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COVID COVID-19: Corona virus discussion (Round 4)

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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
This thread is for general discussions about Corona Virus and how it is affecting the Camino - personally or in general. Please do not post about how the virus is affecting albergues as we have a special thread running for that here. We also have this thread that gives general information "live from the Camino" - it is for people who are actually on the Camino right now.

You are welcome to post your thoughts about whether you will go or not, but please do not try to tell other members what they should do, and do not give medical advice.

All other information about the virus can be posted; numbers, spread, insurance issues, travel plans, disruptions, links to relevant newspaper articles, government press releases.

We will keep a close eye on the thread and delete any posts that offend against the Forum Rules, or that the Moderators deem unhelpful, alarmist or unreliable. Any complaints - send a PM to Ivar (see Forum Rule 7).

Please try to keep your posts reasonably short.
 

jgiesbrecht

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept-Oct 2020
I am just double checking that I have my info right. As of right now I can fly from Canada to France and then walk the Frances. I know there is one closure so far of an albergue on this portion, but for the most part the frances is business as usual (at this point), correct? I am scheduled to start on Tuesday. I am not concerned about a delay in getting home, I just don't want to arrive for nothing.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
. I know there is one closure so far of an albergue on this portion, but for the most part the frances is business as usual (at this point), correct?
As far as I know that is correct right now. But who knows what the situation will be later today or later this week? It is extremely fluid at the moment.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués Porto'17,Lisbon'18
Inglés A Coruña y Ferrol '18
Invierno'19
Hello all
I don't know how to post a link
La voz de Galicia just announced school closures in all of Galicia, no obligation to go starting tomorrow with campuses being closed on Monday. Someone help with the link....
Buen camino
MaryEllen

 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
I am just double checking that I have my info right. As of right now I can fly from Canada to France and then walk the Frances. I know there is one closure so far of an albergue on this portion, but for the most part the frances is business as usual (at this point), correct? I am scheduled to start on Tuesday. I am not concerned about a delay in getting home, I just don't want to arrive for nothing.
The Basque Country, Madrid and Rioja are in higher alert than the rest of Spain, and air traffic restrictions might be implemented, and you might have to stay here longer than expected, beware!
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
As far as I know that is correct right now. But who knows what the situation will be later today or later this week? It is extremely fluid at the moment.

Everything is very fluid now. To say the least.

Next is my personal story and is in no way a medical advice.

Back from my own GP (I live in Belgium ) after I called in with general symptoms of a throat and headache, no fever or lung issues.
The newest guideline they got from the Ministry of Health is that even a common cold /general viral infection will mean a week at home. Even for those who have not been in contact with Covid-patients directly.
Seeing I work in mental health care with people with fragile health I have to follow this up very strictly.
I can leave the house but will keep it to a minimum.

Doc says that now everyone is seen as a potential carrier of the virus.
Quarantaine will still be in place for those who have been in direct contact with a Covid-patient.

All my best wishes to all health care workers, pharmacists, nursing staff etc for their hard work in these difficult times.
 
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Rj7797

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
My opinion is this will end with travel restrictions in and out of most countries for awhile. It does not seem like something that will magically burn itself out in the next month. I would plan for the worst and hope for the best.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
Yes, no day care for Lukas tomorrow... My feeling is that we are moving closer to a full lock down here in Santiago. Talked to a few people in the tourism business this morning and everyone is expecting more restrictions (in Galicia) to come before this gets better.
Hello Ivar and all. (Ivar I said a prayer for you and your family.)
As it stands, we still have the plane tickets we bought in November. If we walk as scheduled--after last night's speech by President Trump this has become much more uncertain--we will fly into Madrid, skip over to Atocha and take Ave to Sevilla to start walking the Plata. We're not scheduled to leave until after Easter. I estimate that we wouldn't hit Galicia, any part, until late May. Does anyone there have any feeling about how this works out a bit down the road?
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Does anyone there have any feeling about how this works out a bit down the road?
I would anticipate you'll be screened before boarding your return flight (assuming you can find one), then quarantined for 14 days on some military base here in US upon your return.
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Keep an eye on the news as two minutes ago, the BBC reported that Madrid may be put in lockdown "soon" as numbers infected are soaring there. Whether that means visitors will be banned altogether, or have to be quarantined for two weeks before being allowed to leave is unclear.

I'm pretty much resigned now to not going next month. Oh well. It's wild camping in Scotland again for me. Or maybe do the Pennine Way again, or that Orkneys bike tour I did a few years back that was great fun.
 

Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: Camino Frances April/May 2019
Canceled: Primitivo May 2020
Yes, no day care for Lukas tomorrow... My feeling is that we are moving closer to a full lock down here in Santiago. Talked to a few people in the tourism business this morning and everyone is expecting more restrictions (in Galicia) to come before this gets better.
I can only confirm this (from a Northern-European perspective). The public pressure on events, institutions and on governments for consequential action has risen tremendously within the last 2 days. No one wants to be blamed for taking action too late.
We just had to cancel an international skiing event where I live in Sweden and it appears to be just one of many larger and smaller events in Scandinavia, Norway considers closing down several of the smaller airports and a whole domino of measures are falling into place. It looks like most of Europe might be steering towards a lockdown and I cannot see why Spain should be an exception.
Hotel bookings. flight and train bookings in most part of Europe (my eyes focused on Scandinavia and Germany) are collapsing as we speak. Accompanied by a wave of cancellations when you talk to tourism businesses and hotels.

