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2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances October 2018, March 2020
Hello everyone! It's been a few days since I've been on the forum. The last time I was here I was letting everyone know how great it was on the Camino! We were in Astorga 6 days ago. It was the best day of our very short Camino. It was the 3rd day in a row I let everyone know there was no sign of Covid19 on the trail. Less than 12 hours after I made that post I had a ticket home, well the first ticket anyway.
I just want to apologize to anyone who I might have misled by my ignorance and naivety of what we were/are dealing with. I have not been tested, but the CDC doctor in SFO and 2 ER doctors ordering me not to go into the hospital, say I don't need to be tested. They know I have covid19. I'm in excellent health and will be fine. I do not need to take a hospital bed from someone who really needs it. As a matter of fact 2 out of the 3 of us walking together got the virus. My companion is in excellent health also and we're both almost over there worst of it.
I'll forever have the guilt of transmitting this from place to place. We had disinfecting wipes and wiped everything before and after. We had plenty of hand sanitizer and we're very generous with it! But, there's no possible way we were 100% sterile the whole time.
That being said I cannot wait to get back to the Camino ASAP! It will forever be different for us who were on the trail during the pandemic, though. There will always be a bit of anxiety now while walking. Yet, I know I'll be safe.
Had to get this off my chest and I'm sorry! Buen Camino!
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Hello everyone! It's been a few days since I've been on the forum. The last time I was here I was letting everyone know how great it was on the Camino! We were in Astorga 6 days ago. It was the best day of our very short Camino. It was the 3rd day in a row I let everyone know there was no sign of Covid19 on the trail. Less than 12 hours after I made that post I had a ticket home, well the first ticket anyway.
I just want to apologize to anyone who I might have misled by my ignorance and naivety of what we were/are dealing with. I have not been tested, but the CDC doctor in SFO and 2 ER doctors ordering me not to go into the hospital, say I don't need to be tested. They know I have covid19. I'm in excellent health and will be fine. I do not need to take a hospital bed from someone who really needs it. As a matter of fact 2 out of the 3 of us walking together got the virus. My companion is in excellent health also and we're both almost over there worst of it.
I'll forever have the guilt of transmitting this from place to place. We had disinfecting wipes and wiped everything before and after. We had plenty of hand sanitizer and we're very generous with it! But, there's no possible way we were 100% sterile the whole time.
That being said I cannot wait to get back to the Camino ASAP! It will forever be different for us who were on the trail during the pandemic, though. There will always be a bit of anxiety now while walking. Yet, I know I'll be safe.
Had to get this off my chest and I'm sorry! Buen Camino!
Who knew this would turn on a dime.

Get well soon.

Buen camino.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
I’m sorry. You were involved at a time when we just didn’t know how things would go. Be gentle on yourself and I wish you and your friend a speedy return to health.
Thank you for your honesty - it would have been easy for you to slink off the forum.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
Please put your mind at ease. You had no way of knowing. Many others are in the same situation right now, feeling perfectly fine but possibly carrying the virus. The important thing right now is that you and your companion are ok and home again. All the best to you.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
I have not been tested, but the CDC doctor in SFO and 2 ER doctors ordering me not to go into the hospital, say I don't need to be tested. They know I have covid19.
I appreciate your honesty about what you have experienced.

Having been in a similar position of being non-symptomatic for a condition which I might have been spreading in my workplace, and then spending nearly three weeks before I was confirmed to be free of the infection, I am wondering how this works. The advice at the time was that it would be only two weeks for me to stop being a risk to others, but when I was tested at that point to confirm that I was no longer contagious, I wasn't cleared. It took another week before I was cleared to return to work.

