Monks wear PPE at a funeral

Covid-19 has really stirred things up for everyone. All of us are forced to wear masks and socially distance; while some of us are even required to stay home for extended periods of time.

However, we’ve had to adapt to the times and accept these new regulations as part of the “New Normal”.

While society has become accustomed to these measures, there are still some jarring sights: like these monks conducting religious services in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Let’s examine the far-reaching effects of the pandemic on these religious figures, and how they’ve responded to them.

Our stories for this week:

Monks wear PPE suits while conducting religious services at Intaram Temple

Monks that are usually clad in orange robes were seen wearing PPE suits while conducting funeral rites at Intaram Temple in Samut Songkram on 4th August 2021. The monks’ new uniform allows them to protect themselves from disease while hosting religious events such as these.

Image credit: แจ้งข่าวกาฬสินธุ์

While providing these services to locals, Intaram Temple staff are adamant about following Covid-19 safety measures: social distancing, mask-wearing, and regularly cleaning their hands.

Thus, social distancing regulations can make it tricky for relatives to enter the crematorium.

Religious figureheads in orange robes weren’t the only ones there – the undertaker also joined the funeral. To differentiate their roles, attendants wrote their titles onto their suits with markers, according to Cat Dumb.

The person on the left has “monk” written in Thai on their suit whereas, the individual on the right has “undertaker” printed on their gear. 
Images adapted from: แจ้งข่าวกาฬสินธุ์

Aiding the community in difficult times

Intaram Temple is offering free funeral services for Covid-19 patients who have passed away. Their service includes performing the requiem robes ceremony, where locals donate robes to the religious figures presiding over the ritual, according to Matichon.

Image credit: Matichon

Furthermore, the temple has set up more than 200 hospital beds for Covid-19 patients in their area, reported Cat Dumb.

This is part of their initiative towards alleviating the economic strain on the local community.

Monks restore faith during the pandemic

In the midst of struggle and adversity, these monks are sacrificing their safety to follow through on their religious duties. Their actions are reminding many of us to continue having faith in humanity.

It’s truly admirable to see individuals not only continuing to fulfill their duties, but also lending a hand to the community.

Cover image adapted from: แจ้งข่าวกาฬสินธุ์

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