- PhMuseum 2021 Photography Grant
Inside Russia’s surreal battle against the pandemic
Dates2020 - Ongoing
With more than four million official cases of coronavirus infections reported Russia has the fourth-highest number of infections behind the United States, Brazil and India. Looking at the excess mortality Russia more people than anywhere else on the world passed away due Covid. Coronavirus is reportedly 16 times more fatal for healthcare workers in Russia than in other countries. More than 1000 medics have died from the virus.
My works focuses on different aspects and chronicles Russia’s sometimes surreal battle against the pandemic.
From end of March for more than two months nearly all parts of the country were locked down completely. Due to the strict lockdown the official unemployment rate in Russia had dibbled in this time twice since early April: almost half of the population have no savings or just enough savings to survive for one month. I follow charities who support the most vulnerable of our society, increasing numbers of victims of domestic violence, homeless people and people who just lost their home and their work due the pandemic.
Moreover, my work focuses on the tireless work of doctors in Moscow’s like the 52nd or the 15th hospital where complete hospital territories are turned into a red zone: devoted to one disease that didn’t exist some months ago.
Later there was a lot of argument underway, even among religious leaders, about pandemic safety versus the importance of formal group worship. The question of Easter celebrations was left to individual governors. I went to the old city of Tver, about two hours by train from Moscow, where the governor had decided church Easter celebrations could take place as long as special rules were observed.
In August the government has announced this Russian COVID-19 vaccine but the rush out has left many Russians skeptical and there is no great clamor for the shot and many vaccination sites have been left empty while the second have is hitting the country even harder.