Also, a bit worrying, some people on the countryside up here seem to develop a certain degree of hostility towards people who travel. Calling them irresponsible and egoistic. So far these are only few voices, but this might change with increasing numbers of infections.

The next 2 to 4 months might look rather bleak when it comes to travel.
 

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 haven't read all of these posts in detail, but am wondering if the majority of travel restrictions and the mounting closures of albergues are for a two week limit, or are they going to be ongoing for "who knows how long"? Anyone know?, or does each establishment choose their own length for how long to be closed?
I apologize if this has already been discussed and answered.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
At present everything seems to be in a flow. No-one can tell, what the situation will be one week ahead or even tomorrow.

As someone who is not retired yet and has only limited holiday time I would postpone my plans if were to start within the next month - not because I fear that the risk of an infection on the camino is higher than at home or at work, but fearing that albergues will be closed and travel will be restricted due to the virus. This will either make it impossible to walk the camino or to return home in time or cause unprovised costs for alternative accomodation, extended stays or even treatment in hospital.

Hopefully we will see clearer within a couple of weeks. I still dream of continuing the VdP from Zamora this June.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
Yes, no day care for Lukas tomorrow... My feeling is that we are moving closer to a full lock down here in Santiago. Talked to a few people in the tourism business this morning and everyone is expecting more restrictions (in Galicia) to come before this gets better.
Denmark is more or less closing down from today. A lot of injunctions and restrictions are being implemented and the government is working on rapidly passing an ‘emergency law-package’. This is serious!
 

UliLang

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leonés
People. it's not a good idea to do the Camino right now unless you bring a tent and camp every day and plan to do it alone or with a few people.
Albergues are and excellent place to spread the disease: relatively humid, close public spaces with short distance between sweaty and respiration-agitated people, who will find challenging to keep minimal hand hygiene required for the coronavirus during El Camino.
What Spain (and the world) needs right now is tons of personal responsibility, people that accept the challenge of slowing down this contagion wave, avoid crowds, avoid closed public spaces, stay at home as much as possible, otherwise people are going to die in hospital corridors en masse very soon (as is happening in Lombardy).

Be responsible, don't come unless you bring a tent and keep lots of hygiene.
 

cher99840

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
I flew with a friend into Madrid on 4 March and then directly to Gran Canaria. On 8 March we flew into Malaga and began an Immersion Spanish class on 9 March. At that point we had no regrets that we had come. Each day the news becomes more grim and finally this morning we admitted that if we had it to do over again, we wouldn’t. Our original plans were to stay in Malaga until 4 April and then begin walking the VdlP from Merida on 5 April. Our flight back to the states is for 15 May. We are closely following the virus in Spain and each day the news is worse. We are not interested in leaving at this time. If our school is closed, we hope to start walking earlier than planned. If lodgings are closed, then we will bail out and return home. Those plans may change because obviously by the time we are ready to leave, we may be in lockdown. Or we may think some more about our position and change our minds. No matter what happens I can not return to my home when I return to the states because I live in a retirement community where the average age is 85 and I can’t very well take any chances as I may be contagious or a carrier. So far my friend and I are both fine. It’s an adventure but I’m thinking now that this is one I could have done without.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués Porto'17,Lisbon'18
Inglés A Coruña y Ferrol '18
Invierno'19
Hello,
Sticking to fact, living in A Coruña I know that my four kids won't go to school for the next 15 days, see my link above to La voz de Galicia. My orchestra rehearsals and concerts have been suspended until the 29th of March I can not provide that email here but will send to a moderator if asked to. We have been told to stay home. So here I am leaving the Norte to get home to not put others at risk. I was only going to walk 3 more days but I need to think of the whole. This situation here in Spain is changing every minute, this is a land of multi-generational families living together. It takes a village.....
Buen camino
MaryEllen
Moderators
Please edit as necessary and thank you for keeping us safe.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
People. it's not a good idea to do the Camino right now unless you bring a tent and camp every day and plan to do it alone or with a few people.
Albergues are and excellent place to spread the disease: relatively humid, close public spaces with short distance between sweaty and respiration-agitated people, who will find challenging to keep minimal hand hygiene required for the coronavirus during El Camino.
What Spain (and the world) needs right now is tons of personal responsibility, people that accept the challenge of slowing down this contagion wave, avoid crowds, avoid closed public spaces, stay at home as much as possible, otherwise people are going to die in hospital corridors en masse very soon (as is happening in Lombardy).

Be responsible, don't come unless you bring a tent and keep lots of hygiene.
I agree with all of this. Especially "What Spain (and the world) needs right now is tons of personal responsibility, people that accept the challenge of slowing down this contagion wave, avoid crowds, avoid closed public spaces, stay at home as much as possible, otherwise people are going to die in hospital corridors en masse very soon (as is happening in Lombardy)"
 

meye1099

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013, 2016, Aug. 2020), Del Norte (2018), Primitivo (2018), Nakahechi (Apr. 2020)
My husband and I intended to hike the Kumano Kodo in Japan in April. I miss the days of only worrying about bears and poisonous snakes!

