We'll Have To Live With It: Russians Resigned to the Fact That Coronavirus Isn’t Going Anywhere
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.
of the respondents support the self-isolation regulations imposed this spring.
of the respondents won't get vaccinated against coronavirus.
of the respondents believe there is no such thing as this pandemic and it was all made up by the concerned parties.
of the respondents think that we are now at the start of the pandemic's second wave.
of the respondents believe that they will never be able to get back to the lives they are used to.
Researchers Yulia Chilipenok, Olga Gaponova, Nadezhda Gaponova and Lyubov Danilova of HSE – Nizhny Novgorod looked at how the lockdown has impacted Russian women during the COVID-19 pandemic. They studied the following questions: how women divided their time; how they worked from home; how they got on with their partners and children; and how they dropped old habits and started new ones in relation to nutrition, health, beauty, and self-development.
Those who consider themselves healthy will be more willing to comply with COVID restrictions if they believe, according to their own estimations, that the expected losses from the disease will be significant, suggest researchers of the Faculty of Economic Sciences at HSE University.
Researchers at HSE and Lomonosov Moscow State University analyzed data on Russians’ movements during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their analysis showed that residents of lower-income municipalities self-isolated less compared to residents of higher-income cities. The findings were published in the journal Environment and Planning A.
How high is the risk of a full-blown financial crisis after the pandemic? Which countries and regions are most at risk? Are national governments managing to cope with the challenge of preventing economic collapse? Such topics were the focus of attention at the annual conference organised by the HSE University Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs.
‘A Completely New Platform, Never Studied or Used Before’: mRNA by Pfizer vs. Sputnik V Viral Vectors
One of the biggest headlines of recent days has been the announcement made by Pfizer, a U.S.-based company, and BioNTech, Germany, that BNT162b2, a COVID-19 vaccine they are developing, has proved to be 90% effective in its Phase 3 clinical trial. The news was met with big excitement all over the world. However, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is based on a new platform, which is still understudied. According to protocol, its trial will be complete only in 2022. IQ talked to Larisa Popovich, Director of the HSE Institute for Health Economics, about the differences between the U.S.-German and the Russian Sputnik V vaccines, and about the chances of beating COVID-19 with massive immunization in the upcoming months.
‘We Have to Ask the Very Same People Multiple Times to Understand What Changes in Emotions, Attitudes, and Behaviors Really Take Place’
On November 6, Dr. Klaus Boehnke, Deputy Director of the HSE Centre for Sociocultural Research, presented his report entitled ‘Does COVID-19 propel value change: A comparison of Germany and the United Kingdom?’ at the ‘Culture Matters’ research seminar. HSE News Service has talked to Dr. Boehnke about various aspects of the value changes and socio-economic consequences of the pandemic in Europe and Russia.
The pandemic has put global development on hold and this is a chance for Russia to occupy market niches that were previously closed. But innovation should become as essential as air and, without information technology, new niches will still not be open. Alexander Chulok, Director of the HSE UniversityCentre for Science and Technology Foresight, spoke about this in a special report at the global conference‘Accelerate Global 2020’.
Starting October 26, 2020, lectures at all HSE University campuses will be held online. At the same time, the University’s buildings remain open to students and staff. Seminars will mostly remain offline. However, it is possible that some will also be transferred online.
Mathematicians of the Higher School of Economics have calculated the effectiveness of measures taken to fight the coronavirus epidemic in different countries. They have concluded that the scale of anti-epidemic measures does not necessarily directly affect the disease rate, suggesting that one of the main reasons for this is the willingness of citizens to clearly, honestly and consistently comply with anti-epidemic measures.
The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown have made life difficult for credit institutions and their clients. Citizens’ incomes have decreased, which can lead to an increase in bad debts, and a decrease in the key rate to support the economy makes deposits less and less attractive and deprives banks of an important resource. Banks are compelled to search for new ways to earn money, which carries additional risks, says HSE Banking Institute Director Vasily Solodkov.