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COVID Santo Domingo de La Calzada

Kieranodriscoll

New Member
The attached (long read) article in the Guardian newspaper gives an insight to the covid-19 problems in a town popular with the Camino community.

 

thejoker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
many
This cements in my mind how wrong it would be to enjoy a pilgrimage through this town and others during these terrible times of mourning. Reading through this article really hits home how bad this virus has affected so much of Spain. I'm now sure I made the right decision to cancel my 2020 camino. The people of Santo Domingo need time to heal.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Thank you for posting this. It is published under a section in the Guardian that is called "The Long Read" and it is indeed a very long read. I admit to dropping out towards the end ... but I googled a bit.

The Rioja administration has a section dedicated to Covid-19 data on their website. It includes an up to date interactive map of accumulated cases. You see areas with no cases at all or less than 10 cases of infection throughout the whole period. Santo Domingo de la Calzada with their 354 confirmed cases really sticks out ... Haro, another focal point in La Rioja, was in the news in March at the beginning - some may remember that it was discussed on the forum. There is also an interactive graph on fatalities on the La Rioja website.

Link to interactive map: https://actualidad.larioja.org/coronavirus/datos

La Rioja.jpg
 
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truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Sept-Nov 2016)
Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
CF (Oct 2019)
Norte (post covid)
Wow....what an incredibly sobering article. I could practically feel the pain of those involved coming off my phone screen.

I agree with another commenter that it may be too soon for us to be traipsing through a mourning village or region. Poor little Santo Domingo, they’ve had to endure a horrific last few months and are still grieving. I wouldn’t dare assume (after reading this) that these towns would be grateful to see us and our dollars.

I miss the Camino as much as the next person, but this article has given me much pause.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
The author of this Guardian article is Gil Tremlett who wrote Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past.
 
Camino(s) past & future
"Camino from 2013 to 2019" paused for now...
That is a sobering article. There is a lot of healing required locally. Certainly would make me rethink the CF in the short term.

These two paragraphs say a lot, but do take the time to read the full article

""
The camino brings in money and shapes local identity. During the 11 centuries that the route has existed, only wars and natural disasters have closed it. Shutting it down, in other words, means the world has changed utterly. As Covid-19 has spread, people everywhere have, at some stage, been slow to accept that. In early March, local doctors had lobbied for part of the route to be closed, but this didn’t happen until the nationwide lockdown was imposed.

Other towns on the pilgrimage route do not seem to have suffered as badly as Santo Domingo. The mayor of neighbouring Belorado, Álvaro Eguíluz, told me he did not want to blame its own moderately large Covid-19 outbreak on either pilgrims or people from Santo Domingo. “If we start doing that,” he said, “it will never end.”

""
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I agree that it would be inappropriate to try and go on Camino at this current time.

For those who decide that they will delay their Camino until some undefined future time after Spain reopens, that is an individual choice. It is based on personally held, subjective feelings. It is not reasonable to debate personal and subjective choices. There is no right or wrong, as there is no defined and universal authority making such a determination. There are only individual nations deciding when it will be legal for tourist to return.

This also applies to those who decide to go on a Spanish Camino as soon as Spain opens its borders. I do not believe that it is reasonable to characterize those who make that choice as being less moral, less ethical, or less caring of others.

I think that there are very few intentionally judgemental posts on this issue. Most of the time, I believe when people opine about things like delaying a Camino, they are expressing how they themselves feel, not how they feel about what others may choose to do.
 
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MarkyD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
The attached (long read) article in the Guardian newspaper gives an insight to the covid-19 problems in a town popular with the Camino community.

That is a truly shocking and sobering article, it brought me to tears reading it. I loved my stop in Santo Domingo in 2018 and I am hoping to visit the town again this summer. These towns will need support from anyone who can make a trip there, by that I mean people like me that live in Spain where it shouldn't be too difficult to go there for a weekend trip if nothing else. Clearly, the timing of any trip, whether passing through or a weekend visit, needs to take into account the various restrictions and new laws that might apply, whether the local population would want visitors or not, as well as weighing up any personal risks that might apply.
It's unfortunate that a blame game seems to have taken hold in Spain, on national level towards the government and on a local level as per the example of this article. The mayor in Belorado is absolutely right when he says that once you start blaming one group there'll be no end to it.

Many high profile political leaders have also operated a blame game policy, perhaps to deflect attention from their own poor decision making during various phases of the spread of the pandemic. However, what this article seems to highlight very sharply is that the lack of openness, honesty and accuracy about numbers of infected and deaths due to the virus has only added to fear and anxiety for many people. When people become consumed by fear and anxiety they no longer think rationally and are easily manipulated by fake, or at best incomplete and inaccurate, news reporting. This is something that may take some time to resolve and this article really shows quite well how the whole tragedy of the current situation has unfolded within one dearly beloved Camino town, but this town could be anyone's town. There may have been some failings or errors in managing care homes in the town, but many care homes and their staff probably didn't know what they were dealing with until it was too late.
We could say death, like life, has a lot to do with destiny. Obviously, it's not always easy to accept this. Or we could say that the disaster that befell this wonderful Camino town was predominently due to a large amount of bad luck, perhaps a string of unfortunate coincidences. Please, let's not blame other people from the town or pilgrims who happened to be passing through. If anyone, or group of people, had brought the virus into the town then it would have been without their knowing. Nobody knew the full extent of what was happening until it was already upon us. We will all have to learn from this, and to start that process we will need more clarity over facts, but not to point the blame at individuals or groups who may or may not have been unwittingly carrying the virus.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
Also, whomever is moderating this thread, thanks for making appropriate edits. 🙏🏻
I have a question. What do you mean by appropriate edits? Did I miss something or is there some notation that makes the reader aware that a moderator edited a thread. We have all seen when moderators have stepped in to keep discourse civil or have closed threads. This doesn't seem to fit here. This question is not sarcastic or critical, just wondering. Thanks and thanks for this story. It is painful to read but I think is almost a "must read" for any pilgrim.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Did I miss something or is there some notation that makes the reader aware that a moderator edited a thread.
Yes, you missed something. The annotation at the bottom right of any post that is edited by a Moderator giving date & time. The reason for the Edit is never discussed in public as you are aware. Rule 7.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
The author of this Guardian article is Gil Tremlett who wrote Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past.
Tremlett is one of the best general-interest writers in English about Spain. His "Ghosts of Spain" is an excellent introduction to contemporary Spain. He is sympathetic but does not allow it to interfere with his perspective and his knowledge.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
Yes, you missed something. The annotation at the bottom right of any post that is edited by a Moderator giving date & time. The reason for the Edit is never discussed in public as you are aware. Rule 7.
Thanks so much Tincatinker. I just looked up the forum rules. I should have probably done that a long time ago. I totally understand why an edit is not revealed. It probably would open up a whole other can of worms. Thanks again for all the work you and the other moderators do.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
The attached (long read) article in the Guardian newspaper gives an insight to the covid-19 problems in a town popular with the Camino community.