Since Delta has extended their change and cancellation fee waivers for flights leaving through April 30th, we are going to postpone our trip until December. Or better yet, see if Delta will let us cancel and extend the eCredit voucher use-by date to next spring. We'll see.

In the meantime, we are laying low and spending our evenings hanging out with our dog and watching The Great British Baking Show. It's not so bad, really. And luckily there are some beautiful state parks in our home state of Minnesota we can camp and hike in this spring if we get an itch to do something.

Hope everyone at home and hiking the camino right now is doing well and staying safe. Buen camino.
 

BarbaraW

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances part (2019)
My sympathies are with those who have invested a great deal of time and money, as well as dreams, in a Camino at this time. My own planned April/May CF is in “wait and see” mode. I am lucky to be in Europe, with few time constraints.

It strikes me that there are parallels between being on Camino and living with our present uncertainties. On Camino one learns that it’s good to be without the normal physical trappings of life. You can manage with a single change of clothes, share sleeping spaces with strangers and just trust that there will be a bed at the end of the day.

For those of us who like a structured life with dates in the calendar, and who get a great deal of pleasure from planning and anticipating trips, the present uncertainty is hard. But maybe it’s an opportunity to live more fully in the present, and to just trust that we will manage, and hopefully learn from, whatever happens.

If I don’t get to Spain when planned I am thinking of walking a less travelled pilgrimage route in my own country.

Buen camino, wherever and however that may be.
 

davidweisz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
del Norte
Lahn & Mosel(Germany)
VdlP
Brandenburg (Germany)
Mozárabe
Hey everyone.
I just got back from Córdoba having walked there from Málaga before deciding NOT to continue on towaeds Mérida. I am now staying with friends in Málaga. There are more cases daily, they apparently think about restricting movement in and out of Madrid. On the Mozárabe I was mostly alone, but I imagine it will be diffcult to follow through with "social distancing" on the main Caminos. On the news, they advice people not to travel, and to cancel social events and gatherings. The virus is highly contagious and it is now all about keeping the health system working!

At the supermarkets they ran out of disinfectant, luckily I had brought some from Germany, because as you know it's not always easy to wash your hands on the Camino. The bathrooms of course are also problematic in the public albergues, too many people in a tiny space.

Everyone who has been on a Camino for longer than a few days knows, how easily colds and other infections spread, it is really easy to get slightly sick for a few days on the Camino, but now we speak about a more serious virus.

I got a flight back on Monday and hope they will not cancel it. Just look at Italy, it's a mess so I would really consider whether you can not postpone your camino.

They (edit: "experts" on Spanish news La Una and 24h) expect the peak of the spread anytime between mid April and mid June.
 
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Dromengro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
Oh well. It's wild camping in Scotland again for me.
I think this is the 5th or 6th time I've seen someone say they're going to Scotland. Looks like it will be a busy place up here, the West Highland Way might be busier than the Frances.
No cases yet in the highland region, but 6 now on Shetland.
Remember still plenty of time for snow, like this morning, and the midges and clegs will soon be here, and the ticks, not that I'm trying to put anyone off coming of course.
 

davidweisz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
del Norte
Lahn & Mosel(Germany)
VdlP
Brandenburg (Germany)
Mozárabe
Also, as a sidenote, at Santiago cathedral you are no longer allowed to hug the statue of the apostle.
Hello Ivar and all. (Ivar I said a prayer for you and your family.)
As it stands, we still have the plane tickets we bought in November. If we walk as scheduled--after last night's speech by President Trump this has become much more uncertain--we will fly into Madrid, skip over to Atocha and take Ave to Sevilla to start walking the Plata. We're not scheduled to leave until after Easter. I estimate that we wouldn't hit Galicia, any part, until late May. Does anyone there have any feeling about how this works out a bit down the road?
There is no way to know for sure. The general opinion on TV news here in Spain at the moment is, that Spain is just about 10 days or so behind what happens in Italy right now. The virus spreads exponentially and I expect it to become more serious. I would think about possible alternative plans, just to make sure.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
My sympathies are with those who have invested a great deal of time and money, as well as dreams, in a Camino at this time. My own planned April/May CF is in “wait and see” mode. I am lucky to be in Europe, with few time constraints.

It strikes me that there are parallels between being on Camino and living with our present uncertainties. On Camino one learns that it’s good to be without the normal physical trappings of life. You can manage with a single change of clothes, share sleeping spaces with strangers and just trust that there will be a bed at the end of the day.

For those of us who like a structured life with dates in the calendar, and who get a great deal of pleasure from planning and anticipating trips, the present uncertainty is hard. But maybe it’s an opportunity to live more fully in the present, and to just trust that we will manage, and hopefully learn from, whatever happens.

If I don’t get to Spain when planned I am thinking of walking a less travelled pilgrimage route in my own country.

Buen camino, wherever and however that may be.
I really like this perspective. The Camino teaches us resiliency and adaptability, and those are qualities we may all need right now.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
The UK Government press conference held now stated that the UK is probably 10 to 14 weeks from the peak and we are probably a few weeks behind Italy. I presume Spain is just behind Italy.
The press conference included details of how the UK is moving from contain to delay. Also contrasted UK measures and why they differ to those of other European countries.
 

Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: Camino Frances April/May 2019
Canceled: Primitivo May 2020
Where did that very important tidbit of information come from? And who is “they“? Thank you.
I remember one of the leading virologists of Germany saying something of that kind. And I think to recall the Robert-Koch-Institute in Germany as well. This information is around for a week or longer.
 

