Staunton, September 3 – As the pandemic has ground on, an increasing share of Russians have come to view the pandemic as the new normal, something that will continue into the indefinite future, economist Vladislav Inozemtsev says (mk.ru/social/2021/09/02/my-privykli-k-koronavirusu-i-v-etom-opasnost.html).
That is manifested in the unwillingness of many Russians to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing, or be vaccinated, but it also means that the pandemic will last far longer and its economic, social and political consequences for Russia and Russians will be far more severe, he suggests.
A new Levada Center poll about vaccination attitudes in part confirms Inozemtsev’s observation. Fifty-two percent of Russians are still not prepared to get their shots, although 32 percent already have. The latter figure is up from four percent in February, 10 percent in April, and 32 percent in August (levada.ru/2021/09/03/koronavirus-i-vaktsinatsiya/).
Today, Russian officials reported registering 18,856 new cases of infection and 799 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours, with infection rates falling where vaccination rates are above 60 percent but increasing elsewhere (t.me/COVID2019_official/3507, rbc.ru/society/03/09/2021/5e2fe9459a79479d102bada6, regnum.ru/news/society/3352534.html and regnum.ru/news/3360633.html).
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova reported that more than 45 million Russians have received at least their first shot. She added that the country must vaccinated 45 million more to achieve herd immunity and return to pre-covid life (regnum.ru/news/3360925.html and https://regnum.ru/news/3360830.html).
Russian officials say they are pressing for mutual recognition of Russian and foreign vaccines before the end of 2021 (nakanune.ru/news/2021/9/3/22618441/). Media report that Argentina is reporting that the share of its citizens vaccinated with Sputnik-5 remains under one percent (tvrain.ru/teleshow/notes/argentina_soobschila_novye_dannye_o_pobochnyh_effektah_sputnika_v_chto_izvestno_posle_11_mln_vvedennyh_doz-537097/).
The Russian health ministry says it does not support moves to end the mask requirement, and Russian Aviation has announced that Moscow will not now resume flights to Thailand because of the epidemiological situation in that country (regnum.ru/news/3360470.html and regnum.ru/news/3360327.html).
And in one sign of the easing of restrictions, the number of Russians working at home on a distance basis has fallen to three million from the six million that were doing so earlier this year (sovsekretno.ru/news/v-rossii-udaleno-rabotayut-poryadka-3-mln-chelovek/).