This will not be your typical post in telling you any specific prayers you can use to up your chance against catching Covid-19. There are more than enough posts by monks and lamas selling their prayers and mantra for this function. So how should we view prayer in the context of using it to defend against Covid-19?
The World Health Organisation had made a statement on 11 March 2020 that they have assessed and deem that Covid-19 is now a pandemic. Pandemic means an outbreak that is prevalent to the world. So the first thing that ought to come to the mind should be everyone is responsible for your own well-being. And the second thing that should come to the mind is to encourage everyone else around you to be responsible for their well-being. This can include doing the necessary whistle-blowing should you come to be aware of someone not observing the self-quarantine practice (in Singapore is known as Stay-Home Notice) as instructed by your authorities.
This is because the karma you will face for not taking care of the well-being of yours and people around you is that you are opening up to opportunities of catching Covid-19!
Is Covid-19 deadly?
The last I have read about the death toll for Covid-19 outside of Hubei, China was about 1.4%. But there are some numbers I have read about the situation in America that goes to as high as 3.6%. As I am writing this post, I cannot find a confirmed data from W.H.O. website. The impression I am having is that the death rate is dependent which country you are looking at. Perhaps temperature and humidity have some effects over the lethality of Covid-19 but what is more apparent in battling this outbreak at first-glance is the capability and efficiency of the public healthcare system of each country.
Every country’s government reacts differently to Covid-19. Moreover, Covid-19 can be passed to another asymptotically.
So even if you are from a country that has low or zero death rate, catching it will still bring you inconvenience to a large extend. Like observing the self-quarantine practice can cost loss of income (thankfully in Singapore, some amount of reimbursement is provided by the Government) and bring inconvenience to one’s family members because the family members also have to be quarantine.
Furthermore, let’s say you confirmed catching Covid-19, and should you recover eventually because the recovery rate is relatively high, you will still go through the discomfort that the virus would bring. Other than flu-like symptoms, you can actually have your lungs infected.
Therefore, you should not take this outbreak lightly even it turns out not to be deadly in your area.
So are prayers effective in defending against Covid-19?
The radical way of proving this is to have all the famous, supposedly highly cultivated monks and lamas to perform their prayers and going into contact with Covid-19 patients with no personal protection at all.
We know this type of experiment is not going to happen because this is not the right approach in including prayers into your life. Prayers are likely to work in improving the odds in your favour and this does not include making the impossible possible. I am unsure will prayers improve your odds should a handful of Covid-19 patients choose to act like the irresponsible Japanese man who knew that he had caught Covid-19 and did bar-hopping.
Prayers, when approached with the correct atittude, can be used as a mean to strengthen your mental and emotional states. Prayers should bring clarity and awareness but not dullness or blind-faith.
Therefore, the correct approach in including prayers is to take appropriate steps in reality. Other than protecting against the virus outbreak, if you are doing prayers to improve career luck, other than working diligently at work, you have to develop good relationship with your supervisor to know what is needed in your appraisal to make you having an advantage over others! Same goes to doing prayers to improve romance luck, there are human actions to be taken.
So my answer to whether prayers are effective in defending against Covid-19 is it can work with the appropriate measures to be taken. The prayers alone cannot work miracle.
I do my daily liturgy as usual and did not device any special prayers specifically protecting against Covid-19. This is because being socially responsible and adopting a civic-conscientiousness attitude, in my opinion, outweighs the importance of prayers.