptoms are seen and after getting simple symptoms based supportive treatment like PCM, remdesiver, chloroquine etc., they return normal. Remaining 10-15% population with heart issues, low immune etc. are required to treat hospitalized, may be in ICU and ventilators. Among these 15-20% statistically we have seen more 80-90% are cured with death ratio in between of 4-5% in average.
So, if we want remedies with low negative impact socially, mentally, physically and economically then few days of lock down for preparation and afterward moving ahead in the direction of building herd immune tackling fear of death, maintaining safety precaution might be the best solution.
In any cases, either the virus is natural mutation and transmitted through bats or is developed in the labs as bio-weapon, it is because of our greed and exploitation of nature, we are bearing the consequences. We can conclude we may reach to the end of space in material progression but until and unless we don’t understand this basic fact of fear and its relation with our daily living and the law of nature balancing herself in every aspect, all our advancement, vaccines, antidots, medicine, or lockdowns are temporary supportive means but not the real solution.
- WHO archives 1991-2019, https://www.who.int/csr/don/archive/year/en/ last updated 2020 may 3rd.
- “pandemics that changed history” history.com archive. Published by A&E television network on Feb. 27 2019 and revised on April 30 2020.
- Srimad Bhagavatam (BBT), 1st canto 7th chapter 7th sloka and 11th canto 2nd chapter 37th
- SKDB, 2020, published on https://reviewnepal.com/articles/heart-diseases-and-the-lying-propensity.html
- Arogya anka CD1592, Gita press Gorakhpur, 23rd edition 2012 Ch. 136
- Charak shamita, Manorog Khand (Sanskrit text)