Staunton, August 18 – American restauranteurs have been complaining for some time that they are finding it difficult if not impossible to hire workers during the pandemic because of low wages and government benefits. Russian restaurant and café owners are now complaining about having the same problem (vedomosti.ru/management/articles/2021/08/18/882492-kafe-vse-trudnee-nanimat-sotrudnikov).
Today, Russian officials reported registering 20,914 new cases of infection and 799 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as the pandemic ebbed and flowed across the country with restrictions being imposed where conditions are deteriorating and lifted where they are improving (t.me/COVID2019_official/3453 and regnum.ru/news/society/3344522.html).
To boost vaccination rates, the Russian government is staging a lottery in which 1000 winners will get prizes of up to 100,000 rubles (1400 US dollars) (thebell.io/sredi-vaktsinirovannyh-rossiyan-razygrayut-100-mln-rublej). The authorities have opened a vaccination point for immigrant workers near Moscow (nazaccent.ru/content/36411-v-moskovskoj-oblasti-otkryli-punkt-vakcinacii.html for migrants).
In St. Petersburg, those suffering from HIV/AIDS say doctors are unwilling to administer coronavirus shots out of fear that they will contract HIV (kommersant.ru/doc/4947394). And Krasnodar companies say they will have to cut back production because they cannot get enough oxygen as it is being used to treat covid victims (znak.com/2021-08-18/na_kubani_zavody_iz_za_deficita_kisloroda_zayavili_o_riske_ostanovki_proizvodstv).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· One survey found that more than 20 percent of Muscovites moved out of the city during the worst periods of the pandemic and that many of them may not return soon (newizv.ru/news/society/18-08-2021/bolee-20-moskvichey-pereehali-v-drugie-regiony-vo-vremya-pandemii).
· Russia will need a minimum of three years to recover the depression of life expectancies that the pandemic has caused, demographers say (rbc.ru/newspaper/2021/03/15/604a3c099a7947c4afb996b7).
· And The Moscow Times say “Russia seems to be the only state whose leaders use a pandemic that is killing people by the tens of thousands to manipulate and eliminate political activists and opponents, even while ignoring the epidemiological situation whenever it suits their purposes” (themoscowtimes.com/2021/08/18/how-the-kremlin-is-using-covid-19-to-stifle-dissent-a74824).