Life during lockdown is way different from what our lifestyles are used to. This can be physically, emotionally as well as psychologically taxing. Immunity, both physical and emotional, plays an important role in combating COVID-19. Keeping the mind occupied by listening to the newscast and reading every kind of information social media is creating an unnecessary state of anxiety and extreme suffering;. Over-information has a negative impact on the state of mind. Updates from official news sources like WHO are sufficient. Taking the necessary precautions and following instructions given by public health authorities is far better than listening to fake news.
Buddha speaks of the nature of suffering with an example of a person who is hit by an arrow. Imagine the pain and shock of being hit by an arrow. And immediately after that a second arrow hits this unfortunate person. Now this first arrow is what the world throws at us – COVID-19, pain, suffering, disease, and disruption in life. And the second arrow is our internal reaction to what has happened – depression, anxiety, and uncertainty. Buddha says that spiritual practices can take care of the second arrow and remove the pain and suffering caused by it. For the first arrow, which is the virus itself, we have to take all practical precautions to diminish its effect.
COVID-19 is the shocking truth. When things are going well, most humans are unable to look deeper within. They look forward to the next vacation, next shopping, next weekend, next meal. They are in their comfort zones. Adversity is an opportunity that forces us to introspect. This opportunity is not to be ignored. Instead of suffering, we can focus on taking positive measures like helping others to the extent it is possible. We can do everything we need to do to limit the disaster.