Looking back

It's interesting to look back at the story we posted just a few short weeks ago, on the impending COVID-19 pandemic. It got ridiculed on Facebook with a little bit of mudslinging and the accusation we were creating hysteria and drama.

Now the reality has hit home, people have had hysteria and drama pushed into their faces all day every day, people are dying, there are no shit stamps left, and they've banned surfing.

It's like a story written by a child.

"There was this virus, and everyone was so scared! They were so scared that they ran out of toilet paper! Then the school closed for a month because of the virus, and then they banned surfing, and my mom let me have ice cream for breakfast."

Jail Time

Either way, the surfing ban is simply a byproduct of beachgoers banned, and it's for real. Surfing is a forbidden pastime in Portugal, France and Spain, and if you go into the water, you face a fine or jail time.

"I'm locked at home, and things are pretty heavy. I never expected things were going to be like this," said Kepa Acero from Basque Country, Spain, to Surfline recently. "You can't go surfing. There are fines of 600 Euros to 30,000 Euros, and they can put you in jail." Kepo is famed for being one of the best-travelled surfers on the planet. Telling him he can’t surf and roam the planet is like putting an eagle in a cage.

Kepa Acero at Mundaka

It's also locked down in Puerto Rica, and there is talk of banning surfing in Durban.

It's all about social distancing, and there can be some mighty crowds on the beaches during the summer. Still, spending a summer in France at a coastal town but not being able to surf is going to be pretty distressing.

Surfing Doctors

We reached out to those good people at surfingdoctors.com to get their take on going surfing during the COVID-19 period, and what necessary precautions we should take if we are still able to go surfing in our respective countries.

When it comes to getting infected, a fellow surfer needs to come up to you and blow on you, literally. Whether it is in the surf or the car park, you need to get sprayed by their germs – not the spray from a good turn.

'Yep, you need to be within one meter of an infected person, and they need to cough or sneeze on you," said Dr Chapman, an ED Director, and Staff Specialist in Emergency Surgery. "In fact, surfing is the best thing! Don't forget that saltwater is antiviral."

There are also a few supplements that help in these sorts of situations. "Zinc supplements and Brazil nuts also have high levels of selenium, which is antiviral," said Dr Chapman. "Spirulina also has high levels of antiviral activity against virus strains."

The Rule Of Law

So the obvious advice would be to obey the rules of the government firstly, and if surfing is banned, then adhere to the law. If you don't and you get caught, you face a fine, and possible jail time, as well as a criminal record. If you get a crim record, then no more trips to Indonesia for you.

Secondly, if you're going to go surfing, then go with a few basic avoidance concepts in mind. So don't get into someone's space, and keep your distance as best you can. When it comes to a tight little take-off zone, then it's a little bit tricky, so make judgment calls before paddling out.

Thirdly, in these times it's going to be mighty tempting to hang around the car park and have a beer and a bit of a yak with your mates, but don't do it. You might think that you're young and fit and healthy, but you might give it to your parents, or your children, and they might not have as secure an immune system as yours. You'd feel a right dick if you infect someone in your family and they end up dying.

Instead, get out the water, climb into your car and drive home. Gloat to your friends about the waves on your phone later, and send them a few pics as well.

Finally, take some of the doctor's advice. Get some extra garlic and chili on your pizzas, and smash down some doses of zinc and spirulina. It won't harm you to do it, so you might as well add it to your current health and isolation routine, wherever you may be.