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COVID Can we please stop using the word "devastated"?

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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I know that a lot of people are extremely disappointed that they can't walk the Camino right now, but devastated?

There are people suffering real devastation right now: people whose family members are dying alone in the hospital, those dying alone in the hospital, and doctors who have to decide who gets a ventilator and who doesn't. Not to mention those who are out of work and don't know how they will pay their bills or buy food and medicine.

Not being able to go on a walk? Not so much.
 
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Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
I say this with respect and not trying to be a contrarian, but it is not good to see folks try to quash the freedom of expression of others, especially when English may not be someone's first language. As long as words don't cross the boundaries of racism/agism, etc. or isn't derogatory speech directed at others, this forum should be a welcoming environment where members are free to express themselves as they wish. Some may not want to contribute if they believe a few are trying to police their words, especially ones as innocuous as 'devastating' or 'heart-broken'.

For example, what if the person who expressed emotion by using the word 'devastating' is someone who has dreamed about Camino for years, and this was their one shot before they can no longer go due to health problems, being an end of life caregiver for another, etc.? I'd rather show them some compassion/empathy rather than scolding them for their choice of words.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
For example, what if the person who expressed emotion by using the word 'devastating' is someone who has dreamed about Camino for years, and this was their one shot before they can no longer go due to health problems, being an end of life caregiver for another, etc.?
I'm sorry, but I think that extremely disappointed, sad, etc. would do in that case.

I take your point about non-native English speakers though.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I have walked camino routes in Spain four times. On the first occasion, I felt strongly called to the pilgrimage. It did not disappoint: I was much blessed. Had I been obliged to cancel that first camino, I might have felt devastated. I would not have posted that on this forum for two reasons: I am a very private person and would prefer to keep my emotions to myself. More significantly, I think that the pandemic disaster which has just occurred in Spain would make such a statement seem insensitive, with so many dead. But neither reason would change the truth of my feelings. It is sad that people who long for the camino are pushed to hide their feelings at this present time. Perhaps we may still privately acknowledge how deeply we feel our loss, while praying for those all around us experiencing much greater losses.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
I don't think anyone is suggesting for folks to 'hide their feelings', let alone 'push' them to do so.
It is a question of how the feeling is expressed and in this particular case, IMHO, devastated is a bit of a stretch.
It is unquestionably a very disappointed and sad happening but in overall comparison to what is happening to the World these days.... Pleeeese....

...I am one of the people for whom English is not a native language. There were plenty of times when I said something 'wrong' and was corrected. I chalked it up to a learning curve of bettering my English and never thought that those who corrected me were disrespectful somehow...
And no disrespect to anyone is meant now as well....

P.S. lets take note that freedom of expression is a 2way street, so to speak, thus the OP, again, IMHO, did precisely so...

👋✌🕊
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
it is not good to see folks try to quash the freedom of expression of others,
But neither reason would change the truth of my feelings. It is sad that people who long for the camino are pushed to hide their feelings at this present time
No-one is saying we should hide our feelings. Supression is toxic. But to be sensitive about the big picture in how we express what we feel. There are genuinely devatating things happening to a great many people right now. But not being able to walk a camino in our spare time hardly qualifies as 'devastating.' To call it so is to make a mountain out of a molehill.
Disappointing, yes.
But that's another story.
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
Well said Phoenix.
There will always be people in the world who are having an awful time, for a thousand different reasons. Does that mean everyone else in the world shouldn’t express disappointment, even if it is over what some may call a trivial matter?
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
I'm sorry, but I think that extremely disappointed, sad, etc. would do in that case.
if we had to choose our modifiers based on an objective, global benchmark, only the blandest of language would be left to those of us with comfortable lives in wealthy countries. I prefer to live in a world where people who have to cancel a holiday because of lockdown describe themselves as "devastated," and people who argue for their point of view talk about being ready to "die on this hill."
We're capable of interpreting this colorful hyperbole. We know that the people that we're interacting with are not experiencing true devastation as a result of missing the holiday, and not really risking their lives by telling the truth as they see it.
What I have more difficulty interpreting is when a friend writes "I'm depressed," by which they generally mean "Jeez. I'm bored of being stuck at home," but they might mean "I'm suffering from depression," so I call anyway and chat. I don't scold them for having "first world problems." That's a phrase that I really do wish people would stop using.
 
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Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I think it is very much a question of personal interpretation. If I hear someone say that she/he is “devastated” about something, I perceive it as meaning, “I am very sad about this” and not as meaning “I am comparing my personal situation with the global tragedy of the Corona disaster”.

