Covid is rampant in Russia ...
Russia is a high-risk country for catching covid. They are aggressively pushing their Sputnik vaccine internationally, but they are very slow to vaccinate their own population. They do statistics wrongly - they deliberately falsify the death toll from Covid, and they have a very low capacity on testing (probably deliberately, to keep the official number of infected down). At the other hand, natural immunity is probably high there. I got a dual-entrance visa for Russia and was there twice in the beginning of this year - I had 13 "contacts" while being there (including my family), 12 of them had already been through Covid.
All my family got lightly through Covid, except my dad in law who was knocked out for two weeks. I have second-hand information on people dieing from it though.
... and yet I didn't get Covid in Russia ...
I was thinking that if I wouldn't catch covid during March 2021, I would probably never catch it, March was a lot more risky than expected. The most crazy was probably at the 14th of March when my son was participating in some performance and I had to enter a theatre hall. Well, what can I say ... at least some few in the audience did cover both the mouth and the nose correctly with a face mask ...
A potential mass spreader event
The week after I travelled to Norway with my family, an awkward journey - St.Petersburg - Ivangorod - Narva - Tallinn - Warzawa - Oslo, nobody wearing face masks on the first bus journey, the taxi driver whom took us to Tallinn airport also didn't wear a mask. And still - no corona! I tested negative over and over and over again!
I did manage to catch something else, though - the common cold virus. My daughter probably brought it from school, my youngest son got it from her (and had a fever and running nose at that day when we were passing three country borders and taking two airplanes ... we were lucky that the body temperature wasn't checked anywhere), and I got it from him. I hate going around caughing and having a running nose - but it's even worse during a pandemic.
... but got it in Norway instead
We had some social contact during the easter holidays. By the end of the easter holidays I drove my family to the airport using a self-service rental car. I forgot to disinfect the steering wheel, and without thinking I was scratching my nose while driving. I cannot be completely sure that's how it happened, but this seems to be the most likely way I ended up catching the corona virus. One week later (2021-04-11), just as I had completely recovered from my round of the common cold, I woke up ill again. I did yet another covid test, and it was positive.
This is the kind of car I was renting
Waking up with fever was a big surprise - how could I catch anything when I almost hadn't had any social contact for more than a week? I reached out to everyone I've been in touch with during the easter, everybody was healthy. It's so completely unexpected - like in a comic, when someone feels lucky after surviving a dangerous journey, just to be killed by a falling piano. I feel that I was very careful after coming back to Norway, and Norway is quite a low-risk country, with low number of cases and doing a relatively good job on contact tracing. The positive test result didn't surprise me much though. I was even happy that the test came out positive - at least this time I'm getting some useful antibodies in return from being ill, and this time I know for sure what virus is bugging me.
My son got ill two days after me (and on the same day as I got the test results), he was apparently harder hit than me. We both lost our taste (aroma) completely for a day or two, it gradually came back, but even now we feel that quite much doesn't taste as intense as before. It's like, salty food tastes salty. The loss of taste was different from when I'm having the common cold; when I'm having the common cold the feeling of taste comes and goes. When I've been eating some exciting food and it tasted nothing at all, I usually just blow my nose - then I can feel the taste of the food I just ate. Not so with the Covid. All 12 contacts from Russia is doing fine, no long-term side effects reported.
Based on my personal experience and second hand information, for most of us Covid is a relatively harmless thing - but it can be lethal. I do have some more thoughts based on what I read in the mainstream media, maybe I'll write a separate post on that later.
Information on Russia falsifying the number of deaths can easily be found through a popular search engine. The first result now when I tried was from New York Times. I also read earlier that one of the employees from the bureau of statistics got sacked because he wanted to report true numbers.
The rest of the post is based on my own experiences, and the experiences of people I've been talking with. Out of the 12 people I know that got Covid, only one got a PCR-test. Some did a test for antibodies afterwards and scored high - so they know that they've had Covid.
The second hand information I have on Covid deaths in Russia is based on one of my relatives-in-law which is a professional opera singer. The conductor of the orchestra in the Theater was rushed to a prestige hospital, but demanded to be "released" since he felt fine. He somehow managed to get back to the theater (his keycard was supposed to be deactivated since he was ill), and gathered the orchestra. Later both the conductor and several of the musicians died.
- The photo from the theatre hall was taken by me, cc-by-sa-4 license applies. Click here for full resolution
- The image of the Vy car is taken from their website
This is an expanded and improved version of what I posted at https://tobixen.github.io/covid-positive/ earlier - apparently I already copied that post over to Hive a week ago, so this is sort of a duplicate post. I'm sorry for that.