I read the article in the Guardin on Line - it did raise a number of points about how all govt's try to manipulate the news. Prayers for the people of Santo Domingo.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
The attached (long read) article in the Guardian newspaper gives an insight to the covid-19 problems in a town popular with the Camino community.


A terrible time for those in SDdC, as it has been for many other towns and villages. My very small thinly populated postcode in Cumbria, UK was for a while the most affected in the country and a number have died in my immediate vicinity.

Everyone can make up their own mind, but expressing it as a ‘what we should do’ statement is a bit crass. ‘Normal’ for SDdC is an absence of CV19 and a procession of people passing through daily. Perhaps many would like ‘normal’ soon; who knows?

I used to have a T-shirt with ‘I think you’ll find it’s more complicated than that’ printed on it. I should dig it out.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Edited: This post is not a direct commentary on the OP and article. The article was a great and insightful read on the personal impacts to one community and those who reside there. A powerful piece of writing.

The post below is geared to the commentary of some posts on this thread, and with intent to provide a reliable source, as cited in my post, for others to use in their considerations of making Camino plans.

---------------
Being trained in public health, epidemiology, and having worked (and been working) doing disease tracking and reporting, it gets frustrating. Many media sources cherry-pick data and mold 'facts' in order to fuel angst-driven readership so the original data is never seen.

Social media passes on reservoirs full of partial truths about COVID-19. Droplets of actual 'fact' are diluted into nothingness, as they get dibbled into an olympic-sized swimming pool full of opinion and false narrative.

Frequently, the 'facts' that I read from various Major News Outlets are at odds with what I see from actual sources. I've given up on using news media as a source for information.

Think about these things:
  • The world at large did not know of COVID-19 until the World Health Organization released a report on December 31.
  • Statistically significant trends about COVID-19 cases did not begin to be determined until late February.
  • In March, there was still uncertainty about the human role in person-to-person transmission rates and ease of infection. Knowing that a new disease exists and has made people sick, is not the same as understanding its course and actions within human populations.
  • Before COVID-19 became visible and known to governments, public health, and the general population as a unique and diagnosed illness in Europe, there were already unknown THOUSANDS infected, asymptomatic, and silently spreading COVID-19. This means that no action could have kept any nation from being severely impacted. Public Health and Governmental policies and actions, when able to be implemented DID prevent a far more severe disaster from occurring.
  • In other words, by the time we discovered we were in the middle of a COVID-19 Mine Field, many people were already killed and wounded. After the Minefield was discovered, policies to identify and mark the locations of the rest of the Mines were put into place to keep as many people as possible from becoming casualties.
  • There is no clear date between the middle of February and early March as to when it was clearly understood what the primary modes of COVID-19 transmission are, what the identifiable comorbidities might be, or what would be effective tools in interrupting the spread of the virus.
We have the 'luxury' of today's knowledge about COVID-19 to judge past public health actions. Personally, I am weary unto death of speculations and conspiracy theories and finger pointing at governmental bodies struggling with how best to holistically protect those who are in their charge.

Governments are people. People take time to gather information and develop action plans. This is further complicated by the fact that governmental decisions are often arrived thru the approval of political branches populated by diverse individuals. These policy and legal decisions are bogged down in a process of Consensus of the Majority.

For a public health emergency needing an immediate and complete response, Democracy is a cumbersome thing.

At one of my favorite statistic gathering sites, tons of data sets about COVID-19 exist. I modified one chart showing the curve of new cases of COVID-19, in Spain and surrounding nations, from when the world first became aware of COVID-19 on December 31, through June 4. Keep in mind two things:
  1. The numbers are quoted as a per capita figure. . For example, 6 people infected per million residents. Most COVID-19 population statistics use this 'per million' standard. (Other diseases may be reported on a 'per capita' rate per thousand). Although not perfect, it does help us to see comparisons, regardless of the size of a nation's population.
  2. This chart is based on a rolling 72-hour average. It is more accurate to see what a trend is based on 3 day increments that are averaged, than with the potential rapid variations over the course of 24 hours.
This is the same data that the public health agencies see, when advising their government leaders about what COVID-19 is doing. This is only ONE of dozens of data sets that get analyzed for trends about this disease's progress.

I picked this one data set because it can help us visualize the general trend of new infections from the beginning. One example: on March 27, Spain reached its highest point of new COVID-19 cases of infection at 196 cases per million residents. For the last three days, Spain has less than 4 new cases per million.

 
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JohnLloyd

Author of "Go Your Own Way"
Camino(s) past & future
Francés from SJPDP to SdC - Autumn 2018
Portugués from Porto to Sdc - Spring 2019
Francés again ASAP
Thanks for that excellent analysis, Dave.

Can you draw any conclusions from this?
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Thanks for that excellent analysis, Dave.

Can you draw any conclusions from this?
I have an opinion, which is different than a conclusion. My opinion is based on what the Camino-involved nations have officially stated, plus what I have observed from the collected epidemiological data.

In my opinion, I will not cancel my plans for my two Caminos (Aragones and Portuguese) which I have planned for late September until early November.

