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Opening a coronavirus thread for forum discussion

2020 Camino Guides
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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)
Here is a good recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine:

It is all background information, without practical information - but is still worth reading as it gives context. The take-away I got is an emphasis on the uncertainty of what we are facing. Who knows?

So if the virologists can't prognosticate, the rest of us doofuses definitely need to keep our mouths shut and our opinions to ourselves. ;)
Thanks mods, for keeping us on the straight and narrow about this.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
The WHO information should be the gold standard...am I wrong?
There is a delay. Even when it says that the WHO website on Covid-19 has been recently updated it still has the official data for Spain for example from yesterday or even the day before. The Twitter feed of the Spanish government's ministry for public health - Salud Pública / @SaludPublicaEs - publishes the newest figures once or even more often at the moment. They did so right now. I am not a fan of Twitter, Facebook et al but they have become important sources of up to date reliable public information.
 

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)
The Twitter feed of the Spanish government's ministry for public health - Salud Pública / @SaludPublicaEs - publishes the newest figures once or even more often at the moment.
Up to date, indeed. This is very useful, thank you @Kathar1na. From 20 minutes ago:
Los casos de #coronavirus en España, actualizados a las 12h. de hoy, 3 de marzo de 2020, son:

Andalucía 13
Asturias 1
Baleares 2
Canarias 7
Cantabria 10
CyL 8
CLM 3
Cataluña 15
C. Valenciana 15
Extremadura 6
Madrid 34
Navarra 1
País Vasco 13
La Rioja 1

Total: 129
There are other frequently updated Twitter feeds that offer global numbers, regularly updated, like this one:
- although it is unclear who is publishing these data.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Up to date, indeed.
There are currently also frequent updates on the website of the Spanish government. The figures in the table that they publish are described as incidencia acumulada de casos confirmados notificados /100.000 habitantes. I was a bit puzzled by this description. But now I know that for example 150 (0,3) is short for 150 cases and 0,3 cases per 100,000 persons. Just in case someone else is puzzled by this.
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
This site (I believe the link was posted earlier in the thread) is by Johns Hopkins, which states information is being compiled from WHO, CDC, ECDC, among other governmental agencies. The dashboard is updated regularly and sections can be drilled into for more specific info. Last updated this afternoon and shows cases in Spain as 120.

This John Hopkins site, compiled from WHO, CDC and ECDC, has Spain now at 153.
 

ginniek

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances 2017
If you mean selfish in terms of the risks not only for pilgrims but to the communities we pass through, then that is something we all have to consider before setting off. I feel for them, they are dependent on us being 100% sure of our health status, if I was in s similar situation to them I would have my worries as well.
Two cases came to light 25miles from where I live, there is fairly good public transport between these locations which means there is sufficient people making the journey most days, but hopefully the line of transmission has been stopped.Suppose I was going in the next few days instead of the 2nd April could I guarantee my health without getting tested? Some of my Camigos who I am meeting on the 2nd April are coming from places which are starting to register cases almost daily, in a way if decisions were made at national level it would save me my worries.
The whole question of doing the long-scheduled Camino vs. postponing reminds me of what we go through almost every year where I live. One of the huge problems caused by the hurricanes and tropical storms that frequently hit communities on the southeastern coast of the US is trying to assist the many summer visitors to get to safety while trying to care for and provide services to their own residents. We've reverted to mandatory evacuations for everyone ahead of the disaster--to get people out of harm's way. This way the police and fire departments, Emergency Rooms, etc. can use their resources for the community's recovery rather than trying to find hotel rooms and restaurants and ways home for visitors when there is no power or water and roads and highways are closed because of downed trees and power lines. I guess what I'm saying is that pilgrims will not want to make things even harder for the communities already suffering.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Up to date, indeed. This is very useful, thank you @Kathar1na. From 20 minutes ago:
Here is a bit from the Guardian's live feed, about an hour ago, detailing exactly where the Spanish cases are...

"In total, around 150 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Spain. Authorities are monitoring two clusters in Torrejón de Ardoz, a suburban city close to Madrid with a population of around 130,000, and one in the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz."
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Spanish ministry of health a few moments ago:

Para prevenir el #coronavirus, el ministerio de
@sanidadgob
ha decidido que las competiciones deportivas con alta presencia de aficionados procedentes de zonas de riesgo se celebren a puerta cerrada. Una medida consensuada con las CC.AA. que explica el ministro, Salvador Illa

Translated from Spanish by
To prevent #coronavirus , the ministry of
@sanidadgob
has decided that sports competitions with high presence of fans from risk areas are held behind closed doors. A measure agreed with the Autonomous Communities that explains the minister, Salvador Illa


Interesting to see it talks about "high presence of fans from risk areas" but there is no specification of exactly what is a risk area.
 

Dubbydub

Member
It is the close proximity of people from all over the world (myself included if I go!), in an albergue that concerns me.

Was always an issue I suppose re bedbugs and maybe Norovirus on occasion.

Add in the trip through an airport or two or three, and sorry, I will postpone now. I am in the at risk category, but I admire those who maybe in that cohort but still decide to go. Not worth the hassle for me. Will see about late 2021, there may be a vaccine by then because this is not going to go away.

