Chilipenok Yu. Yu., Gaponova O. S., Gaponova N. S., Danilova L. S. Transformation of Russian women lifestyle in the context of self-isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, p. 82-98

The article presents the results of the research on the women’s perception of the conditions of mandatory self-isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The respondents’ feedback showed changes in various areas of their lives that occurred during the period of selfisolation. The main hypothesis of the research was the assumption that the situation of selfisolation caused by COVID-19 has affected various aspects of Russian women lifestyle and their families: distribution of temporal and material resources; labor activity; relations with husbands (partners) and children; habits related to nutrition, healthy lifestyle, personal care, etc.; perception of the external situation as a whole. It is also assumed that this impact was mainly negative. The collection of the empirical data was based on the method of questionnaire and was carried out in Moscow and Moscow region, St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, Nizhny Novgorod and Nizhny Novgorod region — the three most complex regions of Russia in terms of the number of registered coronavirus cases (according to 17.04.2020). Due to a certain specificity of the methods used, the sample of the study cut off the bulk of women without higher education, working in spheres that do not require high qualifications, and, thus, identified a specific stratum of modern Russian society for the study — working women with average and above average income. For the most part, such women demonstrate responsible behavior, abiding the regime of self-isolation. One way to alleviate the impact of this regime is to relocate with the children to smaller cities or villages, usually to their parents’ places. One of the most significant consequences of the imposed restrictions is the active spread of a fairly new high-tech format of labor interaction — telework. The coronavirus situation has been a kind of a boost for the development of new telework practices and the increase in the number
of people working from home. However, the opinions of women regarding whether they would like to switch to the online format of work activity completely were divided. In the context of mandatory self-isolation, families mainly use two strategies to stabilize the financial situation: increasing income, practiced by the wealthier families; and reducing expenses — by poorer families. Against all expectations, the distribution of time has shifted towards passive pastime in front of the TV or on the phone, checking social media, taking a daytime nap, rather than self-development, personal care and sport activities at home. Women have developed or worsened bad habits, and the number of sports and healthy lifestyle adepts has slightly decreased. Thus, self-isolation has not been a motivator of active pastime for women. On the contrary, it has led to the spread of a passive lifestyle, laziness and apathy. The assumption that self-isolation would have a detrimental effect on the moral and psychological climate and relations inside families was only partially confirmed. Some negative trends were pointed
out, but due to the specifics of the Russian mentality and inculcated family values, they did not show such a rapid and drastic decline as in foreign countries. In general, to summarize the foregoing, it should be noted that the appeared difficulties in the interaction with the external environment, concerns about the future of the Russian economy, deterioration of the financial situation, fear for the future of the family, general anxiety, uncertainty, complex moral state and failed plans — all that collectively results in negative and pessimistic moods of more than a half of Russian women in the conditions of self-isolation, and as families continue to stay in these conditions, it is most likely that such sentiments will have a tendency to grow, which will require further study of these trends and their consequences for the major Russian cities as well as for the periphery, where they will have their own specific features.
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