About covid-19 in Tomsk

When people ask me where my city is, my husband likes to prompt: it’s just above China.

And it’s true.

However, the first case of the covid-19 in Tomsk has been confirmed in a man returning from Italy.

On the same day, March 18, Governor Zhvachkin declared a state of emergency. That regime suspended indoor events  with more than 50 people, closed some children’s health facilities, and some clinics. Employers must ensure that employees ‘ temperatures are measured.

On April 2, President Putin declared the entire month of April a non-working month with wages preserved. (This was a very difficult situation for many Russians, since not all of them are officially employed). Also he gave some freedom to the governors to make their own decisions. As a result, the regime of stay-at-home was maintained in Tomsk all this time.

Since there were very few cases of the disease in the Tomsk region, people did not believe in the effectiveness of wearing masks and in the existence of the virus in general.

Right now

As of November 2, 12,756 cases of COVID-19 were registered in the Tomsk region*, 8,394 people recovered, and 125 died.

Looking at the numbers, you might think that COVID-19 is under control in Tomsk. I’m not sure.

Here’s what my youngest son story:

He recently caught a cold. A normal case in Siberia. The temperature rose to 101.3, and he stayed at home. He had no other symptoms of the coronavirus. He could go back to work in a few days, but he needed to get a negative test result. Zhenya decided to call an ambulance and take the test for free**.

It took him 5 hours to call an ambulance service. The ambulance arrived 24 hours later. Doctors (from an ambulance) prescribed antibiotics that are not available at the pharmacy. They did not do the test, because Zhenya didn’t have enough symptoms.

Zhenya  paid 2,170 rubles for the test. (A family of three people can buy groceries for two days). I mean, the price for the test is not cheap.

While he was staying home with a cold (or flu), his Manager and a colleague caught covid-19 somewhere.

Most of all, I am annoyed by people who are carelessly about COVID. 

Zhenya’s friend (doctor)  told him that the disease is not dangerous if you have a strong immune system and no problems with the lungs. Really?

My friend (an athlete, a skating trainer) and her husband had covid this summer.

Here is her story:

“On June 18, I got 2 implants. I had a fever for a week, I thought it was because of the implants. And then I lost my sense of smell…. We both took tests. COVID. There were no treatments, doctors did not come, volunteers were not sent… They told us on the phone  what we need to buy (an antiviral drug, vitamins and interferon)… We went to the pharmacy ourselves, bought medicines and stayed home.

In two weeks they came to test us again. My result was negative, my husband’s was positive. The same treatment, and one more test in another two weeks…that time the test was negative. 

It seems to me that doctors define a mild form of the covid as a cold. There is a mess, chaos and lawlessness when it comes to covid and medicine… There are no medicines at the pharmacies or the price is 2 times more expensive. Now it’s scary to get sick! The help may come too late…”

I have to repent. I learned about the coronavirus outbreak in China back in January from Russian news on YouTube. The American news talked only about America . 

Of course, I could not predict the consequences in both countries (Russia and USA).

President Putin spoke on television  about his stay-at-home orders, building  new hospitals for covid-patients. He  praised the volunteers, and raised the salaries of doctors working at the frontline .

The first wave of covid was suspended.

Cold autumn and the second wave of covid-19 came along. All the shortcomings are exacerbated.

As the Russian people say: everywhere is good, where we are not.

In the meantime, forecasters promise a relatively warm November, with temperatures 15°F – 20° F and snowfall.

*Tomsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast). It lies in the southeastern West Siberian Plain, in the southwest of the Siberian Federal District. Its administrative center is the city of Tomsk. Population: 1,077,400 (2019)

**FYU: In Russia, there are three emergency institutions: the Fire Department, the Police, and emergency medical care. And each one has its own phone number. If in the US you have to know 911,  In Russia all three departments have different phone numbers, and 112 is for any emergency (I didn’t know about that number).


Author: Elena

Hi, My name is Elena. I am Russian living in the US. My blog is about my life and experience. This is my new hobby. So, please, don't be too hard on me. Thanks

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