What epidemics are dangerous for the state?
Let me emphasize that it is for the state. Not for the people of the country, but for the power-administrative machine that governs this country.
The answer is simple and quite obvious: those epidemics are dangerous for the state that threaten its uninterrupted functioning and its very existence.
And such threats carry diseases with such a high infectiousness and mortality that they begin to affect the work of the state machine.
It doesn’t matter if it is a collapse of the health care system or a paralysis of the economy.
Hence the second question: does COVID-19 pose such a threat to the state, in particular the Russian one?
For almost two years of the pandemic, the answer has become just as obvious – no, it does not.
Moreover, this is clear both for those in power and for society.
It is in this circumstance that one should look for a clue to the amazing situation that has developed in our country around the COVID, both in society and in public policy.
It’s worth starting with society.
The assessments here are deeply subjective, but if we start from the data of opinion polls and the dynamics of vaccination, then the following impression is formed. About ten percent of our fellow citizens belong to radical deniers – either the COVID itself, or “untested and dangerous” vaccines against it, or vaccinations in general.
Approximately the same number are deeply imbued with the threat of the disease and are trying to carefully observe precautions: they were vaccinated so long ago that they are already undergoing revaccination, keep a social distance, wear personal protective equipment in public places according to all the rules, and so on.
Well, there is the rest of the population of our country – its absolute majority, 70-80 percent, which does not exactly deny the COVID, but for various reasons does not consider it necessary to take and observe extraordinary measures (both state and personal) to combat it.
Some believe the threat is exaggerated. Others see what is happening as a sinister conspiracy of the world behind the scenes and do not want to play along with it. Still others rely on Russian maybe.
And the fourth, personally for themselves (relatively young and healthy), assess the chances of severe and fatal consequences as very low, even if they become infected, and believe that they can not strain themselves.
Hence the relaxed wearing of a mask on the chin, or even a fundamental rejection of it. And the delay in vaccination is not because the person is fundamentally opposed, but because, in his opinion, he is not on fire. And an extremely negative attitude towards any tough state measures of struggle, although the idea of rest on non-working days is liked by almost everyone.
As for the figures, the terrible Russian figures of daily mortality from COVID, then still not a very large proportion of our fellow citizens have faced the tragedy of the loss of a loved one from the coronavirus. For the rest, it is, as in the well-known aphorism, just statistics: a thousand deaths a day more, a thousand less.
And we must be aware that a state – not a single state – can afford to ignore the opinion of the absolute majority of its citizens.
Russia is no exception here, the country’s leadership is forced in its actions to take into account the proprietary domestic mix of fatalism with fundamental slovenliness and to build a policy taking into account this factor.
Moreover, as was said at the beginning, the COVID does not pose any serious threat to the state itself. Moreover, the Russian authorities have learned a lot of useful experience from the challenge of the pandemic.
Numerous management processes, both new and well-forgotten old ones, have been tested and tested for strength. The healthcare system has learned to cope with stress. Mechanisms for the rapid deployment of additional hospitals in case of disease outbreaks have been worked out. A vaccine was created in the shortest possible time, which proved its safety and high efficiency. This is – without any discounts – a tremendous scientific and management task. It was guaranteed that nothing threatens the uninterrupted operation of key state structures – management, security forces, and the army. And the domestic economy has proven its ability to successfully cope with non-standard challenges and crises.
All of this is a valuable experience in the current conditions of global turbulence and growing international tension in all spheres.
In addition, thanks to public nihilism and the need to take it into account, the Russian state received several unexpected bonuses.
For example, it is interested in developing domestic tourism – and, of course, it did not like it too much when billions of dollars of Russian citizens remained in the resorts of Europe , the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia .
Well, since Russia, thanks to the principled position of many of its citizens, is in the “red zone” and there is no end in sight for this, the opening of borders in most popular tourist destinations will not threaten us for a long time.
And not because the Kremlin and Putin personally do not let anyone go anywhere. But because from the other side they look at us like crazy Russians who, with a massive refusal to vaccinate and fundamentally ignore security measures, are determined to kill many hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens and who, of course, cannot open the border – with such and such an approach to the epidemic, medicine and life.
For decades and even centuries, one of the main accusations against the Russian state and any Russian government was the accusation of a cynical and ruthless attitude towards their own people, expressed in the famous formula “women give birth”.
Well, the COVID has demonstrated that in modern Russia this approach is characteristic not of the state, but of society.
Before our eyes, the Russian government is displaying an order of magnitude greater humanity, responsibility and concern for citizens than people do about those around them, their loved ones, and even about themselves.
Sooner or later, one way or another, the COVID will be taken under control. However, it seems that humanizing our society, its attitudes and behavior is a much more difficult task and will take much more time.
Source: Irina Alksnis – RIA NOVOSTI