In a conversation there is a ‘sender’ and a ‘receiver’ and both have a responsibility in making the message come through in the way intended.

Suppressing the use of specific words in specific contexts! – I wonder what may come next…?
 

Ekelund

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
“It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” Rumi
Trecile, you do have a point regarding the use of the term devastated but maybe you could address the people who uses the word directly in a post.

English is not my native language and I find that English words have different meanings in different societies. It is difficult as a non-english speaking person to sense the differences especially when it comes to expressions regarding feeling.

When I travel I try to use the language of the country, I travel. I often get corrected but always with a smile, people appreciate when you try to communicate in their language. I think we should appreciate that people from all walks in life join together here on the Forum and express their feelings and thoughts.
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I know that a lot of people are extremely disappointed that they can't walk the Camino right now, but devastated?

There are people suffering real devastation right now: people whose families members are dying alone in the hospital, those dying alone in the hospital, and doctors who have to decide who gets a ventilator and who doesn't. Not to mention those who are out of work and don't know how they will pay their bills or buy food and medicine.

Not being able to go on a walk? Not so much.

Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated. Well said.

The Malingerer.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Some time ago, a member posted a question about how to go about his Camino in Spain in the current situation (after the disease had started to spread, but before lockdown & travel restrictions). This message was written in the casual way that is typical for curious people seeking advice in what is normally a "friendly environment" on this Forum.

He was getting a string of answers, ranging from testy to aggressive, being lectured about his "selfishness" and being sneared at apparently not having watched the news and so on. The self-proclaimed news-reporters and moral preachers wouldn't even pay attention when he tried to explain himself. Apparently, the damage was already done. To the point that he gave up and deleted his membership. I understand him: I would have done the same thing.

Some people call it freedom of expression. I call it self-righteousness.

It has become obvious that there are very narrow, socially acceptable ways to talk about COVID-19 on this Forum. Some people take the right to lecture others about which words are acceptable, what plans are appropriate to talk about for 2020, or monitoring what comparisons are made. I believe this Forum has become a lot more judgemental in the past few months.

People who say that they are devasted about the Camino are people who are passionate about the Camino. They normally come to this Forum. That doesn't mean that they don't have empathy with people who suffer or die.

/BP
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
I can understand where everyone is coming from on this thread and would agree that devastation is too strong an adjective to use. I am only able to recount a story of my attempts to communicate in my second (inadequate) language.
Many years ago I was requesting that someone speak to me slowly as French was not my first language...for some reason I said doucement (sweetly) as well as lentement (slowly). I got the loveliest smile.
As an English speaker I sometimes use the wrong words...they aren’t intended to cause anyone offence or concern.
I think this is only a case of hyperbole...and I’ve been guilty of that a million times before.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
The modern use of the word devastated to mean 'overwhelmed' or 'very shocked and upset' is well established and acceptable practice. Certainly Merriam-Webster and Cambridge online dictionaries offer these meanings, as do others. It would appear that it is reasonable usage on both sides of the Atlantic. I don't think it necessary to suggest that it shouldn't be used in this sense when the context makes it clear that this is the intended meaning.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
It has become obvious that there are very narrow, socially acceptable ways to talk about COVID-19 on this Forum.
Look...we are all testy right now.
Understandably.

And we are all in this together.
So I am more than willing to apologize for seeming judgemental.
But I stand my ground about what many of us have been saying in various ways, IOW, this is deadly serious and needs to be treated as something that is deadly serious, likely for some time to come, not as something to hurry into getting over so we can do what we want. So when there is pushback, it's not to be critical, but rather to say "wake up!"
It's just a walk, not life and death - which is what many people in Spain are facing right now.

People who say that they are devasted about the Camino are people who are passionate about the Camino.
I don't know, BP...I'm plenty passionate about the Camino (and I know the OP is too), and that is not the word I would ever use to describe how I feel about not being able to walk.
Bummed out, surely.
But never devastated.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Trecile, you do have a point regarding the use of the term devastated but maybe you could address the people who uses the word directly in a post.
I decided to start this thread rather than address someone who used the word directly in a post to avoid "calling out" any particular person.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I am devastated about not being able to walk caminos after months of planning.
We get it. We're all bummed out.
No-one here likes this one bit.
I'm sorry @anthikes, for you and for all of us.
Really.
No matter what you call it, it sucks.

