Fri, 11 Apr 2003

`Pure mind is the most important'

The government recently declared the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) a national epidemic threat. Some people have taken precautions by wearing masks and taking vitamins, but many others, especially the poor, do not worry at all, asserting that life and death are God's business.

Nanik, 54, works as a soft drink vendor at Cipto Mangunkusumo Central Hospital (RSCM), Central Jakarta. She has three children and resides in Depok, West Java with her husband:

I don't really know if we have a national epidemic. I have no idea about the illness. So, honestly speaking I don't worry about it despite the fact that I sell my goods near the hospital.

Nowadays there are new types of ailments that are strange to the ears of ordinary people like me. Worse still, there is no efficacious medicine to treat the viral disease.

But I believe that the most important thing is to have a pure mind in our daily life. Having such a quality of mind enables us to live our life peacefully.

If I am peaceful at heart, I'm sure I will rarely get sick. Being greedy for worldly possessions including money will only make our life worse. Why we should we allow ourselves to be driven by such a motivation.

Those are the precautions I would takes, I guess. Besides, whether we stay healthy or fall sick it is all in God's hands. So, I just surrender.

Bucek, 46, is an entrepreneur who breeds livestock in Tangerang, Banten. He resides in Cilandak, South Jakarta, with his wife and two children:

Of course, I worry a lot about national epidemics like the respiratory syndrome, what more now that I'm getting older. So, I have to be extra careful to take precautions.

The most feasible thing to do is just to keep ourselves healthy by consuming nutritious food and exercising. I usually jog once a week.

In addition, I would consult a medical doctor for a checkup. That is, if I was infected. But I hope that that will not be necessary.

The recent disease is very unpredictable and very strange. A vaccine for HIV has not yet been found and now there is new deadly disease that is difficult to cure.

In a way, we have to realize that our planet is getting older and nature is no longer close to the life of people due to their thoughtless attitude toward nature. That's one of the reasons why there are many new kinds of illnesses in our world today.

I haven't told my children about what precautions to take, but I believe that they have more information about it.

It would be better for the time being to stay away from public places such as hospitals or shopping malls. Because I think in those places people are susceptible to contagious diseases like SARS.

I don't think that quarantining can guarantee that the virus will not spread.

Ronaldo, 19, is a first year student of a private university in Salemba, Central Jakarta. He resides in Ciputat, Tangerang with his family:

Honestly speaking, I am scared about the possible threat of such a viral ailment. The virus is not easily detected and very unpredictable

I think the government should ban for the time being the international flights and boats to the countries that have been affected most by the disease. At least it will minimize the possibility of an outbreak.

Personally I don't agree that specific hospitals in the city area are appointed to quarantine the infected patients. People might suspect that other patients in the hospital are also infected.

Anyway, as a precaution, I have to maintain my health by consuming more vitamins. Otherwise, I will be susceptible to a respiratory illnesses like SARS.

-- Leo Wahyudi S