I'll be like a pincushion lol, flu, pneumonia, and now C19 vaccine!

I wish you all well, and your decision is based on your own circumstances and valour. Some of us have to weigh it up.
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
"In total, around 150 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Spain. Authorities are monitoring two clusters in Torrejón de Ardoz, a suburban city close to Madrid with a population of around 130,000, and one in the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz."
And this may be useful for those planning routes, from the English language Spanish news "The Local,"--a map, with data updated to today (Tues. Mar 3): not too sure about the legend; must mean 0-10, over 10 to 20, etc., with grey provinces having 0.

1583264749362.jpeg
 

george.g

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way 10, 11
Norte 12
Vdlp 13
Levante 14
Mozarabe/Malaga 15
Augusta 16
Mozarabe/Almeria 17
During today’s presentation by our prime minister, the Chief Scienctific Advisor said re travel plans “ don’t change your travel plans” suggesting that if the virus was present everywhere then you were as likely to catch it on holiday as you were at home, the only stipulation was the quality of that country’s medical services, and the care you would receive. Obviously commenting on foreign travel not just domestic.
I’m not sure I necessarily agree with that advice but it is food for thought!
Still hope to fly into Seville mid April, fingers crossed.
Regards
George
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Interesting to see it talks about "high presence of fans from risk areas" but there is no specification of exactly what is a risk area.
Fans from Bergamo (Lombardy).
The match Valencia - Atalanta will be played close doors the 10 March.
 
D

Deleted member 59555

Guest
I was planning to start from SJPP on 31 March but read my travel insurance carefully last night and discovered that pandemics are specifically excluded from any cover. Which is fair enough I guess as at this point I can just decide not to go. Bummer my flights from NZ won't be reimbursed though!

If I go anyway and don't get sick it still won't be the normal CF experience - places will be unexpectedly closed and there will be a lot fewer walkers.

If I go and do get slightly sick where will I self-quarantine? If I get really sick that could get very expensive with travel insurance not covering it.

Maybe I could visit some friends instead with my flights but how bad would I feel if I unwittingly infected them! At least I still have a few weeks to decide. Sigh.
Hi, Karen A couple of things. First, like you, I am from NZ We are off on the 8th Apil to San Fran, then UK, Ireland and some points of the Camino with my wife Mmmmm. Very worried.
Point one I contacted the travel insurance (Westpac travel insurance) I recommended that they gave me an answer in keeping with our continued banking with them. The answer I got was no cover for cancellation but if we get sick over there . We are covered and that,s in an email.
The second point I talked to flight centre about possibly using air flights as a credit for future and at a cost that can possibly be done. ( Interesting).
Good luck with your decision and God bless.
 

Aido

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - SJPDP to Logrono (2016).
Logrono to Burgos (2017). Burgos to Carrion de los Condes (2020)
Are there any forum members who are currently on their Camino voyage and could relay their experience in light of the outbreak? Would be particularly interested to hear accounts on the Camino Frances. I have flights from Ireland to Santander next wed 11th and intended starting my next leg from Burgos, but I'm torn on whether I should proceed or cancel
 

Aido

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - SJPDP to Logrono (2016).
Logrono to Burgos (2017). Burgos to Carrion de los Condes (2020)
@Aido, please take your advice from the WHO and your local health authorities not a bunch of Camino enthusiasts some of whom would walk even after their legs fell off.

This forum is a source of guidance and advice on walking the Caminos. It is not a source of reliable advice or opinion on COVID-2019
I do appreciate that, and trust me I'm keeping very up to date with official information from the Spanish Ministry of Health among other sources. But I would like to hear what the current Camino experience is as I believe it's relevant in the current situation, and may or may not be helpful for me in making my own personal decision
 

Rachel Lynn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020)
I am scheduled to land in Madrid March 17th with train to Pamplona and starting Camino Frances at Saint Jean about the 19th. First Camino and also wondering about other peregrinos and current inconveniences ?
 

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
A reminder of the limited nature of this thread. Some members are expressing medical opinions - for example about the seriousness or otherwise of the virus, and comparing it to other illnesses. We are not in a position to make judgments about the validity of medical opinions so will delete any such posts. Please refer to official sources for medical information, and not to this forum.
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
In response to a few requests just above for pilgrims on the ground to share their experiences....maybe a new thread could be started for that, ensuring this one is limited to WHO statistics?
 

Levi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
Madrid September 2018
Folks - I'm on the Camino Frances - just leaving Pamplona this morning. Everything is as normal on the camino. At Roncesvalles there were approximately 40 pilgrims which I would think is average for this time of year. The albergues that open at this time of the year are open. Everything is calm and quiet...except the weather!
If anything changes I'll post again.
 

Oldzgit

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Francis May-June (2019)
Our (UK) foreign office is offering travel to Spain advice updates via email - if interested you can sign up here.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain/email-signup

At the moment there are NO Coronavirus travel restrictions for those travelling to Spain except for one specific hotel in Tenerife -

Same for Portugal - no restrictions for foreigners arriving

Sign up here - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal/email-signup

Same for France - no restrictions for foreigners arriving

Sign up here - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france

If something happens and any of these nations have problems you would be updated.

