Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Anti-Vaxxers in Russia Behaving Unfortunately but ‘Rationally,’ Martynov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 15 – Kirill Martynov, the political editor of Novaya gazeta, says that in contrast to the situation in other countries, anti-vaxxers in Russia are behaving “rationally.” Their primary source of information about covid is government media, that media always lies, and no one believes it anymore (rosbalt.ru/posts/2021/10/15/1926316.html).

            Resistance to vaccinations and other anti-covid measures appears to be growing, with polls showing expanded opposition to almost every measure that the government proposes (superjob.ru/research/articles/113120/shtrafy-za-otkaz-ot-vakcinacii-podderzhivaet-kazhdyj-devyatyj/ and regnum.ru/news/3399045.html).

            And this comes as both new infections and new deaths over the last 24 hours have set records, 32,196 and 999 respectively; and as officials say that the pandemic situation in Russia is if not critical close to that measure (t.me/COVID2019_official/3702, regnum.ru/news/society/3394205.html and regnum.ru/news/3398799.html).

            Moreover, as bad as these numbers are, independent demographer Aleksey Raksha says that the real numbers are 2.5 times greater but that officials are falsifying them. That would mean that more than 2400 Russians are currently dying from the coronavirus every day (currenttime.tv/a/covid-statistika-russia/31510983.html).

            Federation Council head Valentina Matviyenko continues to insist that there is no basis for a lockdown, but economist and commentator Vladislav Inozemtsev says that “the time for explaining the advantages of vaccination” has passed and that more draconian measures need to be taken now (regnum.ru/news/3398817.html and rosbalt.ru/posts/2021/10/15/1926346.html).

            At the same time, there are increasing expressions of concern that the impact of anything the government does as far as the pandemic is concerned may have an extremely negative impact on the Russian economy (regnum.ru/news/3398856.html and profile.ru/economy/v-ritme-novoj-volny-kak-biznes-vstrechaet-osennee-nastuplenie-koronavirusa-942316/).

            Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,

·         Developers of the Sputnik-5 vaccine say they have completed yet another clinical trial of the medication and report that it is more than 90 percent effective (regnum.ru/news/3398521.html).

·         Ever more people are expressing concern that the pandemic will have a negative impact on participation rates in the upcoming Russian census (ehorussia.com/new/node/24497 and superjob.ru/research/articles/113121/uhudshenie-epidemiologicheskoj-obstanovki-uvelichilo-chislo-otkazov-ot-uchastiya-v-perepisi-v-1/).

·         And Moscow announced that it is restoring air traffic to nine more countries in about two weeks (interfax.ru/russia/797306).

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