And. People are dying. Many of the elders we meet along the way will be gone when we finally get back.
When I remember that it helps me get over whatever small place of self-pity I might be dwelling in about not being able to walk. If I cry abut the camino these days, it is on their behalf.
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
It's not really in the spirit of the Camino to target and belittle people on this forum for expressing themselves. Or is it? Nope, I don't much like this new normal...
I don’t either...
In these troubled times a more tolerant, kinder and understanding attitude needs to be fostered....there are other things which I think are just not that important.
 
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wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
There are things that annoy us about others at the best of times and these are most certainly not the best of times. I think we are all going a bit stir crazy with the lockdown so all the more reason to try and be tolerant and kind to each other.
 

GFinch

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2018)
I know that a lot of people are extremely disappointed that they can't walk the Camino right now, but devastated?

There are people suffering real devastation right now: people whose families members are dying alone in the hospital, those dying alone in the hospital, and doctors who have to decide who gets a ventilator and who doesn't. Not to mention those who are out of work and don't know how they will pay their bills or buy food and medicine.

Not being able to go on a walk? Not so much.
After reading the different posts in this thread it seems that a number of camino friends are feeling vexed with the original post. I think that trecile is asking people to be sensitive to the sufferings of our fellow human beings who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. A tragedy is unfolding right in front of our eyes and it would not hurt anyone one bit to express themselves in a measured and humbled way. Let us be kind to each other...
1586079041228.png
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
Devastated might mean Ruin / Destroy in some contexts .
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
After reading the different posts in this thread it seems that a number of camino friends are feeling vexed with the original post. I think that trecile is asking people to be sensitive to the sufferings of our fellow human beings who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. A tragedy is unfolding right in front of our eyes and it would not hurt anyone one bit to express themselves in a measured and humbled way. Let us be kind to each other...
Pshaw. It is not insensitive or unkind, to describe oneself as "devastated."

If someone tells me they're devastated that their team lost a match, I'll express my kindness by having a drink with them and making rude jokes about their team. If someone tells me that they're devastated that their marriage is falling apart, I'll express my kindness by listening. If someone tells me that they're devastated because their investment portfolio has lost value due to this corona-thing, I'll express my kindness by being tolerant at this difficult time for many people.
 
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Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
I know that a lot of people are extremely disappointed that they can't walk the Camino right now, but devastated?

This is going to sound like a dig, but it's not meant to. We as observers/readers can put another person's comments into context of their life, their story, we don't have to think it's not appropriate, just accept them and move on, it doesn't diminish from what we think is important,it just allows us to feel the anguish and pain out there which might cover a whole range of experience and variety. I got frustrated with someone the other day, afterwards I thought this going to be an even longer few months if I can accept another person's expression.
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
This thread is all about perspective. Many would have used the term when they were very disappointed.
I get the point @trecile is making. I am able to see circumstances where someone could be devastated as well...I do get that.
This thread is written with covid undertones so, with that in mind, a respect for everyone everywhere and a need to defeat this virus. I am understanding that there should be no Camino activity this year and I am pleased that a decision was made...responsibly and wisely.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I am disappointed that I will not walk the Camino this year. Disappointed because it is not life and death, it is an activity I enjoy. A holiday I enjoy. Enjoyment, not life and death. I will be just fine without walking it. Life will go on. It is what it is.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I don’t really want to keep poking around in this subject (he said, winding up to do just that), but I simply can’t get my head around what the problem is. The original post implies that because “There are people suffering real devastation right now” it is inappropriate to use specific emotional words in a ‘lighter’ context. This seems to further imply, that when the situation changes for the better using such words of emotion will be less of a problem. So when is this? When the Corona is under control in Spain? In Europe as a whole? In the US? By the time this happens the Corona may be ‘devastating’ Africa! When was there not a time in history when some disaster in the form of disease, hunger, war, earthquakes, tsunamis etc. was raging some place on the planet and people and their family members were dying, being tortured, being put out of work? So in that bigger picture and wider perspective you should always weigh your words on a gold weight and never use words of strong emotions.

Perhaps it is just, that some people don’t like the use of words of strong emotions in general, which of course is their prerogative, but I still think this is a personal matter and not something that should be advocated as a norm.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Some time ago, a member posted a question about how to go about his Camino in Spain in the current situation (after the disease had started to spread, but before lockdown & travel restrictions). This message was written in the casual way that is typical for curious people seeking advice in what is normally a "friendly environment" on this Forum.