The main factors that are not known which could affect my plans:
  • Whether there might be any significant "second waves". Speculation abounds in the public health community with strong considerations both for and against. As with a lot of COVID-19 'news' there is little fact, and a lot of speculation based on other pandemics, which may or may not be applicable for COVID-19.
  • Tourism Policies. Spain and Portugal will likely not just throw open their country to tourists from all nations at first. I think they will formulate a list of nations from which they will allow tourists to visit. If your nation is not on the Welcome List, then no Camino.
  • All that we know right now, is what Spain and Portugal's tourism policy is today. Each nation will have policies for tourism that will be fluid and dynamic, not static. Because of this, I will not change my plans for late September, based on what Spain or Portugal has decided today, or next week, or next month. I will decide to cancel plans based on what Spain and Portugal do in early to mid September.
  • Public Health sciences are not based on having a Crystal Ball that allows a peek into the future. Public Health agencies and Governments can only plan based on current knowledge.
Factors that I am NOT concerned about for myself, as far as impacts to my own Camino plans:
  • Air Travel. The real information about things like ventilation and sanitation are sometimes in stark opposition to what many commonly believe, in terms of absolute risks. Let me be clear, I look at the risks in terms of probabilities, not possibilities. There are Possible Risks, but those do not translate into Probable Infections. I will use PPE and sanitizers as needed to further reduce any risk.
    • This is going to be one area of major decision making for many folks. What I decide will not be what others decide. For example, if I had a comorbidity risk level that was high (immunodeficiency due to genetics, medications, etc) I would probably make a different decision. My age puts me at a low level statistical comorbidity grouping, but age is not, itself, a high risk.
  • Alburgue availability. I will not be using alburgues this time around. I have other lodging options. However, if an alburgue with private rooms were open, especially those that have attached bathrooms, I wouldn't have qualms about staying there.
    • The group dorm setting is not a deal breaker for me, especially with the new modifications being instituted. Giving the uncertainty of how many will be open, I decided to make my plans sans alburgues for this trip.
  • Infrastructure support. Supermercados, bars, cafes, ATMs, medical and farmacia, etc.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Thanks for that excellent analysis, Dave.
Can you draw any conclusions from this?
I have opinions, which are different than a conclusion.
Perhaps I am being lazy, but I am genuinely confused. I don't quite understand whether or how @davebugg 's analysis and opinions either support or refute the article by Tremlett.
 

Dara H

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago & Fisterra (2014-2017)
Oloron to Puente la Reina (Arles/Aragones) (2018)
The attached (long read) article in the Guardian newspaper gives an insight to the covid-19 problems in a town popular with the Camino community.

A very interesting article. Sad and sobering.

Thanks for posting the link Kieran.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Perhaps I am being lazy, but I am genuinely confused. I don't quite understand whether or how @davebugg 's analysis and opinions either support or refute the article by Tremlett.
:) I was not directly responding to the article, but to the overall discussion within the thread, some of which has spun off and away from commenting on the article itself. The article was used as a foundation for commentary, by some, on the appropriateness of returning to Spain too early after tourism is allowed.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
:) I was not directly responding to the article, but to the overall discussion within the thread, some of which has spun off and away from commenting on the article itself. The article was used as a foundation for commentary, by some, on the appropriateness of returning to Spain too early after tourism is allowed.
I saw that spin-off/commentary as being fairly minor.

Let's all try to keep this discussion on-topic. :)
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I saw that spin-off/commentary as being fairly minor.

Let's all try to keep this discussion on-topic. :)
Perhaps the posts in question could be moved to the latest round of the COVID-19 Discussion thread?
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Moving and inserting your posts and the replies to them wouldn't make sense in the Covid round 7 thread and would only confuse the issue.
We will stay on track for the moment.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
It is a good article but some of it makes me feel uneasy. I know that you have to find an angle at the beginning of an article that will catch your readers' attention, otherwise you've lost them right away.

Here it is the words of one María José Dueñas who told stories of police clambering through windows to rescue the dying, who were too weak to open their doors. This may give you the impression that it happened in Santo Domingo de la Calzada or in La Rioja which isn't the case.

Several paragraphs later you read that elsewhere in the country, military units were discovering care home residents “completely abandoned, sometimes even dead in their beds”, the defence minister Margarita Robles told reporters and there is a link to a BBC News article of 24 March 2020. I remember reading about this in March and how horrified I was, even more so as it does not fit our image of Spain taking particular care of their elderly and despite the fact that I was already aware of the ravages that the disease had caused in homes for the elderly in several countries, including in my home town, and that staff and authorities everywhere had been ill prepared for this onslaught.

Googling for reports about the incidence now I find a 28 May article by the Associated Press that describes it in this way:

Zoilo Patiño was just one of more than 19,000 elderly people to die of coronavirus in Spain’s nursing homes but he has come to symbolize a system of caring for the country’s most vulnerable that critics say is desperately broken.
When the Alzheimer’s-stricken 84-year-old succumbed in March on the same day 200 others died across Madrid, funeral homes were too overwhelmed to take his body and he was instead left locked in the same room, in the same bed, where he died.
Spanish army disinfecting teams going through the Usera Center for the Elderly more than 24 hours later were stunned to come across Patiño’s body and it made headlines around the world, with the country’s Defense Minister Margarita Robles describing “elderly abandoned, if not dead, on their beds.”
It is still dreadful to read this but it shows, I think, that one should not go by just one line one reads somewhere. It's not fake news, and it's not wrong news, it's just that one writer and one article and your attention span can only deal with tiny facets of these huge events.


 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Likewise, I personally don't agree at all with the observation made in this thread that the Guardian article did raise a number of points about how all govt's try to manipulate the news. I simply don't read this between the lines and when I google about this in Spanish in the local Rioja press I cannot find confirmation. All I can find is one single local press conference where one single local official did not provide a good answer to a local reporter.

In the beginning of the pandemic in Spain, I followed numerous press conferences given by a variety of Spanish government officials and I found them to be quite transparent and not holding back data or manipulating them. Personal impression only.

