“Provide people with the opportunity to spend 60 days at home”

There have only been 45 COVID-19 cases in Russia so far – a rather low number considering that Russia does lots of business with China and the EU. Inevitably, one suspects undertesting and/or underreporting. The true number of infected persons? Anybody’s guess.

From the Moscow Times:

Russia should enter full quarantine due to the threat of coronavirus in the country, billionaire businessman Oleg Deripaska wrote on his Telegram channel Friday.

“The first step is to close all borders tomorrow, cancel all mass events and provide people with the opportunity to spend 60 days at home,” he said.

His view could be self-serving – an appeal for state support for his businesses, for one – but it makes sense if taken literally.

The businessman wrote that if the necessary measures are not taken to prevent the virus’ spread, the consequences would be more serious than the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Few things would please me more than the crumbling of Putin’s despicable empire but I surely don’t want to perish either in the triggering tragedy or the resulting rubble.

“This is not a panic, not a manifestation of the helplessness of society, but the only right decision…”

Even if it’s a panic, it’s a rational panic as it were. However, the Kremlin has announced a plebiscite to legitimize its “constitutional coup d’état” and has scheduled the vote for April 22. Now it could be brought forward a few weeks or pushed back a few months; but it could be canceled altogether as it’s not required by the constitution currently in effect. The Kremlin might also try to run an online plebiscite but its legitimizing effect would probably be close to zero.

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