He was getting a string of answers, ranging from testy to aggressive, being lectured about his "selfishness" and being sneared at apparently not having watched the news and so on. The self-proclaimed news-reporters and moral preachers wouldn't even pay attention when he tried to explain himself. Apparently, the damage was already done. To the point that he gave up and deleted his membership. I understand him: I would have done the same thing.

Some people call it freedom of expression. I call it self-righteousness.

It has become obvious that there are very narrow, socially acceptable ways to talk about COVID-19 on this Forum. Some people take the right to lecture others about which words are acceptable, what plans are appropriate to talk about for 2020, or monitoring what comparisons are made. I believe this Forum has become a lot more judgemental in the past few months.

People who say that they are devasted about the Camino are people who are passionate about the Camino. They normally come to this Forum. That doesn't mean that they don't have empathy with people who suffer or die.

/BP
I couldn't agree more if I tried with both hands for a fortnight
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I decided to start this thread rather than address someone who used the word directly in a post to avoid "calling out" any particular person.
An interesting thread with many different opinions and perspectives.
But trecile, if you really wanted to avoid "calling out" the person who used that word...then why not send them a PM??

I'm sure that the person who used that word is aware that this thread is about them anyway...
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I've read most of the replies on this thread and most everything on the varying points of view seem to have been covered. When this happens I usually don't add in my 2 cents, especially when I find value in both sides, which I do now in this case, but I'd say I swing a tad more in the camp of "lighten up and no need to be so nitpicky." People use the adjectives that fit what they are feeling and saying in their own mind's eye. The interpreter may be way off or not. I personally am extremely and highly disappointed. Would I compare it to the covid19 and the suffering it's created? Absolutely not...and neither would those who have used the word devastated to describe their personal loss. That loss and impact for each of us is as varied and different as we all are.
I think our lives at home play in to how deeply our disappointment is...whether we are happy in that life, cheerful and contented, or possibly lonely, miserable, etc. We on the forum rarely know those things about each other, so judgement used toward others on the "how and why" they chose to use the word seems rather unfair imo.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Turga has said it well that in the bigger picture we should all weigh our words and it is so true. Unfortunately, our human nature usually has us worrying about ourselves first. The cov19 has got us thinking of the suffering all around us more than I usually do; a good thing as I often live in a bubble of my own existence; my personal comfort, wants and needs.
 
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Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Language evolves through time.
For example, if I got £1 every time I heard/read someone using 'literally' incorrectly, I'd be rich.
Same with devastated. It is no longer used in quite the same way as it was when I was young.
There are many more words like this. Communication uses much more overblown emotions nowadays. Get used to it.
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Language evolves through time.
For example, if I got £1 every time I heard/read someone using 'literally' incorrectly, I'd be rich.
Same with devastated. It is no longer used in quite the same way as it was when I was young.
There are many more words like this. Communication uses much more overblown emotions nowadays. Get used to it.
I would like that £ for every time I hear someone start a sentence with...So
 

anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
We get it. We're all bummed out.
No-one here likes this one bit.
I'm sorry @anthikes, for you and for all of us.
Really.
No matter what you call it, it sucks.

And. People are dying. Many of the elders we meet along the way will be gone when we finally get back.
When I remember that it helps me get over whatever small place of self-pity I might be dwelling in about not being able to walk. If I cry abut the camino these days, it is on their behalf.
I too feel for everyone affected by the virus, particularly those who have lost loved ones. Absolutley devasted for them.

I can also be devastated for the people who have had their plans ruined too and for the businesses that won't ever open again.

I really don't think it matters what particular words we use.
 

Dfehr

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugal Coastal June 2020
Thank you! I am a person that used the word devastated! Interpretation is personal, it doesnt lessen someone else's devastation. Really personal here...I lost my husband by suicide 4 yrs ago...for the longest time I couldn't stand someone saying "I'm so depressed" when they couldn't get their favorite whatever! Its context, that's all it is..please, we have enough "rules and regulations" right now..dont become word police..one persons version of devastated is not everyone's. Thank you and bless you all.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
I don't like this thread. If this global pandemic doesn't bring us together, I cannot think of anything that ever will...
Unfortunately its early days yet,so who knows over the coming months.
I understand the original post, part of me dislikes over dramatisation as well, but for many people that is how they communicate. I have a feeling that over the coming weeks and months what we dislike or worry about will become less 1st world concerns but deeper, genuine need issues.
 

