The virus has been, unfortunately, quite democratic in its approach while infecting humankind. From the rich and the poor to the famous and the ordinary, crossing geographical borders and religious barriers, it has infected one and all. But its cure, it seems, might lie in religion. Or spirituality and meditation, by that extension.
From mouthwash to ancient herbs to good old religious mantras; the pandemic has made mankind probably turn every stone out there. Now, AIIMS Rishikesh is exploring the effect of chanting Gayatri Mantra and performing the Pranayama asana on COVID-19 patients.
How will the study work out?
Reportedly, 20 patients have been identified and they will be equally divided into two groups, A and B. While one of the groups will only get medical treatment for COVID-19, the other group will be chanting Gayatri Mantra and doing hour-long sessions of Pranayama in the morning and evening.
However, it must be noted that both groups will get medical treatment for COVID-19. In the 14-day long trial, the medical professionals will observe the changes in the level of inflammation in the body. The study has been sponsored by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India.
Not many details of the study are available, but as per the information shared by the Clinical Trial Registry of India on their official website, the project is a "pilot study to see the effect of Gayatri Mantra and pranayama in terms of inflammatory markers in hospitalized Covid-19 patients."
At the start of the trial, the C-reactive protein (which measures the general inflammation levels in the body) along with other inflammatory markers will be observed. After 14 days all those tests will be repeated to see the changes in inflammatory markers.
For every theory out there (clinical or conspiracy), there's been a counter-theory. For every believer of the move, there is a non-believer out there. The reactions varied widely, but were intense and strong, as they usually are when religion (any religion) is involved. While some wondered what the placebo group will recite, others thought it was simply a form of exploring the power of meditation.
Many questioned how could the effectiveness of the chanting be found out if both the groups were given the usual medical treatment of Covid-19?