Donjek

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPdP - Fisterra
Perspective. What happened last time? Here is video about Spanish Flu. I'm sure there are lessons to be learned even as the situation now/then is somewhat different.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I flew with a friend into Madrid on 4 March and then directly to Gran Canaria. On 8 March we flew into Malaga and began an Immersion Spanish class on 9 March. At that point we had no regrets that we had come. Each day the news becomes more grim and finally this morning we admitted that if we had it to do over again, we wouldn’t. Our original plans were to stay in Malaga until 4 April and then begin walking the VdlP from Merida on 5 April. Our flight back to the states is for 15 May. We are closely following the virus in Spain and each day the news is worse. We are not interested in leaving at this time. If our school is closed, we hope to start walking earlier than planned. If lodgings are closed, then we will bail out and return home. Those plans may change because obviously by the time we are ready to leave, we may be in lockdown. Or we may think some more about our position and change our minds. No matter what happens I can not return to my home when I return to the states because I live in a retirement community where the average age is 85 and I can’t very well take any chances as I may be contagious or a carrier. So far my friend and I are both fine. It’s an adventure but I’m thinking now that this is one I could have done without.
My sister (79 with only High blood pressure issues) and I were supposed to leave March 2nd from Newark Liberty Airport to fly to Porto via Madrid and begin the CP. I kept checking for weeks...no cases of the virus in Portugal! Also, I was continually monitoring reports throughout europe. We went the night before our flight and stayed at a hotel near the airport. The morning of our flight we repacked everything at the hotel and were ready to go. We had a late checkout because we had a night flight so we decided to rest for a few hours. My sister fell asleep. I took one last look at the reports about CV cases. It seems that the same morning a case was reported in Porto. I thought, .... It’s only one case. Then I saw (it was a Monday) how the number of cases in Germany and Italy had risen dramatically in a week. A thousand people in Germany were now under quarantine...whereas the week before only 4cases were reported in the munich area. I woke my sister up at 2pm and told her, that I was not concerned with our immediate journey to Porto, but if this virus was spreading so quickly..., what might it be like when we reached SdC. She agreed. So I called the airport rented a car and we drove home to PA. The few days after returning home, I wondered if I had made the right decision. Last night, I knew we had made the right decision for us, and it was reconfirmed in Ivar’s post about what is happening in Galacia. Our return date home was March 26 from Ireland. We would have been looking at mandatory quarantine. It was a short and expensive camino! But I am happy to be home right now.
 
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MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
Further to my post above, the British Government estimates there may be up to 10000 cases of Coronavirus in the UK despite the "official" figure being only 590.
I imagine significant differences also exist in other countries between reported and real world. Any feeling of comfort that town x or province y on the Camino only has a small number of cases may, regrettably, be illusory.
 

pepi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 14, 16, 17, 18
Everything is very fluid now. To say the least.

Next is my personal story and is in no way a medical advice.

Back from my own GP (I live in Belgium ) after I called in with general symptoms of a throat and headache, no fever or lung issues.
The newest guideline they got from the Ministry of Health is that even a common cold /general viral infection will mean a week at home. Even for those who have not been in contact with Covid-patients directly.
Seeing I work in mental health care with people with fragile health I have to follow this up very strictly.
I can leave the house but will keep it to a minimum.

Doc says that now everyone is seen as a potential carrier of the virus.
Quarantaine will still be in place for those who have been in direct contact with a Covid-patient.

All my best wishes to all health care workers, pharmacists, nursing staff etc for their hard work in these difficult times.
Your Situation has just evolved!
Belgium closes all cafés, restaurants and discotheques because of the coronavirus. Schools will stop teaching, all sports and cultural events will be cancelled, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès said after a meeting of the National Security Council in Brussels late Thursday evening.

However, parents who have to work could still send their children to the schools for childcare. Grandparents should not look after grandchildren because they belong to a special risk group.

The measures were intended to slow down the spread of Covid-19 and came into effect on Friday at midnight, Wilmès said. Pharmacies, food and pet food stores will remain open normally.

All other shops would have to remain closed over the weekend. The head of government called on the population to refrain from buying hamsters: It's neither necessary nor in solidarity with our fellow citizens. A complete lockdown like in Italy was not necessary, Wilmès continued


Why am I writing this? The pandemic is rapidly evolving worldwide and speculating makes just no sense. Lets stick to facts only and see how the situation - regarding Spain - evolves. We all must be prepared to be flexible with our plans for the months to come. The camino will still be there for a long time!
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Not to downplay the seriousness of this situation but here is a suggestion about an alternative routes for les americaines. I just read a great article about the C and O canal which runs through DC, it is the ancient tow path of a canal and apparently connects with AT.
 