Purple Backpack

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012
England C2C 2015
Via Francigena 2016
Le Puy ... someday.
I've been off the forum for a while but the title of this post caught my attention when browsing emails.

My husband and I planned to walk the Via Podiensis in April 2019. The fall before, we purchased the maps, a Miam Miam Dodo guide and began searching flights. I absolutely love planning trips and it was so much fun to pour some wine in the evenings, open up the maps and figure out gites, distances and if we could catch a train to Carcassone before the walk.

My lovely mom was diagnosed with glioblastoma that January and instead of walking a pilgrimage, I had the honor of spending the her last six months being her caregiver. My heart shattered when she passed, but not because my vacation was put on the back burner. The word, "devastated", doesn't even come close to describing my feelings.

I picked myself up slowly, sobs giving way to tears and then life, though never again the same, returned to a strange version of normal. This past fall, we once again broke out the wine and maps, trying to work a special Easter into the plans. Like many on this forum, we love caminos. Packing and repacking, replacing a shirt to get the pack weight down, taking out and putting back a pair of rain pants, rechecking plane seats to see if a better one opens up..getting ready is just part of the fun. I even kind of like that slightly unsettling feeling of heading for the airport, wondering what the heck we were thinking and why weren't we heading to a Hawaiian beach instead of an ancient hiking trail. And then we land in some foreign country where the signs are in a different language, the airport has espresso instead of venti skinny vanilla lattes, I hand the coffee guy heavy coins and then catch a train going the wrong direction (yep, I do that a lot). I love it all.

Then a nasty little ball of spiked virus hit the world.

My husband spent the last week on a ventilator and he is one of the lucky ones. He came off a few days ago and is slowly recovering in a locked down hospital 200 miles from our home. Our business took a hit, finances are up in the air and our adult kids are all home just because we all just need to be together. Once again, I find myself in a caregiver role...but magnified. We are a medical family so the research, virology, pharmacology, vent settings, all that, is second nature. It was the possibility of loss that was, dare I say it?, devastating. Add a crash course for me in running a business, dealing with all the local gossip, keeping our distant family informed..it was overwhelming. The Via Podiensis came to mind a few times, as an escape route from reality, and then quickly disappeared when the phone rang with insurance issues, one of our staff quitting or a clinical update from the ICU attending.

The Latin origin of the word, devastate, means to "lay waste". I picture a medieval army, pikes in hand, ranks of soldiers in dirty armor marauding the countryside, destroying everything in its path. I believe I may be one of the unlucky few who earned the right to use that word this week. But I refuse. I am not devastated that our family almost lost a husband and father. I'm not devastated that our income disappeared overnight or that our vacation is postponed yet again. I'm fearful of getting this virus and what will happen when my husband comes home and if I can figure out the business part of things. I'm sad this virus has isolated all of us and that a community that would have normally helped our family out is now locked inside, taking care of their own, stressed even more by the Internet's news of global illness and death and the fact that so many of our locals are ill.

But devastated? No. I choose hope. And faith. And strength. I can get through this, because what choice do I have?

I'm also not offended by anyone else's use of that word, either, particularly on this Forum, relating to their Camino. First World Problem, I tell myself, if the worst worry they have in their lives is rescheduling a vacation. Tonight, I'll shut the computer off, pour a glass of wine in the quiet, late hours and rest an elbow on my maps as I start to sort the bills.
 
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Anthony18

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
This forum is "overall" such a lovely place to learn about a magnificent experience that is the camino. Because of God, my father's Earthly spirit -and this forum- my CF was flawless! A journey that I'll never forget. I owe thanks to Ivar and the many "helpful" members here that chimed in to my "newbie" questions. This forum has become a great escape to so many that are stuck at home.

You see a word choice that you don't agree with...don't be upset by it, and don't upset someone else because of it. I agree with BP on this one...

"People who say that they are devastated about the Camino are people who are passionate about the Camino. They normally come to this Forum. That doesn't mean that they don't have empathy with people who suffer or die."

/BP
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
This thread just keeps giving and giving! We are all in this together and I respect each and every opinion, although naturally some resonate with me more than others. There has been much "food for thought" on both sides, so am appreciating all the comments.
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
I would like that £ for every time I hear someone start a sentence with...So
Haha. As a writer, I've thought about this, both in written form (writing dialogue) and in my casual speech. I laugh when I think of someone in casual convo using "Therefore" or "Thus" or "Hence," and that affects how I write a conversation. It appears I would need to cough up many £.
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Haha. As a writer, I've thought about this, both in written form (writing dialogue) and in my casual speech. I laugh when I think of someone in casual convo using "Therefore" or "Thus" or "Hence," and that affects how I write a conversation. It appears I would need to cough up many £.
So you’re a writer!
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
So you’re a writer!
If one writes, then they can use the informal title. I think very carefully about words and how they are deployed in specific circumstances. I believe that is why I tend to put on my mental battle armor when I see/read/hear of people attempting to stifle the words of others.