In the first instance, without testing, it seems remarkable that any doctor would confirm a diagnosis that you have COVID-19. And without further testing, when will you know that you are no longer at risk of transmitting it to others? I know medical systems around the world are being stretched by the current COVID-19 threat, but I don't see how you are actually being helped when objective evidence of your infection status isn't being collected.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
They know I have covid19. I'm in excellent health and will be fine. I do not need to take a hospital bed from someone who really needs it. As a matter of fact 2 out of the 3 of us walking together got the virus. My companion is in excellent health also and we're both almost over there worst of it.
Can you share with us what your symptoms have been? How did the doctors determine that you have Covid-19, and where do you think that you picked it up. I know that you may never have the answers to the last two questions.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
There are over 18,000 cases in Spain now, and those are just the ones who were tested and reported. The numbers are very likely much higher. We have no historical immunity to this virus, so it is spreading like wildfire through our species. It makes sense to assume that you are infected, and - unless you develop breathing problems - best to avoid public areas, especially medical establishments.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
There are over 180,000 cases in Spain now, and those are just the ones who were tested and reported. The numbers are very likely much higher. We have no historical immunity to this virus, so it is spreading like wildfire through our species. It makes sense to assume that you are infected, and - unless you develop breathing problems - best to avoid public areas, especially medical establishments.
Yup
FB_IMG_1584659983708.jpg
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
There are over 180,000 cases in Spain now, and those are just the ones who were tested and reported. The numbers are very likely much higher. We have no historical immunity to this virus, so it is spreading like wildfire through our species. It makes sense to assume that you are infected, and - unless you develop breathing problems - best to avoid public areas, especially medical establishments.
What?

Please tell me you mean 18,000.

And, that’s bad enough.
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
Many of us could have been in your shoes. We all understand the elation of being on the Camino, and there were no outward signs of "danger."
We are, of course, glad that you are recovering and will be able to walk the Camino again.
However, this could not be a clearer example of how we all have to change our behavior for the next few months until this virus comes under control. I've read - and I've taken to heart - that you can no longer act with the belief that, since you are healthy and feel fine, you will not get sick. You need to act with the belief that, although you feel fine, you can infect other people.
Don't be hard on yourself, it was an innocent mistake. Let's hope no one you came in contact with became ill.
BTW, sometimes you can just tell if someone isn't well - "Hey, you don't look so good" - and even the plain, ol' fashioned seasonal flu can have consequences on those whose systems are compromised.
Your post was humble and responsible. I'd be proud to walk with you when the coast is clear! Buen Camino my friend.🤜🤛
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
Thank you for your honesty, and as others have said, don't be too hard on yourself. This pandemic has advanced with a pace that no one foresaw. A month ago we were just learning that the virus was in italy - no one worrying about spreading it in France, Spain, or Portugal. Less than a month ago, the WHO had not declared a pandemic, and planes and borders were still open and on schedule. Get well, and buen camino in your heart and mind every day.
 

Bodi

For this breath, I am present.
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Najera Sept. 2017; Najera to Astorga Oct. 2018; SJPP to Pamplona May 2019
First let me say I am glad you are safely home @Yambor17 and I wish you and your companion speedy recoveries.
I find it disturbing that you were not tested for COVID-19. Is your case included in the official “confirmed cases” in the US? Part of my reason for asking this is that a friend of mine returned from Mexico a week ago and was exhibiting symptoms consistent with Coronavirus. He was tested with the results showing he has influenza B.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I am sorry that you have received your diagnosis. To say that this virus just turned on a dime or there were no worries about spreading a month ago is not even close to being accurate. There have been scientists who are experts in this field warning us about this for a long time. The problem is that if we can't see something we tend to downplay a threat or not take it as seriously. Infectious disease experts will tell you that they would prefer to err on the side of caution and be as prepared as possible and have people say it was not really a big deal than to be caught flat footed and then we find ourselves in this position today. Governments, federal, regional and local officials have for the most part world wide waited to long and downplayed the dangers. Some, like the President of Mexico, where I now live, still downplay the seriousness. People in general tended to err on any side except the side of caution. This may not have been called a pandemic until recently but that is because a threat has to meet benchmarks before it can be labeled as such. That does not mean the progress of the virus was not quickly progressing.
Hopefully we will get through this pandemic with a much lower death count than has been predicted by the experts especially worst case scenarios. Hopefully governments worldwide will prepare themselves to protect their populations and work in a much more coordinated fashion with their geographic neighbors. In today's world each nation is geographic neighbors with all nations. Hopefully all of us worldwide will learn from this and start listening to scientists and experts first and not government leaders who may have ulterior political motives. Hopefully in the future people will work together to not excuse unacceptable and dangerous social behaviors and condemn loudly those who behave stupidly and selfishly and those who peddle in lies and half truths. Maybe from now on people will listen those who know and shame those who lie.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
A month ago we were just learning that the virus was in italy - no one worrying about spreading it in France, Spain, or Portugal. Less than a month ago, the WHO had not declared a pandemic, and planes and borders were still open and on schedule. Get well, and buen camino in your heart and mind every day.
I am happy to accept that there were many confusing messages coming from different governments, and one might have justifiably been uncertain about how much risk there was. But please stick to the facts. WHO had reported cases in Europe by late January (France and Germany) and a day later (31 Jan) it had been reported in Italy and Finland. That was also the day that WHO published its first regional and global risk rating, assessing those as HIGH.