The Rioja government's website (link earlier in this thread) has plenty of data. So there is no breakdown by fatalities by municipality. Does it matter? The infection rates by municipality show that Santo Domingo became an epidemic focus, a centre. It is the nature of this pandemic - it is not spread evenly across a region or a country. To find out how it came about you need to have a highly sophisticated testing and tracing system in place. We know that no European country had such a system in place and most of them are still struggling to put it in place.

I personally think sometimes it's not the government's fault and it is not the media's fault, it is our laziness and our habits of reading fast and superficially and without a desire to find out more and in depth. Which, as I have often said, we can do in this information age as the internet gives us access to splendid information tools and to a plethora of information sources including access to the primary source.
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I would like to add an anecdote that may apply to Rioja in general. I am in no way implying it applies to any population in general but here in South West Florida we have our cases of Covid-19 but in particular there is one emerging hot spot near where I live which is a migrant community, Immokalee, which has become a focal point for the state. This is the tomato, potato, cucumber capital of the world, providing products for the fast food industry with tasteless factory farmed produce. The number of sick and dying there are disproportionately high due to working and living conditions. I know from numerous trips to Rioja there is a large population of migrant labor who work the vineyards. I don't think this would apply to Sto. Domingo but it certainly would have an impact on the region, Haro and Logrono in particular.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
In the article the Spanish PM says that no country comes out of this well and that everyone has made mistakes. I think more than a few politicians around the world will be echoing this.
We only need look at Taiwan to see that this is not necessarily the case. Taiwan has a population of 24 million and has had only 400+ cases and 7 deaths and did not have a lockdown. I won't detail here what they did and when as this can easily be found from various reliable sources.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Thank you for posting this. It is published under a section in the Guardian that is called "The Long Read" and it is indeed a very long read. I admit to dropping out towards the end ... but I googled a bit.

The Rioja administration has a section dedicated to Covid-19 data on their website. It includes an up to date interactive map of accumulated cases. You see areas with no cases at all or less than 10 cases of infection throughout the whole period. Santo Domingo de la Calzada with their 354 confirmed cases really sticks out ... Haro, another focal point in La Rioja, was in the news in March at the beginning - some may remember that it was discussed on the forum. There is also an interactive graph on fatalities on the La Rioja website.

Link to interactive map: https://actualidad.larioja.org/coronavirus/datos

View attachment 76354
With the exception of Haro, you can see in this map how the cases follow the Camino Frances through the region, concentrating on the places where pilgrims are most likely to stay.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
With the exception of Haro, you can see in this map how the cases follow the Camino Frances through the region, concentrating on the places where pilgrims are most likely to stay.
David, don't forget that Haro too is on a Camino route which, if not popular with "international" pilgrims, is very popular with French, Basque and Spanish pilgrims. Statistics can only tell us so much, all these really tell us is that there has been tragedy in Rioja.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2019) SJPP to Logrono
CF May/June (2020) Logrono to ? (Delayed)
Yes, you missed something. The annotation at the bottom right of any post that is edited by a Moderator giving date & time. The reason for the Edit is never discussed in public as you are aware. Rule 7.
I have learnt something new today 👍
 

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)
David, don't forget that Haro too is on a Camino route which, if not popular with "international" pilgrims, is very popular with French, Basque and Spanish pilgrims. Statistics can only tell us so much, all these really tell us is that there has been tragedy in Rioja.
True enough, but wasn't the Haro cluster of cases traced to a gathering in Vitoria-Gasteiz?
 

Kieranodriscoll

New Member
When I walked the Camino Frances in 2012 (since walked Portuguese and half the Norte), I was so taken with those wonderful, small towns over the first few days. Staying in their albergues, and encountering the locals for the first time was an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Clearly, I was just passing through and contacts were minimal, but the people were friendly and welcoming, and I could relate to them.

Those towns, and especially Santo Domingo, were busy places. So, when I came across the Guardian article, it struck me what a change has come over them, and the fear that the residents have been living under. Looking back, I remember that many in those towns were elderly and therefore more vulnerable.

The article clearly caught my attention and that of those who commented above. For me, it helped me to appreciate what is currently lost to us pilgrims, but more importantly the loss to the Spanish people who are the Camino. It is good to see that things are turning around and hopefully there will be better times for the people of Santo Domingo de La Calzada soon.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
In August 2018 I was in Santo Domingo, That night there was a concert on the beautiful plaza mayor , zarzuelas and classical Spanish music.,, it was a perfect evening ,children playing, families, all beautifully dressed as they and enjoying their time together. I guess all the grand parents of the village were there ..I took photos and videos .. when I look at them I wonder who is still alive .. I join a painting by Juan Lucky n’a from Jerez de la Frontera to comemorate all the grand parents who died without being able to say farewell to their grand children .
 

Attachments

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)
This from another thread but it dovetails here:
It's worth reading their comments. Here is a Google Translate translation of their announcement on https://www.facebook.com/pg/alberguegranon.larioja/posts/:

To the pilgrims who are thinking of doing the French Camino this summer, we inform you that the parochial albergue of San Juan Bautista in Grañón will remain closed all summer for the time being until October, depending on how the pandemic evolves.​
We are a parish, and for this reason, our priority right now are the older inhabitants of the town of Grañón, they are also the great heroes of this pandemic, those who have suffered the most, and our duty is to protect them and we cannot risk any outbreak nor any contagion. [...] We must not disappoint them.
We are aware that there is a great thirst and desire to make a pilgrimage, but we want to encourage pilgrims to think before they start walking this summer, not only about the risk they are running, but about the risk and danger that they themselves can put to the older people in the towns, we ask you to think about whether it is worthwhile to make the pilgrimage in these conditions, when the Camino will always be there. If you decide to walk, take all possible precautions.​
We are also aware that there are private albergues and casas rurales in Grañon who have made a strong investment and who need to accommodate pilgrims to pay mortgages and cover expenses. We don't want to be their competition and these businesses are the ones that must survive right now.​
Let us hope we can reopen again and provide the hospitality that we like, not only offering a bed or a sleeping mat, but with a lot of human warmth and a big hug. As the last words written by a pilgrim in the guestbook say: "Without expectations, but with great confidence".​
I include the whole quote both for context, and because it gives a picture of how all the other small towns along the Francés are affected, as well. In the part I put in bold font they speak of the elders as heroes, which speaks to immense suffering.

