Staunton, August 19 – A new survey of service industry workers in St. Petersburg finds that only one in six of those who have not yet been vaccinated will get the shots voluntarily while nearly one in three is prepared to do so if the alternative is the loss of employment or some other punishment (regnum.ru/news/3348510.html).
The remainder apparently are not prepared to do so even then and are willing to lose their jobs or even pay some fine rather than get the shots, an attitude that suggests it will be almost impossible for Moscow to get vaccination rates up far from where they are today without more draconian threats.
Appeals to Russians that it is their civic duty to get the shots aren’t working, despite being an increasing feature of the public landscape. Today, for example, enlightenment minister Sergey Kravtsov said that teachers have “a common civic duty” like all other Russians to get the shots (regnum.ru/news/3348641.html).
In the northern capital, almost 70 percent of teachers have been vaccinated; but that means nearly a third have not (regnum.ru/news/3348275.html). And many Russians are taking to the internet to make fun of official efforts to get people to have the shots, with some calling the new lottery arrangement, “a lottery with death” (regnum.ru/news/society/3347750.html).
Today, Russian officials reported registering 21,058 new deaths and 791 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as the pandemic continued to ebb and flow across the Russian Federation (t.me/COVID2019_official/3458 and regnum.ru/news/society/3344522.html).
Still worse, epidemiologists say that the third wave of the pandemic through which Russia is now passing is likely to do almost as much harm as the second, although games officials are playing with statistics may make it harder for people to see that (ng.ru/health/2021-08-17/8_8227_mortality.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Many Russians have gotten used to working at home and don’t want to return full time to the office. They are even prepared to take some reduction in salary so as to remain at home most of the time (profile.ru/society/privykli-k-udalenke-rossiyane-ne-speshat-vozvrashhatsya-v-ofisy-910555/).
· Russian tourism officials are angry at Krasnodar Kray where officials are insisting that hotels in that region will not admit anyone who is unvaccinated. Rosturizm says such a demand is “extraordinary” and unnecessary (regnum.ru/news/3348574.html).
· Saratov officials say that those recovering from covid should sing Russian rather than foreign folk songs because the former require them to breathe more deeply and thus will help them get better (znak.com/2021-08-19/chinovniki_minzdrava_obyasnili_lechebnye_svoystva_russkih_narodnyh_pesen_posle_kovida).
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