Stay safe: use social distancing practices and stay outside when possible.
Be an example: wear a mask.
Meditate with your animals every day.
Support others through distant healing and online shares.
Take time in nature and eat healthy!
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the lives of people (and subsequently, their animals) all over the world. Although areas most affected are constantly evolving and changing, because we are so connected throughout the world, safe behavior cannot and should not be minimized or ignored, no matter where we live. As Animal Reiki practitioners and/or teachers, we have a wonderful opportunity to spread love, light and positivity during this uncertain time. But we also need to be models for safe behavior to contain the spread.
Let’s take a look at the medical facts:
Here’s what we do know as of the writing of this article:
According to the CDC, what we do know about COVID-19 is that it is highly contagious through respiratory droplets. It’s also possible to get the virus by touching an infected surface and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. We also know that people who are elderly and those with chronic conditions and/or suppressed immune systems are at greater risk for becoming seriously ill from the virus.
According to the School of Public Health at the University of Nevada, up to half of people who contract the virus may show no symptoms at all, and yet can still spread the virus. Pre-symptomatic people can also spread the virus to others before they feel sick.
Can the virus be passed to animals?
According to the CDC, a few cats and dogs have been reported as infected with COVID-19, after close contact with infected people. The risk appears very low, but to be safe, infected family members should be isolated, even from their animals. There is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted from sick animals to humans. There is also no evidence it can be spread to people from the skin, fur or hair of animals. Read more from the CDC HERE and the WHO HERE.
As of the writing of this article, July 12, 2020, 12.5 million people worldwide have tested positive for the virus and 560,000 people have died.
Despite these numbers and the devastating impact on the health of the world, there has been no worldwide, coordinated response based on science to bring everyone together to contain the virus. Responses have been extremely varied by region, in some cases national, and in others, as in the United States, left to state and local officials to make their own decisions. These decisions have often been made based on factors other than science-based recommendations.
Here’s what we don’t know:
Once a person has COVID-19, we still don’t know if antibodies confer immunity.
Is 6 feet apart far enough? Apparently, it depends. According to the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, there are many factors affecting viral transmission, including distance, environment, number of people, duration of exposure, ventilation, whether masks are worn and so on.
We don’t always know when we’re exposed. Many people are asymptomatic and there is also an incubation period for the virus to appear in tests.
When will it end?
No one knows how long this pandemic will last. However, based on past pandemics, we can look to three lessons learned to help us emerge from this as quickly as possible: learning to live with the disease, containment and vaccine power. Check out THIS ARTICLE from Scientific American for more information.
In light of the things we do and don’t know, and in consideration of the more fragile sector of our population, my recommendation to my students and Animal Reiki community around the world is that we should always err on the side of caution as we move forward in our practice.
First and most important, we should follow the recommendations given by trusted medical experts. New information is coming out all the time, so stay aware of the latest recommendations from reliable sources. There is so much information, but much of it is untested and potentially false, so know your sources and be sure to prioritize safety. Realize too, that our scientific knowledge is evolving, so what we know today may not be true in a month or six months from now.
We should also be aware that pandemic exhaustion is a very real thing. It’s so tiring to be isolated at home for extended periods of time. We’ve lost so many opportunities to socialize and support each other in physical and in-person ways, and this can be stressful. Due to restrictions at animal organizations, many of us who usually volunteer at animal rescue facilities miss our animal friends and the personal relationships we’ve built over the years. Be kind to yourself, but don’t give up on safe practices.
The fact that overcoming this pandemic is turning into a lengthy, marathon endeavor, we need Animal Reiki now more than ever! Luckily, we’re able to practice this beautiful healing art without physical touch and even without being with the animals (and their people) in-person!
Top Pandemic Health and Safety Tips for Animal Reiki Practitioners
I’d like to share my best safety tips to keep you and your clients safe during this uncertain time.
#1: Think about cancelling in-person treatments in people’s homes for the time being.
You can still create supportive and meaningful distant support by offering Animal Reiki sessions for animals and the people they love through Skype or Zoom video calls. Phone consultations and guided meditations can also be very helpful for people whose animals are sick or ailing.
#2: Offer distant healing sessions to your private clients and to the animals at your local shelter or rescue.
Use technology to keep connected with your private clients. Keep in touch with your shelter’s volunteer coordinator when it’s possible. Perhaps there is someone on staff who can email you photos or information about the animals needing support. Keeping tabs on your shelter’s social media posts can often give current information about animals needing support.
#3: Create your own or participate in online Animal Reiki healing shares.
The power of our group energy is wonderful and supportive, and we don’t need to gather in person for it to be effective! Leading Animal Reiki meditations online during this time is a great way to give people tools to invite peace and well-being into their homes during tough times. Consider inviting all animal lovers to your shares to help support as many people as possible.
#4: If you are volunteering in person, or choose to offer an Animal Reiki session for a friend or relative in-person during this time, follow the guidelines of your facility and also:
- Wear a mask. This mask should be disposed of at the end of your session or time at the shelter and not re-used.
- Keep separate shoes for your shelter volunteering. Do not bring these shoes into your house, perhaps keep them in a bag in the trunk of your car or in your garage.
- When you get home from your volunteering and/or Animal Reiki session, throw your clothes immediately into the wash.
- Wash your hands frequently, and for at least 20 seconds.
- Use a non-scented alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after contact with an animal or person.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or more between yourself and other humans.
- Stay outside or in well-ventilated areas.
#5: If you know you have been exposed to COVID-19, quarantine and isolate yourself for 14 days, even if you have no symptoms.
#6: Use your Animal Reiki practice to navigate the stress and uncertainty of these times.
Recite the Reiki precepts to ground yourself when you feel worried: for today only, do not anger; do not worry; be grateful; work diligently; be kind to others.
Spend time each day dedicating a meditation to the health and wellbeing of the world, its animals and people. Imagine all stress and discomfort can dissolve with love into the Reiki light of perfect peace, love and harmony. If all of us can do this together, each in our own way, we can support each other to spread more light in the world!
Always invite animals to share space with you when you practice. Their presence will help keep you present and grounded, open your heart and remind you that we are all One. Reiki is always beautiful, but even better when an animal chooses to step into the healing space with you.
#7: Spend time with your animals and in nature to support your mental health.
As Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”
#8: Eat organic, whole, plant-based foods to support your immune system.
Jane Goodall and other prominent scientists have said that disrespect for animals helped cause the pandemic. What can we learn from this? We’ve got to find a better way forward in order to prevent something like this from happening again. We can start today by learning to cook delicious plant-based food. And did you know, eating whole plant-based food is good for your health and immune system? Here are a few of my favorite vegan blogs, and I hope they inspire you to expand your cooking repertoire:
Luckily for us, Animal Reiki is energy-based, and does not need physical contact to be effective. Animals and their people can greatly benefit from distant sessions. Thanks to the technology available to us, Skype and Zoom are a great way to connect for these Animal Reiki sessions. This is also a great time to deepen your practice by taking online classes or having private consultations with your special Animal Reiki practitioner or teacher.
Need Animal Reiki Support?
Visit The Animal Reiki Source Academy for my new and improved online educational experience, created to support your health and wellbeing with your animal friends!
For private distant sessions or training with one of my recommended Let Animals Lead® Animal Reiki Teachers, CLICK HERE.
To schedule a distant Animal Reiki session with one of my Featured Practitioners of Excellence, CLICK HERE and search by your location.
Let’s stand together as a profession for safe practices and compassionate choices. Together, with the help of the animals and our Reiki practice, we will get through this and be so much stronger as a community.