I also accept that even a month ago it might still have been reasonable to think it was still safe: the number of cases in Europe was still small and all seemed to be related to having contracted the disease elsewhere. It was enough for most of us with plans to walk not to think of changing them. But lets not pretend that it only entered Italy in late February, because the first cases had been reported there well before that.

You can find the WHO situation reports here if you want to check when they reported first cases in countries outside of China.

ps. And I agree with @lt56ny that even though, with the benefit of hindsight, some governments were not responding quickly enough, there were plenty of well-credentialed observers warning about what was in store for us, and urging faster action.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
A month ago we were just learning that the virus was in italy - no one worrying about spreading it in France, Spain, or Portugal.
This is not correct. There was information out there for "us" a month ago and earlier. And this forum is testimony to it. This was written more than one and a half months ago on this forum, on the 1st of February: I don’t care whether other people change their travel plans voluntarily and out of unjustified fear. The less other people travel, the better full stop.

The very first case of a person with a coronavirus infection in Spain was confirmed at the end of January, nearly two months ago. It was someone who had travelled to Spain by plane - a leisure trip.

I am not saying this to point the finger at any forum member. But if you hear someone say "Nobody saw this coming" then that person lies.
 
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Delphinoula

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Dear Yam,
I can see that you feel bad about the situation and it looks to me that you may feel part of a wave that gains on momentum every day.
Pointing fingers is furtile.
But for me a honest fact check helps me to deal with my emotions. Fact is you did not design develop or make this disease. At least I hope not.🤪
Fact is too that there are many asymptomatic carriers out there.
So sooner or later we all will get in contact with it and we will presevere. With limiting our interpersonal activity, well you know what I mean, we give our health providers and the our fellow pilgrims with a sever reaction a fighting chance.

So when you recover and get a clean bill of health and so far it seems recovered individuals have am immunity, you could, should you feel inclined to and have time help where help is needed. Our food banks had to close because a majority of volunteers are retirees. I am sure there are many opportunities.

So onward and forward.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
So when you recover and get a clean bill of health and so far it seems recovered individuals have am immunity, you could, should you feel inclined to and have time help where help is needed.
I think the point that was raised, and it is a valid one, is this one: How do you or your doctor know that you had indeed a Covid-19 infection caused by coronavirus and not by a flu virus or by another cold virus if no test was done to confirm that you have coronavirus (tests available) or antibodies (no tests available yet).
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
I apologize for using the words "nobody," a gross generalization that apparently upset some members.
 

Delphinoula

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Reading up on California‘s guidance for testing. If I understand it right since there is no cure the test will not do much for you.
Triage is sure a most difficult decision a health professional has to face. In SFO like everywhere in the world the tests are a limited resource. You cannot give what you do not have. So containment seems to be at the moment what the different governments trying to implement.
I was more talking about the emotional response to this situation. The lemon lemonade thing....
Yam you are not alone.
there is a wonderful song
Help, Lord of my life, that I am not in vain, here on earth I am.
help Lord of my soul that I am not wanting where I am necessary....
bon Camino pilgrim
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked CF September/October 2015; Scheduled to walk April/May 2020
Be gentle with yourself. I don’t think any of us could’ve predicted how quickly this thing would get where it is. When you went, Spain was still at a Level 2 (I believe). Now it’s at a 4. The first 100,000 cases took 3 months to reach. The second 100,000 took 12 days. The world turned upside down, and you were out in the world when it did. I’m glad you were able to make it home and that you are on the mend. Be well.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
that poster really hits home the importance of self isolating!
And to reinforce the concept of social-distancing.

