Staunton, May 2 – There are many horrific aspects to the pandemic given the suffering and death it has brought, Archpriest Maksim Kozlov says. But perhaps the most frightening is that it showed how easy it is to frighten the overwhelming majority of the population, impose significant restrictions on them, and control their lives (business-gazeta.ru/article/507943).
The professor at the Moscow Spiritual Academy says that if another three or four pandemics sweep the earth, it will be quite easy to control humanity far more completely than anyone had thought possible before. And that will have a fundamental impact on all social and political institutions in Russia and all other countries.
Today, Eastern Sunday in the Orthodox tradition, Russian officials nonetheless reported that they had registered 8697 new cases of infection and 342 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours, as the pandemic ebbed and flowed across Russia (t.me/COVID2019_official/2879 and regnum.ru/news/society/3258922.html).
The situation in Moscow and St. Petersburg continued to be dire. The Northern capital reported that it had registered 35.71 percent more infections this Sunday than a week ago, with Moscow’s figures up as well (regnum.ru/news/3259636.html).
Despite the holiday, a controversy broke out over a new Russian government requirement that Russians who have been vaccinated when returning from abroad must nonetheless submit to a test for the coronavirus, something many object to (newizv.ru/news/society/02-05-2021/dvazhdy-sdavat-test-na-koronavirus-posle-zarubezhnyh-poezdok-pridetsya-dazhe-privitymand snob.ru/news/golikova-obyasnila-pochemu-privitye-rossiyane-tozhe-dolzhny-sdavat-testy-na-koronavirus-pri-vozvrashenii-iz-za-granicy/).
On the vaccine front, the health ministry reported that approximately nine million Russians have received the complete sequence of vaccine shots, with four million more having the first but not the second injection (regnum.ru/news/3259470.html). The developers of KoviVak say it provides eight months of immunity (bfm.ru/news/471191).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Orthodox Christians attended Easter Services in most places with minimal restrictions, although large numbers did wear masks (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/363514/).
· Russians are so desperate to travel that they accept the lower quality and often higher prices at domestic venues just in order to leave home (svobodaradio.livejournal.com/5327990.html).
· Some analysts predict that the extended holidays will lead to a spike in coronavirus infections and deaths and a few even say that they put Russia on track to follow India into disaster (https://svpressa.ru/society/article/297265/).
Window on Eurasia — New Series