It is heartbreaking sometimes, this world. I pray all our hearts break open into care for each other rather than breaking into grief or fear.
 

JohnLloyd

Author of "Go Your Own Way"
Camino(s) past & future
Francés from SJPDP to SdC - Autumn 2018
Portugués from Porto to Sdc - Spring 2019
Francés again ASAP
Having stayed there myself, on a truly memorable night, there is certainly no way that I could disregard these sentiments.

Only when I hear their voices inviting us back could I consider walking through their community again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
This cements in my mind how wrong it would be to enjoy a pilgrimage through this town and others during these terrible times of mourning. Reading through this article really hits home how bad this virus has affected so much of Spain. I'm now sure I made the right decision to cancel my 2020 camino. The people of Santo Domingo need time to heal.
Whilst I obviously respect your view I cannot say that I agree with it. The article stresses the dependence that Santo Domingo (and all of the other towns along the Camino) have economically on Peregrinos. The last thing that these communities need after the virus is to struggle economically in the aftermath. The community of the Camino is spiritual and supportive. It is not like a crowd of stag do youths are descending on the towns drunkenly rampaging around. I remember Santo Domingo being full of young families and a lot of happy laughing people. The best thing that we can do to encourage it's return to quasi-normality is, as soon as the Estado de Alarma is declared to be over, return to the Camino and all it's towns and welcoming people and give thanks for those who survived and pray for the souls of those who did not. Buen Camino.
 

harmsdg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2018)
It is a good article but some of it makes me feel uneasy. I know that you have to find an angle at the beginning of an article that will catch your readers' attention, otherwise you've lost them right away.

Here it is the words of one María José Dueñas who told stories of police clambering through windows to rescue the dying, who were too weak to open their doors. This may give you the impression that it happened in Santo Domingo de la Calzada or in La Rioja which isn't the case.

Several paragraphs later you read that elsewhere in the country, military units were discovering care home residents “completely abandoned, sometimes even dead in their beds”, the defence minister Margarita Robles told reporters and there is a link to a BBC News article of 24 March 2020. I remember reading about this in March and how horrified I was, even more so as it does not fit our image of Spain taking particular care of their elderly and despite the fact that I was already aware of the ravages that the disease had caused in homes for the elderly in several countries, including in my home town, and that staff and authorities everywhere had been ill prepared for this onslaught.

Googling for reports about the incidence now I find a 28 May article by the Associated Press that describes it in this way:

Zoilo Patiño was just one of more than 19,000 elderly people to die of coronavirus in Spain’s nursing homes but he has come to symbolize a system of caring for the country’s most vulnerable that critics say is desperately broken.
When the Alzheimer’s-stricken 84-year-old succumbed in March on the same day 200 others died across Madrid, funeral homes were too overwhelmed to take his body and he was instead left locked in the same room, in the same bed, where he died.
Spanish army disinfecting teams going through the Usera Center for the Elderly more than 24 hours later were stunned to come across Patiño’s body and it made headlines around the world, with the country’s Defense Minister Margarita Robles describing “elderly abandoned, if not dead, on their beds.”
It is still dreadful to read this but it shows, I think, that one should not go by just one line one reads somewhere. It's not fake news, and it's not wrong news, it's just that one writer and one article and your attention span can only deal with tiny facets of these huge events.


You seem to be suggesting that the incident Dueñas described really happened at a care home somewhere other Santo Domingo de la Calzada, but the evidence you present does not appear to support that claim. Dueñas is describing individuals who could not open the doors to their own homes; however, the examples you post are all from nursing homes. The author of the article clearly makes a distinction between the Dueñas incident and the nursing home situation as you point out when you quote the pertinent section of the article that appears several paragraphs later. I see nothing in your evidence or in the article that suggests that the incident related by Dueñas did not occur in Santo Domingo de la Calzada or that the author somehow misunderstood that Dueñas was really referring to an occurrence in a care home.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
You seem to be suggesting that the incident Dueñas described really happened at a care home somewhere other Santo Domingo de la Calzada, but the evidence you present does not appear to support that claim.
Actually, I am not presenting any "evidence" at all. The author writes he was told something by a single source what he calls stories. He does not confirm it independently in any way and apparently he did not research it in this small town. Later he writes about similar events and I remembered having read about these events in the news several months ago. I looked up what I had read then and what had been written about this since and summarised it.

I remember that initially (in March) I had thought it concerned people in their private homes. I understood now (May/June) that it concerned an old people's home in Madrid and I understand better what happened - funeral companies who were not able to cope with the number of deaths in a timely manner and staff who had been instructed by the authorities generally that they must not handle a deceased person in case of Covid-19 and leave everything to the funeral company staff. I am actually quite relieved that I found this additional information.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
(Via Tolosana Sept 2020 - alas! deferred)

thejoker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
many
Whilst I obviously respect your view I cannot say that I agree with it. The article stresses the dependence that Santo Domingo (and all of the other towns along the Camino) have economically on Peregrinos. The last thing that these communities need after the virus is to struggle economically in the aftermath. The community of the Camino is spiritual and supportive. It is not like a crowd of stag do youths are descending on the towns drunkenly rampaging around. I remember Santo Domingo being full of young families and a lot of happy laughing people. The best thing that we can do to encourage it's return to quasi-normality is, as soon as the Estado de Alarma is declared to be over, return to the Camino and all it's towns and welcoming people and give thanks for those who survived and pray for the souls of those who did not. Buen Camino.
Of course. Each person must consider the implications of walking the Camino in the current climate for him/herself. The corona virus is affecting different places around the world at more / less serious levels and the Camino is a massive meeting place of cultures.
Each pilgrim must make their own choice based on how the situation evolves , not just in Spain and the communities they would interact with while passing through, but in their own countries too given that there is at least a 14 day incubation period.
I have made my choice not to walk in 2020 after consideration for the people of Spain and those who would be around me, as well as for my own self preservation. I don't want to be a silent super spreader or encounter an asymptomatic holder of the virus. However, I fully understand why some people, out of their intense personal desire to spend time on the Camino, would be happy to walk, despite the increased risk to everyone.