Here's a thought: I am part of various social media platforms and forums. One of the things I've come to believe is that social media is not "real life." I cannot imagine folks speaking to each other in a real life conversation while on Camino in the same manner they do here on this forum. Can you imagine what would happen if they did so?
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
I know that a lot of people are extremely disappointed that they can't walk the Camino right now, but devastated?

There are people suffering real devastation right now: people whose families members are dying alone in the hospital, those dying alone in the hospital, and doctors who have to decide who gets a ventilator and who doesn't. Not to mention those who are out of work and don't know how they will pay their bills or buy food and medicine.

Not being able to go on a walk? Not so much.
I do know that emotional suffering is subjective. It belongs to the one suffering in some way. When we are emotionally distraught, we choose a word that tries to express how we feel. The word is captured by the one experiencing the emotion, so they can try to begin to convey how they feel. If an emotion is felt with great enormity, they chose a word that feels heavy. Try to simply validate that they feel that way in the moment. We have no way to actually assess the way someone else feels as it is subjective. Does their choice of word suggest they are alone in their suffering or diminish everything else going on in the world ? No. It only represents the word they struggled to attach to the emotion they were feeling. Would it be your same choice of word? Maybe not. But it is the word that felt appropriate to them.
I've enjoyed reading this thread. It's thought provoking. I surmise that for some, it will allow us to reconsider our words to some level, to learn to accept the choices of others, to try to validate the feelings of another without judgement and to reinforce that here, in our typed words, we can be safe in expressing how we are struggling emotionally and convey that to our camino forum community.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
But devastated? No. I choose hope. And faith. And strength. I can get through this, because what choice do I have?
@Purple Backpack...what a journey...and a beautiful and inspiring post. Thank you.
May you and yours be well...

I really don't think it matters what particular words we use.
Maybe you're right.
So long as we connect with compassionate hearts to what is hapoening on the ground out there in Spain right now, how we articulate our own experience is less important.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I feel it is quite a tricky subject, and I find difficult to have a strong opinion on it, actually.
I just can chime in on the debate by saying I haven’t read a post in this thread I disagree yet.
Just different, reasonable and well developed views on the matter, as I see it.
❤
Very well said!
 

Pscarmen

My Way is better than any highway!
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago (2019)
I am devastated about not being able to walk caminos after months of planning.
I too am devastated. I’ve been planning my camino 10 years now. And as a Nurse I am also devastated at the way my Country is “handling” this global crisis. Even more devastating is the disregard people have for others by their action or lack thereof which is literally Killing others. And (of course) more devastating yet is the loss of life occurring & the inability to be touched, spoken to (in person), sat with...grieved over, by another human due to the true & real fear of further spread of this virus.
My Uncle battled cancer for 8 months & died yesterday. No funeral services can be held. No gathering for those grieving his loss or celebrating his life. And that’s just how we are living for now.
Today is my Birthday & I will be happy to go take care of others in lieu of any social gathering for myself. That’s not part of life right now.
I had a pretty crappy response the first time I posted a question here & it kept me away for a couple years. Again a few months ago I was given a hard time about another query. I’ve grown a bit on the last few years so I have thicker skin to ward off the ugliness people spew out over the screen they hide behind. As wonderful as social media is, it is equally horrific.
It’s sad when people are trying to express themselves only to be chastised for their own opinion. And it likely took them a long while to finally express it.
I hope that everyone with the desire to experience any Camino would be able to do so in their own time & feel for those who cannot. The prospect of planning my own yet again, but for the first time, is daunting. And that really sucks! Poor me!
I wish everyone well & safe. And with the knowledge will get to meet those out there when the time comes.
Wear a mask & don’t hoard toilet paper!😷🧻
I am thankful this forum provides what it does whether we like what others have to say or not but it’s a sad day when the trolls even pop out in what should be a safe place to chat about such a beautiful destination. 🙏🏼♥
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Interesting to re-read the whole thread and see the evolution.

