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We'll Have To Live With It: Russians Resigned to the Fact That Coronavirus Isn’t Going Anywhere

We'll Have To Live With It: Russians Resigned to the Fact That Coronavirus Isn’t Going Anywhere

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Russian citizens are almost completely out of isolation and now are less and less afraid of getting infected, however, safety measures are still being overwhelmingly complied with. Alongside that, the percentage of coronavirus skeptics who do not believe in the hazards of the virus is growing. These people refuse to get vaccinated and have no plans to self-isolate in case of the virus's second wave. This is supported by the survey results done by HSE.

The HSE Office for Expert Analysis held the seventh wave of the Internet survey of the Russian citizens about changes triggered by the pandemic and self-isolation. The poll was taken on September 5th-7th through river sampling. A total of 9000 people aged 18-75 were interviewed in all Russian regions.

Analysis of the poll data showed that over this summer the population almost completely came out of the self-isolation phase but still continues to observe preventive and safety measures. One in five people still try to stay at home more often or visit stores less frequently. More than half of the respondents wash their hands more often, more than 40% wear protective masks outside, and more than 31% follow social distancing requirements. At the same time, a third of the respondents have stopped monitoring virus statistics, while the population has now come to the conclusion that the virus won't go away and they’ll have to live with it—the level of the confidence in defeating the virus has hit rock bottom with just 2.2 points out of a possible 10.

The study authors state that the general feeling about the danger of coronavirus continues to decline globally as people start to return to their normal life. The national average, 4.75 points out of 10, is the lowest since the start of observations (the first survey was conducted on March 18th-19th this year). The risk of becoming infected is taken most seriously in Moscow and the North Caucasian Federal District (5.3 and 5.1 points, respectively), and the least—in the Far Eastern Federal District (4.1 points).

The share of coronavirus skeptics in Moscow (people who believe the coronavirus danger is exaggerated or who deny the existence of the epidemic all together) is 34.7%, which is much lower than the average in Russia (43.4%). However, there are more people (almost 30%) who expect a second wave among residents of the capital than among those of other regions and districts. The highest rate of coronavirus skeptics is in the Far East—54.4%. This is primarily due to the fact that only 21.6% of the region's residents know someone who has been infected. On average, the national figure is twice as high, at 57.3%.

Experts say that the percentage of coronavirus-skeptics is growing. These people do not take precautionary measures, will not follow the lockdown restrictions in case of a second wave (only 19.2% of the group will follow these recommendations), and 75% of them will not get vaccinated. Almost half of the coronavirus skeptic group will not even seek medical attention in case of any symptoms, or will only do so in a critical life-threatening situation. For the group who acknowledge the hazards of the coronavirus (49%), the situation is different—around three quarters of them are ready for self-isolation and vaccines, and 81.7% will visit a doctor should they have any symptoms.

Coronavirus skeptics are primarily men aged 30-60 with low incomes who live in cities with a population of up to 100,000 people and in villages. The percentage of coronavirus skeptics in this demographic is more than 70%, according to the study authors.

Should a coronavirus vaccine appear, 13.2% of respondents are ready to get vaccinated right away; 45.6% do not plan to get the vaccine at all; and 18.6% plan to wait until the following year to make up their minds. A quarter of those who won't vaccinate are fundamental anti-vaxxers. They believe vaccines to be useless or even harmful. Another quarter will watch the results of the first widespread vaccination and then make up their minds, and one in five respondents are concerned about possible side effects. Only 6.5% of this group's respondents are distrustful of the Russian vaccine.

47,7%

of the respondents support the self-isolation regulations imposed this spring. 

45,6%

of the respondents won't get vaccinated against coronavirus. 

31,9%

of the respondents believe there is no such thing as this pandemic and it was all made up by the concerned parties.

20,4%

of the respondents think that we are now at the start of the pandemic's second wave.

6,5%

of the respondents believe that they will never be able to get back to the lives they are used to.

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