COVID-19 keeps reshaping our lives. The situation is changing even as I’m writing this.
To start with, here are some numbers: for today (March 18, 2020) there are still only 9 sick people, completely recovered: 2 persons, deaths: 0. It looks quite optimistic and stable. Total in Russia there are 147 cases, recovered: 8, deaths: 0.
However, to prevent further spreading, Russia has closed the borders for incoming visitors.
Mass cancellation of events, such as music festivals, concerts and exhibitions in the situation of pandemic is more than expected.
St Petersburg theatres and cinemas have shut down. But there’s always a way out with the modern technology: Alexandrinsky theatre is starting to broadcast performances on-line during the entire COVID 19 pandemic period. You can check the official Alexandrinsky theatre website here (please use Google Translate as it is only in Russian so far): Alexandrinsky theatre The performances of Alexandrinsky theatre will also be available on YouTube and in the social media.
St. Petersburg museums (such as the Hermitage, Peterhof, Catherine Palace) shut down temporarily. Virtual museum tours are available though. For instance, only today 300 000 viewers had a virtual tour of the Hermitage Museum. If you intend to visit ST Petersburg but had to postpone your tour due to circumstances, you are welcome to enjoy the virtual tour of the Hermitage: virtual tour of the Hermitage
As a tour guide, I’ve been worried about the license confirmation lectures. The Hermitage is going to conduct the lectures in the form of webinars this year.
As for everyday life in St. Petersburg: public transport system is operating and people can freely walk in the streets. Supermarkets are starting to run short of buckwheat, salt and flour (the first things Russian people buy in hard times). One can definitely se that the most popular toilet paper brands are missing on the shelves.
Schools in St Petersburg will have 2 more days of classes and then they will shut down for an extended spring break (3 weeks instead of 1 week kids usually have in the end of March).
Moscow authorities are considering a major lockdown starting from March 20. I will keep you posted.