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 just read a great article about the C and O canal which runs through DC, it is the ancient tow path of a canal and apparently connects with AT.
There's already Covid-19 in DC.
It's probably best to stay home right about now, from the look of it. :(
 

cher99840

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
I decided to return to the states and snagged the last seat on the last AA flight out of Spain until further notice. US citizens are exempt from the travel ban from Europe, so I thought “no big deal”. BUT, if people aren’t flying, the planes aren’t flying. I didn’t think of that. So much of this very fluid situation doesn’t soak in until you get into the middle of it.
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to start the Camino Frances from St Jean at the end of May (2020).
I decided to return to the states and snagged the last seat on the last AA flight out of Spain until further notice. US citizens are exempt from the travel ban from Europe, so I thought “no big deal”. BUT, if people aren’t flying, the planes aren’t flying. I didn’t think of that. So much of this very fluid situation doesn’t soak in until you get into the middle of it.
You should still be able to get a cheap flight to the UK or Ireland to make a connection to the US.
 

cher99840

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
You should still be able to get a cheap flight to the UK or Ireland to make a connection to the US.
That may well be. I have my ticket so it’s taken care of. The point I was making was this situation is so fluid that what works today may not work tomorrow. In fact, what makes sense this minute may no longer be relevant an hour from now.
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to start the Camino Frances from St Jean at the end of May (2020).
That may well be. I have my ticket so it’s taken care of. The point I was making was this situation is so fluid that what works today may not work tomorrow. In fact, what makes sense this minute may no longer be relevant an hour from now.
Yes, that's true. I just put the suggestion out there in case others are facing similar problems.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2020 Le Puy
It was 3am at work this morning and I had a moment of clarity regarding my trip (Le Puy to Cahors Sept 2020). It is still some months off and many, many things will change between now and then. I have been biding my time, as I do have the benefit of my departure being early September. However, I suddenly realised I wanted to make the decision to cancel of my own volition and not have it be a 'reactive' or forced decision if my circumstances alter to make it not possible to go.

Settle in with a cup of tea, this is going to be a long post, but hey, we are all to some extent practising social distancing, so have some time on our hands ;-)

My decision was influenced by:

*Zero insurance to cancel, zero COVID-related medical cover if I did choose to travel. Lesson learned, I shall be far more thorough when next purchasing a travel insurance policy.

* I am not so much worried about getting it myself, but would feel dreadful if I unknowingly spread it to anyone, let alone anyone who is compromised. I think international travel in the face of this disease seems counter productive to the attempts to flatten the curve of transmission. Traveling feels like a luxury and a privilege that I can forgo at this time with no regrets.
I would additionally not wish to overwhelm any health care system in a foreign country, particularly when they are overstretched caring for their own. If I were to be unwell, I would also want to be within my own healthcare system, speak my native tongue and have friends and relatives advocate for my care if I am unable. Walking solo in a foreign country not optimal for that.

* I am employed in a hospital. I am not retired, so my annual leave is finite. I have had to forgo holidays for a year (!) to be able to bank up enough leave to walk my Camino. This has a multilayered influence on my decision

1)Quarantine restrictions for my workplace are extremely strict, as they should be. I work with pregnant women and newborns. If I, my husband or one of our younger children still living at home catch it or are exposed to it, I will be excluded from employment for at least two weeks, requiring I access my banked leave. Touching any accrued annual leave at all will rule out being able to go on my Camino in September.
I don't want this extremely likely issue of needing to take leave to be a reactive deciding factor as I think my husband or children could feel that they were to 'blame' for my cancellation if this was the case. Of course logically that would not be the case at all. I love my family dearly and their needs are paramount, as is the safety of the vulerable population I work with, exclusions from school or work for all of us are a realistic eventuality. I would want to be ready to care for my family if needed due to illness or the need to isolate and to be able to enter into that time with willingness and an entirely open heart and not have that time tinged with even the slightest hint of disappointment about my trip.

2) I would consider that in rare circumstances of extreme pressure on the healthcare system, annual leave could be rescinded by my employer. In a previous severe flu season there was enforced overtime for nurses and midwives at a hospital near by to mine. If COVID19 overwhelms the system here as much as is predicted, in addition to healthcare workers contracting it or requiring quarantine themselves, there will be a great deficit in the workforce. I would expect that we certainly will be asked to do our 'duty' and work overtime, work extra shifts and just maybe not take annual leave either. The major COVID19 centre for my region is located within the same grounds as the unit/hospital I work in.

3) Selfishly, as annual leave of this length is such a treat, I would want to look forward to this incredible trip with joy and excited anticipation. Waiting for a holiday to happen and dreaming about it is often such an exciting part of the process for me...or am I just a weirdo?! With so many 'what if's' and sadness surrounding the lead in, I just want no part of it like this. I want to just decide not to, so I can move on and plan it some other time when the lead up can be as happy and exciting as my other big walks here in Australia have been.

* As mentioned in a previous post of mine, the MOTO GP race my husband had planned to meet up with me for and indeed the focus of the last two weeks of the holiday post Camino, has been moved outside of our dates due to COVID19, we have lost the ticket cost already.

* Economically this trip for me has been an exercise in living simply and focusing to save every dollar that I can. We are happy and live comfortably but are not wealthy, a trip like this is a big deal. If we financially fall short due to any lost wages , I want to have some savings to access. The money I do have saved already for my France/Spain trip now gives me a little bit of a buffer in these challenging times should we need it.