Not sure about your assertion that all towns along the Camino depend on it though. I wonder how Pamplona, Logrono, Burguete, Najera etc etc survived economically before the Camino's modern wave of popularity in the late 90's.

Enjoy your Way.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I don't want to be a silent super spreader or encounter an asymptomatic holder of the virus. However, I fully understand why some people, out of their intense personal desire to spend time on the Camino, would be happy to walk, despite the increased risk to everyone.
Wow.

Maybe it is the fact that I am still recovering my energy levels from working hip-deep in the public health aspects of COVID-19, off and on for the last couple of months, heading to various locations at US military bases in Europe, and with public health agencies in the States. I don't know. Well, whatever it is, I find your post, especially the part I quoted, to be way off base and totally uncalled for.

Those who choose to go on Camino soon after Spain's border is opened to tourists, are neither selfish, unethical, immoral, or stupid. You did not say those things directly, but the context of what was written certainly implies it by the portrayal of how one might be a 'silent super spreader', or ignore any potential for being an 'increased risk to everyone.' because of doing a Camino as soon as things are opened.

There is no factual basis for stating those things, anyway. At least not with the current information we have about recent transmission patterns and rates of infection within specific environments. Will that change to a higher level risk? Unknown. But it is what it is right now.

At best, those issues are a speculation of low-level possibilities, as opposed to reasonable probabilities. That same type of speculation can be used to claim those same risks will exist well into next year, and perhaps become a seasonal risk after that. If one accepts those speculations, then one would be hard pressed, based on current data, to feel comfortable planning a Camino in within the next several years.

Those speculations do not concern me, so my Camino decisions will not incorporate them.

If Spain were to be all willy-nilly about opening its borders, I'd share your concerns. If Spain were ignoring the need for appropriate protocols and controls as to how tourists will be screened; and which nations need more time and work to control their COVID-19 infection rates before their citizens can enter Spain, I'd be concerned.

But Spain has many items under consideration to help safeguard it from a tourist-related COVID-19 outbreak, including the possibility of requiring travelers to have COVID-19 testing before entry.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Not sure about your assertion that all towns along the Camino depend on it though. I wonder how Pamplona, Logrono, Burguete, Najera etc etc survived economically before the Camino's modern wave of popularity in the late 90's.
I am not sure about that assertion either. From the article: La Rioja is a semi-autonomous region, with [...] one of the highest living standards in Spain.

The Camino Francés enters La Rioja in Logroño and leaves it near Santo Domingo de la Calzada. I remember that I had a look at shops in one of these places, or maybe it was a bit before or after that stretch, and I spent a long evening and another half day in Logroño - barely a pilgrim in sight, and yes, my impression was that, economically speaking, this is not Foncebadón area.

However, the shops and the hotels and the restaurants have had no business whatsoever since the middle of March, with no income at all, and probably even with losses, for over two months now and that includes the profitable Easter week. They may welcome any guest, no matter from where they come. But I'm far away from La Rioja and I cannot tell. My gut feeling is that maybe they welcome the guest who stays in one place for a week or two more than the one who is constantly on the move from place to place ...?
 

SafariGirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Vía de la Plata, Primitivo, Norte, Lebaniego & Vadiniense,
Aragonés
I was walking The Camino Francés and had reached Puente La Reina when Spain introduced its State of Alarm. The Government announced that all foreigners prepared to comply with its conditions were welcome to stay in the country and so I caught a bus to Logroño and rented an apartment here, hoping that restrictions would soon be lifted. I, like many others, did not appreciate the impact that the Coronavirus was about to have on Spain and the world at large; none of us having the benefit of hindsight at that time.

As each two-week period of ‘total lockdown’ was extended it became clear that my stay was going to be longer than I originally hoped. But this Camino is not a walking holiday for me it’s a life pilgrimage and so I continued to stay.

When the local church beside my apartment opened its doors again I went daily for private prayer and, when the parish priest became aware that I was a peregrina, he offered me accommodation in the (now empty) donativo albergue attached to the church. The priest, Jose Ignacio, is the founder of the donativo albergue at Grañon and a co-founder of the Association of Voluntary Hospitaleros.

I now attend daily mass at the church (La Iglesia de Santiago Real), welcoming parishioners and helping to clean and disinfect the pews between each service. The parish has lost members of its community to the virus, including a former parish priest, and we pray for them and their families daily. But we also pray daily for those who are suffering current economic hardship and uncertainty about the future as a result of the virus.

I’m frequently asked by individual parishioners (many of whom are elderly) “Are you the Peregrina?” When I confirm I am they ask me my plans and I explain that I intend to continue walking as soon as restrictions allow. Each one has smiled, nodded their approval, wished me luck and expressed a heartfelt “Buen Camino”.

Last week I spent the afternoon with close friends of the priest; a couple who have worked as voluntary Hospitaleros for over 20 years, who hail from Grañon and who still have a family home there. They explained the concern that the Hospitaleros Association has for its volunteer members, many of whom are elderly. The concern is not wholly focused on fears about contracting the virus but as much about the additional workload that its members will now face meeting the regular cleaning, social distancing and disinfection requirements agreed with the Government for all albergues.

They also expressed concern about how a small village like Grañon will survive economically with no pilgrims passing through. It has a few private albergues, two café bars and little else. They explained that the village relies on the Camino, not just for income but also to give it a sense of purpose, energy and life.

I’ve always considered myself to be an empathic and sensitive person but staying here in La Rioja (in the heart of the region featured in the recent Guardian article) has given me an even deeper understanding and respect than I had before for Spain, the Camino and its people.

There is no right or wrong decision about whether or when each of us should walk the Camino. It’s a personal choice that we must each make, based on the best available information we have at the time and drawing on our own sense of what feels right. (Just like walking the Camino itself from day to day).

There will always be those who don’t agree with our personal decisions and some who feel moved to criticise us for them. But this is just life and we shouldn’t let that overly influence us in our own personal decision-making process.