Or, as it is now termed, physical distancing / separation from one another.

Kia kaha (be strong, take care, get going)
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
First let me say I am glad you are safely home @Yambor17 and I wish you and your companion speedy recoveries.
I find it disturbing that you were not tested for COVID-19. Is your case included in the official “confirmed cases” in the US? Part of my reason for asking this is that a friend of mine returned from Mexico a week ago and was exhibiting symptoms consistent with Coronavirus. He was tested with the results showing he has influenza B.
The "confirmed case" count represents only those who have been tested. As an epidemiologist, it is also disturbing to me that we don't have enough tests to conduct basic population surveillance, which would be very useful in tracking this virus and knowing what to expect. And as you pointed out, even people who have symptoms are being dissuaded from accessing testing. We've known for a long time that such a pandemic was bound to happen soon. It doesn't make sense that we are so ill-prepared (I mean, some of the reasons we are unprepared are obvious, but we aren't probably supposed to talk about politics here).
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I find it enlightening (that’s not quite the right word but I don’t have a better one) to go back a month in faceb**k to see the dismissive crap people were posting about this virus.

It’s one thing to not see the speed of this, another to think it’s not a problem.
 

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 story illustrates to me the problem with western society's preoccupation with individual freedoms. Perhaps the virus will get us all thinking a bit more about making our decisions taking into account the common good.
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2019
I think we could have all been in your shoes... not knowing if we did or didn't have the virus. Get well and stay well... you and me both can't wait until we can return.
I totally agree with this. Could have been any of us. You proved how very easy it is to be exposed to this virus without knowing it—especially during a period when it was not as well known or understood as it is now. In the same way that you didn’t give a thought in your writing here to the person who carried the virus to you, no one looks to you as the “cause” of their troubles. It’s an insidious virus using non-suspecting humans going about their lives as means of transmission. It’s a plague and a burden on humanity, not the burden of any one of us. Get well soon. I will be thinking of you as I now make my way home to Oregon by car, bus, plane, taxi, train, bus, plane, and car from the heart of Guatemala. Hope to see you out there on one of the many sunny days in the future. Buen caminos!
 

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
Looking back at the threads that were running on 5 March, it looks like very few members were thinking about the risk to the native Spanish population. We were all thinking about the risk to ourselves, problems with insurance, and disappointment at the prospect of having to cancel.

(Edited - I found a few members who did express concern)
 
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John H.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - 2017
CP Central - 2017
CP Coastal - 2018
CF - [hopefully again someday]
Don't beat yourself up. Even this forum website didn't want people to warn about Covid19 a few weeks ago for 'fear' of spreading 'false' information. Take care of yourself.
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
The predicament that @Yambor17 and companions found themselves in is, to my mind, understandable. My hope is that there are good outcomes for all concerned.

@John H. , the World Health Organisation were warning back in February about an epidemic of misinformation. And the social media are very good at passing on rumours and (however sincerely believed) false and / or irrelevant information that may have adversely affected readers. And that was happening on this forum, until the moderators gave leadership.

Even Shakespeare, in his retelling of the story of Romeo and Juliet, twice used misinformation by social media of the day to create the tragedy aspect of his tale.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
We felt the same way so I understand.
No sign of anything on the trail or in the villages,
then BOOM!
Time to get home NOW and 48 hours later with no sleep we were back in Joe's living room.
It was crazy.

Don't beat yourself up over it.
Just be kind to yourself and get well soon!
There is NO way you could have known.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
Friends of mine from the UK were just vacationing in Spain and came back with Covid19. One had a fever, the other one didn't. Neither had coughs. But both had a loss of sense of taste and smell. Strange. They are getting better, but, 10 days in, both are experiencing shortness of breath. Anyway, this is a horrifically infectious virus. Come anywhere near it and you are bound to get it. And it's not pleasant.
 

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