Vesak Day calls on us to win the battle against COVID-19 with mindfulness

gnlm opinion

Millions of Buddhist devotees around the world are celebrating Vesak Day today.
Vesak Day marks the birth, enlightenment and passing of Lord Buddha.
Before he entered into Nibbana on this day over 2500 years ago, the Lord Buddha left His parting words: ‘Appamadena Sampadetha Vaya Dhamma Sankhara’.
The meaning is ‘Practice to perfection with intense mindfulness, as conditioned things are impermanent.’
As the human family continues to suffer the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to remind all of you of the final parting words of the Buddha.
In fact, mindfulness is a gatekeeper of physical and mental actions. Anyone who can control oneself with mindfulness is a real victor.
Why? The end of the COVID-19 pandemic is still not in sight. We are worried that people would tire of the warnings to follow the health guidelines and through negligence spread the disease.
To win the prolonged war against the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term consequences, we would like to urge our people to remain in control of their physical and mental actions, while adhering to health guidelines with mindfulness.
One of the challenges we are facing today is the return of migrant workers, mostly arriving from neighbouring Thailand via border checkpoints.
The number of returning migrant workers is expected to exceed 100,000. With their return, our struggle begins for providing facility quarantines for them.
For Myanmar, which is not as rich as other countries, providing facility quarantines in regions and states has been a significant financial burden on the country. The Union Government is now carrying out facility quarantines in regions and states, with contributions from volunteers and donors.
Just as with legal migrant workers, illegal workers are advised to return with the confidence that they will enjoy equal status with legal workers.
But, they are highly advised to inform authorities and avoid entering the country illegally, which can pose a very dangerous and complex situation, in terms of spreading the coronavirus infection.
The government is committed to exerting its best efforts in fighting the disease and providing treatment to all suspected patients, whether the infection is severe or not, and with the use of all resources to overcome outbreaks of the disease.
Our people, for their part, are to remember the timeless message of “practice mindfulness” from the Buddha on today’s Vesek Day, and to strictly follow government health guidelines with farsightedness and mindfulness.

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