Bristol Bay, AlaskaCommunities in this rural fishing region, site of the world’s largest sockeye salmon run that draws thousands of workers each year, are defined, in part, by their isolation. Everything is a plane ride or more away, including medical care, food, and supplies. The largest hospital in the region has little more than a dozen beds to serve a combined population of about 7,000.
So the threat of COVID-19 is worrisome in a place still haunted by the 1919 Spanish flu epidemic, which wiped out 30 to 40 percent of the population, historians estimate, leaving behind a generation of orphans.
Moreover, Alaska Natives and Indigenous people have been disproportionately affected by the current pandemic. Alaska Natives have died at four times the rate