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This document covers basic information on the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the links found in this document are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) which have the highest quality material and information available. While some of the information from the CDC is US based, nonetheless, the information is valuable on a worldwide basis and directly applies to the current global situation.  

Be Kind and Don’t Stigmatize

 As a global community, ISKCON should be especially sensitive to others during this time of crisis. As believers of “not this body, but spirit soul”, ISKCON devotees should be careful not to stigmatize others based on their race, age, gender, or health. Being kind, magnanimous, equal, clean, steady, respectful, and friendly are but some of the qualities of a devotee. We should take these qualities to heart and practice them thoughtfully, especially during a time of stress and chaos when the mind can easily become disturbed.

Following Global and Regional Guidelines

It is important to understand and practice the recommended guidelines and directives given by healthcare professionals and local governments. Many people around the world are doing their part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. As ISKCON devotees, we can also do our part by putting into practice these important guidelines, staying informed, and being a good example for others to follow.

Srila Prabhupada explained to Bob Cohen (now Brahmatirtha dasa), as quoted in PQPA:

“So long as you are in the material world, you cannot neglect physical laws. Suppose you go to a jungle and there is a tiger. It is known that it will attack you, so why should you voluntarily go and be attacked? It is not that a devotee should take physical risk so long as he has a physical body. It is not a challenge to the physical laws: ‘I have become a devotee. I challenge everything.’ That is foolishness.”

Information and Resources – What is Coronavirus and COVID-19?

A coronavirus is a type of virus that belongs to a large family of viruses which may cause illness. In December 2019, a new type of coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan, China and since then has spread rapidly throughout the world. COVID-19 is the specific name for the infectious disease caused by this newly discovered coronavirus. Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus.

Here are some resources that help explain the novel coronavirus: is especially dangerous for people of any age with underlying health conditions such as asthma, heart conditions, lung disease, or immune disorders. Anyone in these categories, and anyone above 60, should be extra cautious.

The following link contains good information about people who are at higher risk: Does COVID-19 Spread?

The main way in which the virus spreads is from person to person who are in close contact with each other. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they can produce respiratory droplets that contain the novel coronavirus. These respiratory droplets can float in the air and land on nearby surfaces. In fact, a single cough can produce up to 3,000 ultra-fine droplets. If these respiratory droplets are breathed in by someone nearby, they can be exposed to the virus. It is also believed that the virus can spread by people touching surfaces that have these respiratory droplets on them and then touching their nose and mouth, or rubbing their eyes.

For more information on how the virus spreads, the following links are very useful: Can People Do To Protect Themselves From COVID-19?

Practice Social Distancing
The best thing to do to protect yourself from being exposed to COVID-19 is to practice social distancing. This means avoiding people who are sick and during this time of crisis, maintaining a distance of 2 meters from other people. Whether you are standing in line, taking the bus, walking, or grocery shopping, maintaining a distance of 2 meters will help to avoid being exposed to the virus.

View this video about social distancing: your Hands Regularly and Avoid Common Surfaces
It is also very important to wash your hands thoroughly and regularly and to not touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. When washing your hands, it is recommended that you wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If available, a rubbing alcohol based hand sanitizer is recommended as well. Remember that common surfaces like grocery carts, petrol pump handles, elevator buttons, door handles, etc. can potentially have the coronavirus on them. After being out in public and touching common surfaces, it is very important to wash your hands and to not touch your face.

View this video about washing your hands: more information on how to protect yourself from COVID-19 and what you can do to prevent spreading it to others, visit the following links: To Do if You or Someone You Know is Sick?

If you or someone you know develop symptoms similar to a cold or a flu, such as a fever or cough, they may have COVID-19. For most people, the illness is mild and they will be able to recover at home.

Good information on what to do if you are sick: you are experiencing any of the following emergency warning signs, seek medical attention immediately:·      Trouble breathing
·      Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
·      New confusion or inability to arouse
·      Bluish lips or face

Please note that this list is not all inclusive. It is important to seek the advice of a doctor if you are experiencing these or any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

 Stopping the Spread of COVID-19 When Sick

If you are sick, it is important not to spread the illness to others. To help stop the spread of the virus, it is recommended to self-isolate and stay at home when you are sick. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing and then throw the tissue in the trash. Wash your hands regularly and clean and disinfect surfaces that you touch regularly. Wear a facemask if you are sick or if you are taking care of someone who is sick. Monitor the situation closely and communicate with your doctor or healthcare professional.

Some guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19 if you or someone you know is sick:

Stay Updated and Connected

It is important to stay updated and connected to the current global situation as well as what is going on in your local area. Each country has their own guidelines, resources, directives, mandates, etc., so it is important to understand your country’s current status and guidelines. Refer to your country’s official Public Health Department website to stay current. 

For the most current and updated information, the following links are helpful: the US, the following is a list of websites for each state’s health department:

Travel Related Guidelines

All non-essential travel is to be avoided. Travel restrictions vary from place to place. Please check the following links to learn more about the latest travel guidelines. It is recommended for anyone who has travelled to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning home. Check with your local government to learn about travel restrictions and how they affect you.

Guidance for Faith-Based Communities

For faith-based communities, the CDC has posted the “Interim Guidance for Administrators and Leaders of Community- and Faith-Based Organizations to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)”. Please see the following link:

Interim guidance for administrators and leaders of community- and faith-based organizations to plan, prepare, and respond to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (

Festival and Event PlanningWhen planning an event or festival in the upcoming months, it is very important to understand your country’s restrictions and guidelines concerning events, how many people can gather, etc.

The link below is useful when considering planning future events or festivals. Even though some of the information in the link below pertains to gatherings in the US, there is still valuable information that will apply to any location in the world.

Stay Prepared During this Time of Crisis

Be SAFE and do everything you can to avoid being infected
Be SMART and inform yourself and others about it
Be KIND and support one another during this difficult time
ALWAYS remember Krishna and never forget Him