Some devotees are still neglectful, careless about taking precautions – despite the whole world telling them to. Here is what you can do to help:
|1. Be creative|
Most people have not experienced a pandemic before; therefore they can’t compare the situation to something within their memory. It’s also hard for people to rationally calculate the risks; for instance more people are afraid of flying than of car rides, although cars are statistically much more dangerous than planes.You can ask: “Visualize the future; would you regret having not taken the proper precautions? Would you think that you could have made better choices? How would you feel, if due to your neglect, you or someone else gets the virus?”
|2. Appeal to authority|
You can cite the recommendations of health professionals such as doctors and nurses, and of government health bodies stressing the need for social distancing. People take more seriously advice coming from experts. Quote them.
|3. Be positive|
Isolation is generally perceived as negative and limiting. Emphasize the possibilities, such as chanting more, reading more or developing skills one desired to build. “See the bright side; you always wanted to learn to play mridanga; now you can!”
|4. Show a good example|
Example is better than precept. Exemplify the behaviour you wish others to adopt.If a devotee comes to hug you, resist and decline; say, “Sorry Prabhu, I am practicing social distancing; after the crisis I will be most happy to embrace you, for now I wish to protect both you and me.”
|5. Appeal to love|
Stress the real danger of neglecting social distancing for their near and dear ones. “How terrible would you feel if, due to your carelessness, some members of your family would suffer or die from the virus?” “How would you feel giving coronavirus to another devotee due to not following the rules of social distancing?”People are willing to do for others things they might not do for themselves. “What could happen to your parents, children, friends, if we don’t take this seriously?” Stress that loved ones could suffer if we neglect social distancing.