I will walk the Camino again in July, God willing, all the way to Santiago and I’ll do so stopping in as many café bars and albergues as I can, to make my small economic contribution. I will follow all virus restriction requirements, respect the mood and level of welcome I receive in each community, and do my best to leave a little of my own positive energy and purpose behind me along the way.

Whatever personal decision each of you reach, about if and when to walk the Camino, I respect it, I’m sure it will be the right one for you personally, and I wish you all a heartfelt “Buen Camino.”
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Thank you SafariGirl for your on the ground information, it is a refreshing change from all the speculation, what ifs, why's and why not's as regards to people getting back on the Camino again.
 

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 feel uneasy when I read over and over how it's a 'personal decision' to walk or not, reading into that a faint echo of 'my camino, your camino' - as though all the options were equal and our decisions do not affect people in the communities that we walk through. But of course they do.

Some say that if it's legal it must be safe:
If Spain were to be all willy-nilly about opening its borders, I'd share your concerns. If Spain were ignoring the need for appropriate protocols and controls as to how tourists will be screened; and which nations need more time and work to control their COVID-19 infection rates before their citizens can enter Spain, I'd be concerned.
But Spain has many items under consideration to help safeguard it from a tourist-related COVID-19 outbreak, including the possibility of requiring travelers to have COVID-19 testing before entry.
While others say they'll wait to get a sense of what is happening on the ground by way of welcome:
Only when I hear their voices inviting us back could I consider walking through their community again.
I admit that I tend to be in the latter camp, because I know very well that statutes depend more on who has power and the loudest voice, rather than on what is right. While it may be 'legal' to walk, it may not be safe for the elderly people who live in the many villages we walk through - they have much less of a voice than the tourism industry. The conflict here is well articulated by @Galloglaigh in another thread:
There is a strange parallel world in relation to opening up hospitality / tourism locations. Those with a vested interest in travel are pushing. Those with a vested interest in healthcare are resisting.

My family have worked in the tourism sector for decades. The company they work for is now planning to open their sites in early July but the locals have been lobbying their parliamentary representatives to resist the opening and a number of sites have had letters asking them to wait.

The local cite a fear that visitors will overwhelm local health services should they become ill. This is in the face of the fact the local businesses rely on visitor income which they appear to want to forgo due to the fear of the virus.

It's not going to be easy and I suspect there will be unpleasantness
I have strong opinions here about what I think we should all be keeping in mind before we decide to walk - and I will not express them much except to say that I feel our own desires to walk are far less important than the potential risk to the lives of others, however remote that risk. You may disagree. But 'It's my camino it's your camino' does not hold here. The camino belongs to the people who live there, not to us.

That said, it's immensely complicated because there's bound to be diversity of viewpoints even on the ground. @SafariGirl 's post from Logroño right now is in contrast to the picture painted by the some of the posts above.
I’m frequently asked by individual parishioners (many of whom are elderly) “Are you the Peregrina?” When I confirm I am they ask me my plans and I explain that I intend to continue walking as soon as restrictions allow. Each one has smiled, nodded their approval, wished me luck and expressed a heartfelt “Buen Camino”.

Last week I spent the afternoon with close friends of the priest; a couple who have worked as voluntary Hospitaleros for over 20 years, who hail from Grañon and who still have a family home there. [...]
They expressed concern about how a small village like Grañon will survive economically with no pilgrims passing through. It has a few private albergues, two café bars and little else. They explained that the village relies on the Camino, not just for income but also to give it a sense of purpose, energy and life.
With all this contradictory information, to put our heads down and charge ahead with our own individual agendas, whatever they are, seems ill-advised. It will take patience to wait for the dust to settle and for clarity to come.
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I’ve made my decision about my next Camino, but I see no merit in setting out my decision or thought process in detail, asserting my moral superiority or implying that my concern for others is greater than anyone else’s.

(I’ve come back to annotate this as, in retrospect, my post is as much inappropriate ‘virtue signalling’ as it would have been if I had also said ‘you should ...’. Everyone’s entitled to set out their thoughts without me coming over all ‘holier than thou’ - which I’m most certainly not. No offence intended folks.)

‘SafariGirl’s’ post above is one of the best I have read on here in a very long time. Clear, informative, interesting, sensible and entirely non-judgemental.
 
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Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I feel our own desires to walk are far less important than the potential risk to the lives of others, however remote that risk.
While I agree in principle, with all respect, I believe you are going a bit far here. Even when the time comes when the COVID-19 is under control, when an effective vaccine has been developed as well as an effective cure, you will never know for absolutely certain if you are carrying some infection – a ‘common flu’ for instance – which potentially could be harmful, even lethal, to someone old or otherwise specifically vulnerable.

We live with risks all the time and it may just be a matter of words in the sense, that the phrase ‘however remote that risk’ could mean something like ‘when the risk-level is fairly close to normal’ (then we just have to define ‘normal’ in this context).
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
none of us having the benefit of hindsight at that time
I was struck by this phrase in SafariGirl's post, above. We may not have the benefit of hindsight, but we do have the benefit of history. Recent history has told us of the effects of SARS and MERS in our own communities and of Ebola in Africa. We know that new viruses can kill, and we know that their effects can be temporary or long-lasting, widespread or local. There have been relatively few widespread and disastrous pandemics, but history records what happened. I have by chance heard an account from an Alberta woman who was alive in the 1918 flu pandemic of what happened here. In her city of Red Deer, there were so many deaths in the winter of 1918-19 that it was impossible to open graves for all of them. A hotel which was closed was used as a temporary mortuary. filled with the many bodies of the dead, who would be buried when the ground thawed in the spring. We know that the majority of deaths in that pandemic took place during the second wave. I am afraid for my city, where deaths have been worst in Alberta and thousands of young people who seem to totally lack hindsight are out en masse protesting these days. I was afraid when I shared space with them on public transit yesterday. In a week or so, we shall know what the public health results have been for Calgary. I want to go on pilgrimage as much as any of you. When it seems safe, for pilgrims and for locals, I shall do so. Like @VNwalking I shall try to make the well-being of locals the primary issue in my decision.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
(Via Tolosana Sept 2020 - alas! deferred)
I was walking The Camino Francés and had reached Puente La Reina when Spain introduced its State of Alarm. The Government announced that all foreigners prepared to comply with its conditions were welcome to stay in the country and so I caught a bus to Logroño and rented an apartment here, hoping that restrictions would soon be lifted. I, like many others, did not appreciate the impact that the Coronavirus was about to have on Spain and the world at large; none of us having the benefit of hindsight at that time.

