Life in Self Isolation

Our life in self isolation hasn’t changed much from my previous post. Same as in many homes all over the world, the main occupation is deep cleaning and cooking. Trust me, we have lots of after-COVID jokes and memes. Homeschooling takes a lot of time too.

For workaholic people like most of my colleagues (tour guides and owners of small tour companies) idling for so long is extremely tiresome. We don’t really like chores, at least not on everyday basis. So I watch my colleagues entertaining themselves in different ways. Some of them shoot videos about St Petersburg sights using this no-crowds period. Others make videos for newcomers trying to teach how to manage big groups of tourists. Some colleagues take music or singing lessons and others work out and do yoga.

I resumed teaching English as a second language, and quickly learnt how to conduct lessons on-line via Zoom. I’m also learning one more skill – teaching Russian as a foreign language.

From time to time we take strolls with kids. It is allowed to walk the dogs, take kids for a walk and jog. Certainly, there are restrictions on group gatherings, and all the playgrounds are closed. A couple of days ago one father was fined for taking his daughter to a closed playground. Since it’s OK to stroll provided we keep social distancing, we always head to water, close to the Guld of Finland and to the port.

Public transport still works and there are a few people and cars in the streets.

Life still goes on, and some Civil Registry Offices keep registering marriages. The couples applied for the registry over a month ago, before the epidemic came to Russia. The Registry Offices offer to postpone the marriages but some couples refuse due to various reasons. In this situation people don’t have big celebrations, the marriage registries take place without usual crowds of relatives and guests. No flowers, as the shops are closed. Restaurant celebrations are out of question either. The newlyweds have masks and gloves on, the rings are to be sterilized separately. The only entertainment option after the registry is a walk in St. Petersburg city centre following social distancing rules, of course.

Coronavirus in Russia

The number of cases is Russia is going up rapidly: for April 12 there are 15770 confirmed cases in Russia. Most of the are in Moscow and Moscow region.  130 people died. 1291 people have recovered so far.

Moscow so far is the “leader” by the number of confirmed cases. Despite life in self isolation, the number of sick people is spiraling up. In order to curb the spread, new restrictions are introduced in Moscow and Moscow region from Monday, April 13. Citizens now will need special passes to go to work (if working is necessary in the pandemic period).

Today is Palm Sunday in Russia, and in a week we’ll have Easter. Russian Orthodox Church recommends not to attend services this year but to celebrate at home and watch broadcasted services from Russia’s main cathedrals in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The other big holiday that is most likely to be affected by coronavirus is the Victory Day. Although the president announced self-isolation till April 30, officials now consider postponing the Victory Day parade in case if the epidemic situation doesn’t improve.

Anna Artyushina
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