Senior Editor
Staff

The Inertia

COVID-19 has been bad, to say the least. Globally, over five-million people have died so far. It seems never-ending at this point, although there is — hopefully, at least — a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. There are parts of the world where getting a vaccine isn’t as easy as others, like the remote islands of Nias and Telo. Which is why, when the Indonesian government was looking for a partner to support their vaccination rollout, SurfAid stepped up to the plate.

The world is opening back up as vaccines make their way into people’s arms, despite a loud group who don’t seem to understand that by getting the vaccine, they’re not only protecting themselves, but, according to early studies, they’re less likely to transmit the disease to those who might actually die from the Coronavirus.

The SurfAid crew has been on the scene for a variety of tragedies in Indonesia, so it makes sense that they’d be willing to help out. “Not only do we have a long history of responding to crises in the region,” SurfAid wrote, “but we believe everyone, everywhere should have a fair shot in accessing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.”

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The remoteness of the two surf-centric islands makes getting access to healthcare extremely difficult. The SurfAid crew, however, figured out a way to get a bunch of vaccines to the residents. With the help of the crew of the Indies Trader and Sumatran Surfariis, they loaded vaccines onto a vessel called the Mahogany and headed out on a week-long journey to visit the small villages and get a shot to anyone who wanted one.

Indonesia has been disproportionately hit by the pandemic. Since it all began, 143,000 people have died, and 4.3 million have tested positive. Only 26 percent of the population in target areas have been vaccinated, but the health risks aren’t the only effect. According to SurfAid, a staggering eight-million people fell back into poverty because of the pandemic. The drop in tourism hit the country hard.

“We believe that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine should be available to everyone, regardless of where you live,” said Dr. Endah Setyaningsih, the Deputy Director of Programs at SurfAid Indonesia. “We are proud to work alongside the surf charter industry again to support the local governments in Nias and the Telo islands to provide vaccination to the local communities. The sooner our communities are vaccinated, the sooner we can welcome back visitors to our world-class waves.”

SurfAid also has created a way that you can help without actually boarding a boat and traveling to the islands. With a donation of $15, you can provide access to a safe COVID-19 vaccine to a person in a remote surf community.

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