So let us all stay calm ;)
Thanks. Registered!!
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Dear all,

First of all I want to say thank you to the mods for organising this thread and making it a good place to share information on this complicated topic. Lukas (our 3 year old son) had fever all last week so I had limited time to be online, but my head is now above water again...

I did contact Xacobeo (public organisation in Galicia that promotes the Camino and also owners of the public albergues in Galicia) last week to see if they had a statement for pilgrims worried about walking this year. You can see their response below.

I have also received messages from pilgrims asking me for advice.."Should I come this year or not?". This is of course a difficult question to answer. But looking at this from Santiago.. here people are watching the news every day and being updated, but in the streets everything is normal. I talk to pilgrims that arrive almost every day (it is slow in winter), and no one has brought up the topic when we talk. Well, except one girl from South Corea that told me that she had difficulty getting home... she had to cut her Camino short to make sure she could get a flight home... her flight from Hong Kong to South Corea got canceled and now she had to fly via Russia to be able to get there. So from Santiago, it looks like the travel to and from Spain is the most complicated part... as of March 4th there are no one infected in Galicia.

In short, I think each one need to make up their own minds based on how they see the situation.. but from Santiago, I can say that here everything is normal..

See the response I got from Xacobeo on this topic below:

Let me tell you that I understand you concern and that of your assocciation members about COVID-19. It’s a long way and your people want some reassurance and trustable information on this issue.

This is what we can say right now: This is a global problem. Spain IS NOT a not recommended place to visit by any health organization. We all should be following health authorities recommendations. In every country in the world.

Health authorities in Spain and Galicia tell us that any measures to be taken in Galicia will be determined by Spanish authorities. At this moment Galicia is free of cases but, it is true that this circumstance can change at any time.

The situation around here is followed by a Galician permanent commission, and so is in Spain. We are in phase 1 (containment, the lowest level of problem), which does not entail special measures. Jus the general recommendation: to be alert to the symptoms and the recommendation not to travel to the affected areas (northern Italy for example).

As the events unfold and other measures may be needed, they will be discussed (mitigation, phase 2, which could include some social distancing measures).

To put it in context, in phase 3 of epidemic is where we are with the common flu.

At this moment, there is nothing that can contraindicate coming to Galicia.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
FYI, here is the Spanish Federation of Volunteer Hospitaleros BOLETÍN INFORMATIVO Nº 99. MARZO 2020 which includes some recommendations for hospitaleros and COV-19. There is a link to various language versions at the bottom.

¡Ten cuidado! 👣 :D :cool:
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Italian govt closes schools and universities.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I've noted several references to "closing" the Camino -- but haven't the foggiest notion of what is meant by that.
I think, were it to happen, that it would be similar to the ban in Saudi Arabia. They are refusing entry to foreign pilgrims wanting to enter the country to go on pilgrimage to their holy sites. Sure, Spain cannot 'close' the Camino, but they can refuse entry to foreign pilgrims if they want to.
Note: I am not saying this will happen and the Spanish are not saying that this will happen, they haven't even mentioned 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 think, were it to happen, that it would be similar to the ban in Saudi Arabia. They are refusing entry to foreign pilgrims wanting to enter the country to go on pilgrimage to their holy sites. Sure, Spain cannot 'close' the Camino, but they can refuse entry to foreign pilgrims if they want to.
Note: I am not saying this will happen and the Spanish are not saying that this will happen, they haven't even mentioned it.
I don't think they can close their borders to other EU citizens. Also, in Saudi Arabia you have to have a pilgrim visa, I believe. If Spain wanted to close its borders only to pilgrims and not to, say, tourists it would be very difficult to police.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Number of known cases doubled overnight to 53 today (March 4th) in the UK .... being all stiff upper lip Brits no one is panicking, obviously ... except .... I was in Sainsbury's (large supermarket chain) this morning and this was the toilet paper (rest room paper??) aisle ... what is it that people think is coming? Dysentery???

84177814_10215700315011795_2349993812727693312_o.jpg
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to start the Camino Frances from St Jean at the end of May (2020).
Number of known cases doubled overnight to 53 today (March 4th) in the UK .... being all stiff upper lip Brits no one is panicking, obviously ... except .... I was in Sainsbury's (large supermarket chain) this morning and this was the toilet paper (rest room paper??) aisle ... what is it that people think is coming? Dysentery???

View attachment 70509
I'm working on the basis that by the time I start my Camino at the end of May there will be many more cases in Britain (where I mostly work) than in Spain.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Number of known cases doubled overnight to 53 today (March 4th) in the UK .... being all stiff upper lip Brits no one is panicking, obviously ... except .... I was in Sainsbury's (large supermarket chain) this morning and this was the toilet paper (rest room paper??) aisle ... what is it that people think is coming? Dysentery???
Coronavirus panic: Why are people stockpiling toilet paper? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-51731422

Herd mentality apparently.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
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