Since protective acts like hygienic hand-washing, wearing face masks, and sheltering in place should be considered mitzvot, at least during this pandemic, it seems to me that they should be preceded by an appropriate blessing, just like other mitzvot. Requiring a blessing would underscore the significance of these acts and encourage vigilant observance. I propose creating a new blessing for the actions we take to keep ourselves and each other safe and healthy during a pandemic. Read more about the creation of this blessing at The Forward.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְ‑יָ אֱ‑לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל שְּׁמִירַת הַנֶּפֶשׁ
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam, asher keed’shanu b’meetzvotav, v’tzeevanu al sh’meerat ha-nefesh.
You are bountiful, Infinite our God, majesty of space and time, who has sanctified us with divine commandments and has commanded us about protecting life.
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