And I realized that I have been on both sides of this kind of debate, in two different forum threads. In one, I pleaded for people to stop saying “it’s your camino” because of the way it conveyed, IMO, a sense of entitlement and the attitude that no one can judge you for anything you do on the camino. Many people disagreed with me, saying that to them it only meant that you should not feel judged by those who consider themselves “real pilgrims,” whatever that may be.


Then in the recent thread on the use of the word addict, I took the opposite viewpoint, I said I thought it was not an offhanded dismissal of the very obvious problem of addiction we have in out societies, and that I frequently used that word.


And I find myself right in the middle and agreeing with everyone on this one! The tendency to hyperbole creeps into our language all the time. I’m starving — no, of course I’m not. She’s crazy — no, she just said something bizarre. On and on and on. What I see on this thread is that for some, the overwhelming tragedy of the virus leaves little room for us to mourn our own little losses. While for others, those little losses are just as much a loss as they would have been if they occurred in another context in which the world was not shut down and so many people were dying. And using strong language to describe the feeling in no way diminishes the horror of what is going on.

So maybe what the anti-devastated folks really mean is that we can never feel devastated when our camino plans have to be aborted, because there are always going to be far more tragic and deadly events occurring. And in some sense they are on to something, because it is true that famine, war, earthquakes, etc are always going to be doing more global damage and inflicting more global pain than will ever be the case when one’s camino gets cancelled. For me, whatever word I use, I have to admit to a lot of disappointment at the loss of camino 2020, but I don’t for a minute pretend that the loss is the same order of magnitude of what is going on in Spain and around the world.

Maybe the lesson here, just like the lesson I got from the other two threads, is that we should recognize that the meaning each one of us puts on words varies tremendously, and we should be sensitive to the unintended harm we may cause by using words that others interpret differently. But also, and as others have said, when we listen to those words that offend us, we should recognize that others may be using them In a different sense.

And just for fun, you should search the forum for the word “devastated.” Once you get beyond this thread, you will see that members use it to apply to things like medical diagnoses, death, socks that can’t be replaced, having to stop a camino, lost camera with all camino photos, inability to get a compostela because of pilgrim office hours, losing a pilgrim’s contact details, etc etc.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

PK Smit

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(015)Irun to Santiago
(017)Lisboa to S
2018Caminha to Santiago
(2018) Camino English Ferrol Santiago
I feel devastated by the fact that native English speaking individuals criticise us non-native English speakers for using a specific word for the lack of the "correct" English word. I am also not a native spanish speaker, but I was never ever repreminded by any Spanjard for using the "incorrect" spanish word whenever I tried my broken spanish, on the contrary, they were very polite and helpfull towards me.
It seems that only certain individuals on this forum claims to have a free say on each and every topic raised. You may crucify me, but this is the feeling that I get when I see the reaction of some of the forum members on other pepple's posts
 

CDA Walker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2019) Frances
So, hence and thence, I rarely post but I needed to add my 2 cents. My 91 year old mother lives in a retirement home in my home town, Seattle, which is ground zero for coronavirus in Washington State. I can't be with my daughter for the birth of my first and probably only grandchild I have been waiting decades for. My husband has lung cancer and if he gets the virus will probably die. If our economy crashes I will lose my job, my house, and my mind. We all have a story. So please don't lecture us about our insensitivity to other peoples "real" devastation. Kindness is what we all need right now.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Well, following your advice was illuminating, Laurie.
It turned out that I've never used the word here, even after I lost my credencial mid-camino. I guess it's not really in my lexicon - too hyperbolic and dramatic for my taste. Whereas others obviously use the word much more loosely, in a way I would never think to do.

And yes...we all have stories. So....
Kindness is what we all need right now.
Definitely.

Today is my Birthday
Oh, my, I'm sorry for your loss, @Pscarmen. And heartfelt thanks for the essential work you do. May you have many small moments of gratitude this day...and a good birthday, even if it cannot be much of a celebration.
 

ouroboros

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012) (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Thank you! I am a person that used the word devastated! Interpretation is personal, it doesnt lessen someone else's devastation. Really personal here...I lost my husband by suicide 4 yrs ago...for the longest time I couldn't stand someone saying "I'm so depressed" when they couldn't get their favorite whatever! Its context, that's all it is..please, we have enough "rules and regulations" right now..dont become word police..one persons version of devastated is not everyone's. Thank you and bless you all.
Thank you for filling in your story for us! Pilgrims, more than anyone else, should understand how important and delicate a matter a pilgrim’s backstory can be.
I learned many profound mysteries about my fellow pilgrims, after walking alongside them for days and sometimes weeks. I learned that we each bear our burdens, we each carry a cross, however you want to express this idea—and that we should try to step very lightly alongside them with a gentled heart, even on this forum, which is practice for the physical camino journey.
 
