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COVID Latest on Covid

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Teez

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
June 2018 Camino Frances and March Coastal Portugues
I saw a post on another forum which said 'Covid is all over the Camino' which rather alarmed me! As older (76 and 82) and possibly vulnerable pilgrims planning to walk in October and November, i wonder how foolish we are. We are double boosted and in good health. Is it possible to get antivirals easily if we are unfortunate enough to get it? We will have private rooms all the way - first Portuguese and then the Frances - so possible for us to keep a bit distanced. I'd be grateful for the latest information from people walking now.
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I saw a post on another forum which said 'Covid is all over the Camino' which rather alarmed me! As older (76 and 82) and possibly vulnerable pilgrims planning to walk in October and November, i wonder how foolish we are. We are double boosted and in good health. Is it possible to get antivirals easily if we are unfortunate enough to get it? We will have private rooms all the way - first Portuguese and then the Frances - so possible for us to keep a bit distanced. I'd be grateful for the latest information from people walking now.
I caught it in May on the Camino Portuguese. I was double boosted, and my case was quite mild. I tried to only stay in private rooms, but I did spend three nights in albergues. There were many pilgrims who went to the big celebration in Fatima in May where I heard there were about 200,000 people ( I have no idea if that was the true number though), before continuing on the Camino. Cases were really spiking at that time.

I personally know several other pilgrims that contracted Covid while on the Camino Frances and Portugese.

BUT, I think that if you are only staying in private rooms, and avoid indoor dining you can probably stay safe. I believe that there will also be an Omicron specific vaccine available in the Fall that could provide you with more protection.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
One really never knows. I'm back home a week after walking the Camino del Norte. I stayed in albergues all the way in dorms, sleeping in bunkbeds, did the same last year on the Salvador and Primitivo.

Only heard of one case while walking this year and that's because I spoke to the gentleman, a New Zealander who had been backpacking in the Pyrenees before starting the Camino. He took a self test and when saw was positive he masked up and told the hospitalero in the Soto de Luiña municipal albergue. He was put in a separate room and said he booked a private room in Soto for a few days.

As others have said, I am also twice vaccinated and boostered and still got Covid last February (luckily very mild) so I don't feel more at risk in Spain than where I live in The Netherlands. I guess it's a matter of personal choice. At this point in time, I don't let it concern me. That said, I'm 66 and have no underlying chronic medical conditions which would put me at risk.
 

andycohn

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
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As DoughnutANZ says, above, covid is everywhere and the Camino is no different. But bear in mind that people who have bad experiences -- whether with covid or with something else -- are more likely to post than people who did not have bad experiences. ("I got mugged" is newsworthy: "I did not get mugged" is not).

In contrast to Trecile, my wife and I walked in Portugal in May. We stayed mostly, but not always, in private rooms, and ate indoors in restaurants all the time. We did not get covid.

I'm also one of the leaders of our local chapter of the American Pilgrims on the Camino, and am thus in touch with many people who are either on the Camino now, or have recently returned. None got covid.

All of which is just anecdotal. It's obviously possible to get covid on the Camino, but probably no more likely than if you stay home. Also, I don't know where you live, but Spain and Portugal are among the most highly-vaccinated countries in the world, way more than in the US, where Trecile and I live.

I'm heading out for another camino in the fall. I have the same concerns and fears as you do, and am (almost) your age. But my view is we're running out of time, and if not now, when?
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I walked the Portuguese and the Primitivo in April/May and I did catch Covid 19 on the Primitivo. I was double vaccinated with 2 boosters (so 4 vaccinations). I am 70 but with no underlying health conditions.

My two walking companions did not get Covid.

For the most part we stayed in private accommodation, but occasionally in albergues. I'm pretty sure I contracted Covid from another pilgrim I was sitting next to at a group dinner. He appeared unwell, and my symptoms appeared three days later. I took a RAT test, immediately positive, so I self isolated in a small flat for 7 days. That was not required by Spanish law, but I did not want to pass it to anyone else.

For the first few days all I did was sleep, with symptoms of a cold. Within two weeks I was completely recovered.

It's a tough decision imo. I am currently wrestling with a similar dilemma, about whether to attend a much anticipated event, when I know that Covid numbers are extraordinarily high, with new variants, and when going to the event will involve close contact with many.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
In general the news here is reporting more cases in various regions.There was a story today about the "chronification" of Covid. Have spoken to many pilgrims who were sick on pilgrimage and had to find a place to sit it out or had to go back home (Spaniards) and then pick up later.
Transportation of any kind does require a mask, but some people are less compliant once on the bus or train when the driver or conductor isn't looking. Have not seen the antiviral treatments discussed and my guess is you need a doctor to prescribe although not sure. Someone else can weigh in here.

Vaccination does seem to lessen the severity, but doesn't keep you from getting the current strain or passing it to others. If it is a risk you are not willing to take, then wait. You need have time to burn (just in case) and tolerance.

In the fall or winter dining outdoors may be less attractive and available. Even now with shortages of workers, you need to go inside to order coffee, drinks, food as tables outside are not being waited in many locations.

All this to say there are no guarantees.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
It is very possible to get COVID in Spain these days. It seems we are over the top of the 7th wave (cases are going down), but it is not gone. I don't think it is worse here than anywhere else, so not sure what to tell you when it comes to "Should you go or not".

I think I will close this thread now, just because this is not the place to discuss COVID and possible ways to medicate yourself to protect or avoid COVID.

Below is a current chart of COVID cases in Spain.

All the best,
Ivar
 

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