* Yes, I have already paid for some of my accomodation in France and Spain as well as my ETIHAD flight, but it is still in the scheme of things something unimportant to me when things get 'real' as they are now with this pandemic. Family, health, caring and protecting those I love are what makes me the happiest, so I strangely feel good making the decision not to travel this year .
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Norway, badly hitten, is in dire straits. Almost everything is closed down by the government as of this afternoon, and it seems we soon wil be closing our national airports too. We suffer from a heap of Northern Lights/winter tourists up here. Tourist ships and flights (many each day) are now not allowed to let passengers into the city. They can come into harbour for supplies, but noone can leave the ship. Airport passengers will be quarantined for minimum 14 days. Cruise tourism is coming to a stop. All education institutions are now closed, bars/restaurants closed (hard to find a place for dinner for tourists), shops/groceries are emptied, and we ourselves have gone into semi-quarantine (only going out for necesseties).

Norway is now one of the hardest hit countries in Europe, due to politicians reluctanct to be tough: We have the highest ratio of infected per 100.000 capita in Europe. It is starting to getting real bad here. I will check on my cottage soon: It is only 30 mins. from here but desolate. By the sea; have complete fishing gear there. Will stay there if things get worse. No electricity, but all I need powered by propane: Stove, additional heating, fridge, toilet (with solar power). Plenty of firewood, by the sea, and my little boat. I don't think it will come to that, but I am prepared. Right now feeling I am in a danger/war zone.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)

GuyA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobi 13, Gebennensis 13, Le Puy 13, Frances 14, Finisterre 14, Kumano Kodo 15, Portuguese 18
Well tonight made the call to cancel Camino Primitivo walk in May with my pilgrim friend from Brazil. No point in going over the reasons...there are many and covered off in many postings.

Disappointing for sure however it’s the right call for me. At 63 hoping to have a few more chances! Experiences of a lifetime walking Camino paths!

Buen Camino to all!

Guy
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
France has decided to close all schools, plus some other measures -- more coming next week.

A new hub has been detected near Montpellier, so that gatherings of 50 people or more are banned in the villages/towns of Baillargues, Castelnau-le-Lez, Castries, Le Crès, Saint Aunès, Vendargues on the Voie d'Arles. Apart from Paris, which sort of didn't count, this is the first outbreak on any of the major French routes of the Camino AFAIK.
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Slovenia also suspended all social life. Sports and cultural events suspended or delayed, all educational and caring institutions closed (not those for elderly and mentaly ill of course), borders are watched very carefully etc. Same measures as everywhere. We expect the peak in about two weeks. Let's see if the predictions are true.

Some think that these measures are too late but maybe if they were put up a week before a lot of people would think they are exaggerated. You just can't know. Lead toxicologist said that she had never ever in decades of her work dealt with this kind of epidemic. Me too ;)

Best is to stay at home, take a local strolls, read a lot and plan next Camino :)

Wish you all well!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
The towns of Igualada and Vilanova del Camí and Santa Margarida de Montbui on the Camí Catalan & Camino Ignaciano have been placed in complete lockdown for two weeks by the Catalan government. Òdena (which I walked through last year on my tarmac alternative into Igualada) is also in lockdown. The major Camino locations of Montserrat and Manresa are both close to Igualada.

This is AFAIK the first time any such measures have been taken in Europe outside Italy.

These measures are of course very disruptive of the Camí Catalan & Camino Ignaciano, to the extent that it might be best to avoid them for the time being.

El Pais : https://elpais.com/espana/catalunya...nicipios-mas-por-el-brote-de-coronavirus.html
 
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RuthMB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC (April 2020)
Thanks to the moderators for recommending people postpone their camino. That can't have been easy. It takes a difficult decision away for many of us. I hope the small businesses that rely on pilgrims will be ok, and of course, thoughts are especially with all who have contracted the virus. Today the Aust govt upgraded travel advice to Spain to 'exercise a high degree of caution'. All the very best to our spanish friends and pilgrims currently walking. I look forward to my first camino in its time. In the meantime, I'll be doing the short (relative to the camino) 100km Great Ocean Way close to home in Victoria, Australia. I'd love to hear if any other members are doing an alternative walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2020 Le Puy
[QUOTE="RuthMB, post: 835696, In the meantime, I'll be doing the short (relative to the camino) 100km Great Ocean Way close to home in Victoria, Australia. I'd love to hear if any other members are doing an alternative walk.
[/QUOTE]
A great walk for sure! I did it on my own in October this year. I like to walk at least 20km each day, so skipped ahead campsites. I left Apollo Bay after lunch and made it to Blanket Bay on the first night. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, as you will also no doubt. If you want the guidebook, am happy to post it to you :)
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details

A team of researchers from Sunnybrook, McMaster University and the University of Toronto has isolated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the agent responsible for the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.

Thanks to nimble collaboration, the team was able to culture the virus from two clinical specimens in a Level 3 containment facility.

“We need key tools to develop solutions to this pandemic. While the immediate response is crucial, longer-term solutions come from essential research into this novel virus,” said Dr. Samira Mubareka, microbiologist and infectious diseases physician at Sunnybrook.

The isolated virus will help researchers in Canada and across the world develop better diagnostic testing, treatments and vaccines, and gain a better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 biology, evolution and clinical shedding.
 