As each two-week period of ‘total lockdown’ was extended it became clear that my stay was going to be longer than I originally hoped. But this Camino is not a walking holiday for me it’s a life pilgrimage and so I continued to stay.

When the local church beside my apartment opened its doors again I went daily for private prayer and, when the parish priest became aware that I was a peregrina, he offered me accommodation in the (now empty) donativo albergue attached to the church. The priest, Jose Ignacio, is the founder of the donativo albergue at Grañon and a co-founder of the Association of Voluntary Hospitaleros.

I now attend daily mass at the church (La Iglesia de Santiago Real), welcoming parishioners and helping to clean and disinfect the pews between each service. The parish has lost members of its community to the virus, including a former parish priest, and we pray for them and their families daily. But we also pray daily for those who are suffering current economic hardship and uncertainty about the future as a result of the virus.

I’m frequently asked by individual parishioners (many of whom are elderly) “Are you the Peregrina?” When I confirm I am they ask me my plans and I explain that I intend to continue walking as soon as restrictions allow. Each one has smiled, nodded their approval, wished me luck and expressed a heartfelt “Buen Camino”.

Last week I spent the afternoon with close friends of the priest; a couple who have worked as voluntary Hospitaleros for over 20 years, who hail from Grañon and who still have a family home there. They explained the concern that the Hospitaleros Association has for its volunteer members, many of whom are elderly. The concern is not wholly focused on fears about contracting the virus but as much about the additional workload that its members will now face meeting the regular cleaning, social distancing and disinfection requirements agreed with the Government for all albergues.

They also expressed concern about how a small village like Grañon will survive economically with no pilgrims passing through. It has a few private albergues, two café bars and little else. They explained that the village relies on the Camino, not just for income but also to give it a sense of purpose, energy and life.

I’ve always considered myself to be an empathic and sensitive person but staying here in La Rioja (in the heart of the region featured in the recent Guardian article) has given me an even deeper understanding and respect than I had before for Spain, the Camino and its people.

There is no right or wrong decision about whether or when each of us should walk the Camino. It’s a personal choice that we must each make, based on the best available information we have at the time and drawing on our own sense of what feels right. (Just like walking the Camino itself from day to day).

There will always be those who don’t agree with our personal decisions and some who feel moved to criticise us for them. But this is just life and we shouldn’t let that overly influence us in our own personal decision-making process.

I will walk the Camino again in July, God willing, all the way to Santiago and I’ll do so stopping in as many café bars and albergues as I can, to make my small economic contribution. I will follow all virus restriction requirements, respect the mood and level of welcome I receive in each community, and do my best to leave a little of my own positive energy and purpose behind me along the way.

Whatever personal decision each of you reach, about if and when to walk the Camino, I respect it, I’m sure it will be the right one for you personally, and I wish you all a heartfelt “Buen Camino.”
♥
 

SafariGirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Vía de la Plata, Primitivo, Norte, Lebaniego & Vadiniense,
Aragonés
I’ve made my decision about my next Camino, but I see no merit in setting out my decision or thought process in detail, asserting my moral superiority or implying that my concern for others is greater than anyone else’s.

‘SafariGirl’s’ post above is one of the best I have read on here in a very long time. Clear, informative, interesting, sensible and entirely non-judgemental.
Thank you David.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
it's a 'personal decision' to walk or not, reading into that a faint echo of 'my camino, your camino'
I don't think it is fair to suggest that "personal decision" - as used in the posts in question - implies that the decision is based on personal benefit or selfishness. Rather it means that the decision is made by the individual person, on criteria that the individual sets and evaluates. Those criteria would include the perceived risk to other people. My personal decision could land at a different point than yours. The role of the public health authorities is to roll up all the scientific facts and the individual values into a public health decision that we should all respect as a minimum.
 

harmsdg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2018)
It is a good article but some of it makes me feel uneasy. I know that you have to find an angle at the beginning of an article that will catch your readers' attention, otherwise you've lost them right away.

Here it is the words of one María José Dueñas who told stories of police clambering through windows to rescue the dying, who were too weak to open their doors. This may give you the impression that it happened in Santo Domingo de la Calzada or in La Rioja which isn't the case.
Actually, I am not presenting any "evidence" at all. The author writes he was told something by a single source what he calls stories. He does not confirm it independently in any way and apparently he did not research it in this small town. Later he writes about similar events and I remembered having read about these events in the news several months ago. I looked up what I had read then and what had been written about this since and summarised it.
Here is a link to an article from March 14 in the newspaper La Rioja about police in Santo Domingo having to rescue an ill man by climbing through a window. The man had been in bed for four days, too weak to stand up let alone answer the door. Therefore, Dueñas is relating a story that did, indeed, occur in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, as the La Rioja newspaper account documents, and the writer reported the story accurately.

La Policía Local de Santo Domingo rescata en su domicilio a una persona enferma que llevaba días en la cama
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
That's so very sad that people, be it old or a bit younger or especially the youngest, are left alone by family, neighbours, social workers etc. Of course, we don't know all the facts so I wouldn't blame anyone in particular.

Still one thing I don't understand (which is actually of no importance really) is why the police had to go in through the window? Was he living in a fortified castle or a Spanish civil war bunker???
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I’ve made my decision about my next Camino, but I see no merit in setting out my decision or thought process in detail, asserting my moral superiority or implying that my concern for others is greater than anyone else’s.
David, I doubt that whatever you posted would leave that impression. I've never seen that kind of thing in any of your posts that I've read. I would enjoy reading what you decided and having you share your thoughts.
 
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rappahannock_rev Covid and the Camino 23
OLDER threads on this topic
COVID Santo Domingo de la Calzada Suffering

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