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katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016;CP (Central) Porto-SdC 2017;CP (Coastal) Porto-SdC 2018;CF Leon-SdC 2019
Some time ago, a member posted a question about how to go about his Camino in Spain in the current situation (after the disease had started to spread, but before lockdown & travel restrictions). This message was written in the casual way that is typical for curious people seeking advice in what is normally a "friendly environment" on this Forum.

He was getting a string of answers, ranging from testy to aggressive, being lectured about his "selfishness" and being sneared at apparently not having watched the news and so on. The self-proclaimed news-reporters and moral preachers wouldn't even pay attention when he tried to explain himself. Apparently, the damage was already done. To the point that he gave up and deleted his membership. I understand him: I would have done the same thing.

Some people call it freedom of expression. I call it self-righteousness.

It has become obvious that there are very narrow, socially acceptable ways to talk about COVID-19 on this Forum. Some people take the right to lecture others about which words are acceptable, what plans are appropriate to talk about for 2020, or monitoring what comparisons are made. I believe this Forum has become a lot more judgemental in the past few months.

People who say that they are devasted about the Camino are people who are passionate about the Camino. They normally come to this Forum. That doesn't mean that they don't have empathy with people who suffer or die.

/BP
I couldn't agree more. When I post on here now, which I don't often do anymore, I notice a knot in my stomach, waiting to be condemned for my question or opinion. Luckily that knot gives way to relief when someone, like @Kanga, @davebugg , @peregrina2000 or @Bristle boy offer kind and informative advice. But I see too often knit picking or people being ganged up on that it makes me too anxious to participate for fear I will say the wrong thing. I come on here because I love the Camino, I want to learn about the Camino, i love hearing people's recollections of the Camino they have walked. Thankfully, comraderie and community can at least be found along the physical Camino.
 
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Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
I couldn't agree more. When I post on here now, which I don't often do anymore, I notice a knot in my stomach, waiting to be condemned for my question or opinion. Luckily that knot gives way to relief when someone, like @Kanga, @davebugg or @peregrina2000 offer kind and informative advice. But I see too often knit picking or people being ganged up on that it makes me too anxious to participate for fear I will say the wrong thing. I come on here because I love the Camino, I want to learn about the Camino, i love hearing people's recollections of the Camino they have walked. Thankfully, comraderie and community can at least be found along the physical Camino.
Well done!
I think this thread has shown that behind every word is a person whose life experiences do not match your own and is why you should refrain from unkind or, at times, sharp responses.
What this all might teach us in the end we need to live a cleaner, slower, kinder and less materialistic life.
Keep safe, keep distant.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
I cannot post what I wish to because the topic has me seeing red with burning ears and a desire to lash out, and I could easily alienate many and be kicked off forum.

But, I will say this.

No, I cannot.

So, have a charitable heart when censoring another’s use of language and emotions.

In 2002 on camino number two, a priest in San Juan de Ortega told a group of us touring his church: “the camino is a calling, but few can answer”.

Some people have saved for years, or just received a possible end-of-life diagnosis, or found an opening in unmitigated caregiving responsibilities, or all of the above and then some; and an epic life-killing unseen monster is afoot; and now no camino too!

Can you imagine their fear and devastation at now being denied a camino as well.
 

Traa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I want to walk Camino in Sept/Oct 2017
I know that a lot of people are extremely disappointed that they can't walk the Camino right now, but devastated?

There are people suffering real devastation right now: people whose family members are dying alone in the hospital, those dying alone in the hospital, and doctors who have to decide who gets a ventilator and who doesn't. Not to mention those who are out of work and don't know how they will pay their bills or buy food and medicine.

Not being able to go on a walk? Not so much.
Hi Trecile,

I do agree with you. I was looking at posts from people and thinking the exact same thing. Although I must say, everyone here shares a real love for the Camino and I guess those expressing disappointment etc are just doing it with like minded people about something that means so much to them because they know they're disappointment will be understood.
I'm sure at the same time they realise the utter gravity of this terrible worldwide pandemic and they know that their Camino 'devastation' pales in comparison.
I do get your point and yes, different wording would be more appropriate for sure but they probably don't mean it as literally as it sounds(I hope any way!)
 
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