RuthMB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC (April 2020)
[QUOTE="RuthMB, post: 835696, In the meantime, I'll be doing the short (relative to the camino) 100km Great Ocean Way close to home in Victoria, Australia. I'd love to hear if any other members are doing an alternative walk.
A great walk for sure! I did it on my own in October this year. I like to walk at least 20km each day, so skipped ahead campsites. I left Apollo Bay after lunch and made it to Blanket Bay on the first night. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, as you will also no doubt. If you want the guidebook, am happy to post it to you :)
[/QUOTE]
Oh wow! That is super kind of you! My cousin (who I'll be walking with....she was to be my camino buddy) has done it before and still has her guidebook, but thank you so much for the offer. We're aiming on 20kms a day also. I'm terrified of snakes, so fingers crossed it will be too cold for them to cross our paths!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2020 Le Puy
Oh wow! That is super kind of you! My cousin (who I'll be walking with....she was to be my camino buddy) has done it before and still has her guidebook, but thank you so much for the offer. We're aiming on 20kms a day also. I'm terrified of snakes, so fingers crossed it will be too cold for them to cross our paths!
I was really worried about snakes too, some days were 30+C , although I finished at the Apostles in single digit temps and hail. I saw one ?brown snake just after walking through Cape Otway, I nearly trod on it as I was head down, walking up a slope. I just froze and walked backwards until it slithered off. I wore my gaiters despite the heat as I thought that would lessen my chance of being envenomated if bitten. I thought I would have seen loads of snakes, but that one close encounter was it.
The Green Gully Track in NSW is also another great walk if you are looking for things to do. It is hut to hut and you and whoever you walk with will have the sole use of each hut. I really enjoyed it, I did it with my eldest son last year as well.
With my Camino off the cards now, I am thinking of doing some bikepacking on Guide Books 9 and 10 of the Bicentennial National Trail as those sections are closest to my region.

Wishing you an absolutely fabulous time on the Great Ocean Walk and all the very best for a happy and healthy 2020.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Madrid is closing most shops from tomorrow: "The Community of Madrid has just decreed the compulsory closure of all "non-food" bars, restaurants and shops; only pharmacies and supermarkets will remain open. The measure, which comes into effect this Saturday, was issued hours after Mayor Martínez-Almeida assured this morning in an interview that he closed all the terraces."
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
France has introduced measures banning all public gatherings of more than 100 people.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Spain seems very likely to declare a state of national emergency tomorrow. This would introduce restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles throughout the territory.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
The same in the Netherlands.

None anymore in Belgium. Not even private parties of smaller groups than 100 people ( when the festivity hall is rented from the local council or parish for example ). What people do in their private quarters is something different but Ministry of Health hopes people will use common sense.

It is now of the utmost importance that young and old try to be as separated as possible from each other.
 
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SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
Obviously I am not going to start my first Camino for which I had an April 1 arrival in Madrid. I think Madrid may be in quarantine then.

The thing that scares me the most is that the stars may never align so well again for me to go. Maybe Never. I'm actually returning as much of the equipment that I can today. No point in keeping it. I hold out hope for the fall, but I can always repurchase next year, or certainly by the year after.
 
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Sjp007

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 St James
2020 St James
Hi All, I’m so very sorry for those needing to cancel their caminos right now and to those walking at this moment.
I'm watching the news closely from both my own country in Canada and Spain’s (as well as all countries, this forum etc) and wanted to know peoples thoughts on cancelling their summer caminos...I’m probably at a ‘sit and wait’ thought at this point but even this forum has suggested cancelling til further notice....your thoughts?
My Camino Frances is/was scheduled to start July 21
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
Not sure if this has popped up previously (Its dizzying to keep up with the "Rounds" ;) ) but here is an interesting site

COVID-19 Global Cases

Its practically "Live" and you can click on any country, Red Dots (Cases) and get a lot of stats
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
I now have the 'dubious honor' of living in the 'epicenter' of The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, namely Montgomery County. As of yesterday the MontCo cases accounted for more than 50% of all PA cases and today 6 more got added :(
The Govn'r more-or-less locked us down, closing all schools, colleges, gyms, public events of 250+ people and suggesting that all non-essential retail outlets & stores shut down. 2 out of 3 malls in my immediate area followed that suggestion (the one where my wife works - didn't...figures :mad:)
A small outing into local Aldi's last evening turned out to be quite a show as the parking lot was filled to the hilt and lines to checkout were all along the isles. True to the last couple of days - no TP was to be had (I still dont get it....:rolleyes:)
Reluctantly I am not going to attend a big Sale event at local REI and also cancel the linner plans we had for the 'afterwards'. But the REI will have more sales (besides the boots I am eyeing for my Camino were not going on sale anyway, so...;)) and The Camino will be there as well
Everyone stay safe and healthy 👍
 

Vaughan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais April/May 2019
Camino Notre April/May 2020
I was/am planning to walk the Notre in mid April. Until 13th April I have the option to cancel my booked accommodation with no fee so I am waiting until then. In the UK the advice on travel to Spain does not include any of the Notre route. Of course that could change! I am not very hopeful but lets see
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
Obviously I am not going to start my first Camino for which I had an April 1 arrival in Madrid. I think Madrid may be in quarantine then.

The thing that scares me the most is that the stars may never align so well again for me to go. Maybe Never. I'm actually returning as much of the equipment that I can today. No point in keeping it. I hold out hope for the fall, but I can always repurchase next year, or certainly by the year after.
The Stars In Their Courses.... Keep Faith!!!!! 🙏
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Cases in Portugal

Straight from the source, in Portuguese--the Portugal News in English has started linking to the Ministry of Health Statistics rather than providing their own stories.

Keep in mind that Porto (Oporto) is considered Norte (the north), "Casos Confirmados" is confirmed cases, "Recuperado" is recovered, "Obitos" is deaths (like "obituary"), "Casos Suspeitos" is suspected cases. Google Translate is helpful for the rest. Excellent info!

 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
In news that will be a relief to many, "Canada won't be wiped [sic] out of toilet paper." They are working overtime to keep us supplied. :p
I don't get this about stocking up on toilet paper. People are buying sacs of it. But if you need 144 toilet paper rolls for a 14 days period, you need to consult your doctor regarding serious problems aside of an influenza/corona problem. So many shallow (and non-social, non-fellow-being caring) people)...
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
...True to the last couple of days - no TP was to be had (I still dont get it....:rolleyes:)
...
I know this situation isn't something to joke about really but still we can keep up the spirits so I'll tell you why people are buying so much TP. This isn't about virus as such it's more about behaviour:
"One sneezes and another 100 s*%t themselves."

Let's not panic and act responsibly!

PS (Sorry mods if I crossed the line again.)
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I know this situation isn't something to joke about really but still we can keep up the spirits so I'll tell you why people are buying so much TP. This isn't about virus as such it's more about behaviour:
"One sneezes and another 100 s*%t themselves."

Let's not panic and act responsibly!

PS (Sorry mods if I crossed the line again.)
We 05FB54AF-19A7-4B81-8E22-4A0112C430AE.jpegneed a bit of humour in these unsettling times ... I was just sent the same message by Spanish friends
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
On a more serious note, here’s a message that’s just arrived from the Alicante town hall ... Basically it says that all the beaches, the parks, the places where children play are now closed. It adds that it would be illogical to close bars and restaurants and leave those open spaces open to the public. So restaurants and bars must be closed, too 😔
Stay safe peregrinos .9983C4DA-1F62-4AC4-8556-523BCFA12838.jpeg
 

RuthMB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC (April 2020)
I think this is the 5th or 6th time I've seen someone say they're going to Scotland. Looks like it will be a busy place up here, the West Highland Way might be busier than the Frances.
No cases yet in the highland region, but 6 now on Shetland.
Remember still plenty of time for snow, like this morning, and the midges and clegs will soon be here, and the ticks, not that I'm trying to put anyone off coming of course.
Yep, the WHW was going to be my alternative. Not being a camper, I contacted hostels, but so many are already booked up. My dates coincided with the UK school hols which doesn't help. Looks like and amazing walk but, like the camino, it will be another time for me.
 

Lindsay53

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April / May 19
I don't get this about stocking up on toilet paper. People are buying sacs of it. But if you need 144 toilet paper rolls for a 14 days period, you need to consult your doctor regarding serious problems aside of an influenza/corona problem. So many shallow (and non-social, non-fellow-being caring) people)...
There is no accounting for stupidity, and the sensationalist media reporting is not helping.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Re stocking up the TP (on the serious note)...
I heard a psychologist on TV explaining this as the need of people to think that they do something SUCCESSFUL in this situation. TP is relatively inexpensive and it's bulky so people have the feeling that they did something good about surviving. Makes sense in a way although I don't really understand it in my own case. But then again adds (on internet or TV or whatever media) doesn't have any effect on me :)
 

Sminn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020
My friend and I planned to fly out from Australia on Apr 1. We will now cancel and lose thousands of dollars. It is so devastating. There may be a chance we can move some costs to another date in the next 12 months so maybe all may not be lost. I wonder how many will do a winter camino. I haven’t done a camino yet and had been planning for two years. I guess this is part of the journey and will become part of the experience. Thanks for everyone sharing on here. It feels good to know we are not alone.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Norway, badly hitten, is in dire straits. Almost everything is closed down by the government as of this afternoon, and it seems we soon wil be closing our national airports too. We suffer from a heap of Northern Lights/winter tourists up here. Tourist ships and flights (many each day) are now not allowed to let passengers into the city. They can come into harbour for supplies, but noone can leave the ship. Airport passengers will be quarantined for minimum 14 days. Cruise tourism is coming to a stop. All education institutions are now closed, bars/restaurants closed (hard to find a place for dinner for tourists), shops/groceries are emptied, and we ourselves have gone into semi-quarantine (only going out for necesseties).

Norway is now one of the hardest hit countries in Europe, due to politicians reluctanct to be tough: We have the highest ratio of infected per 100.000 capita in Europe. It is starting to getting real bad here. I will check on my cottage soon: It is only 30 mins. from here but desolate. By the sea; have complete fishing gear there. Will stay there if things get worse. No electricity, but all I need powered by propane: Stove, additional heating, fridge, toilet (with solar power). Plenty of firewood, by the sea, and my little boat. I don't think it will come to that, but I am prepared. Right now feeling I am in a danger/war zone.
Stay strong, stay healthy!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Re stocking up the TP (on the serious note)...
I heard a psychologist on TV explaining this as the need of people to think that they do something SUCCESSFUL in this situation. TP is relatively inexpensive and it's bulky so people have the feeling that they did something good about surviving. Makes sense in a way although I don't really understand it in my own case. But then again adds (on internet or TV or whatever media) doesn't have any effect on me :)
If we all had bidet toilet seats we wouldn't need so much TP!Screenshot_20200313-202049_Firefox.jpg
 
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