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COVID Think before you walk.

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MickMac

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
Frances 2018
Frances 2018
Ponferrada-Santiago
July 2019
Sorry for this rant but I am getting angry so here goes,
Economic needs are forcing bad decisions to be made.
For a few weeks now I have been reading posts of people starting there walk and getting lots of "likes" from others.
Recently in a post someone said " The drive to the airport might be as dangerous to you, as walking three weeks in of the Camino " poor Galicia and Spain has no hope with views like this.

I know we all want things to go back to our memories of the past Caminos, but try to think of others that is that what the spirit of the Camino is about.?
"Think of others when making your decision to walk it will still be there in months and years to come even if we are not".
To me the Camino is about friendship caring, sharing and helping fellow humans in body and spirit.
The virus you could be carrying could damage the health of thousands of your fellow humans.
"Selfishness is no excuse for ignorance
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Humans are interesting aren't they. Spain has just re-locked down two areas, one in Galicia, because of spikes.

Every year the Camino starts bed bug free ... then one person arrives from somewhere with bed bugs, and then they spread down Camino - we see it each year ... but a virus is invisible .. the carrier can be symptom free ... chilling, isn't it.
 

Lexicos

Jim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
I agree with you Mick. Preservation of life comes before all else. We can wait for the Camino and it will wait for pilgrims. This is no light matter. It is serious. We all know and can understand the economic imperative for Spain and its small businesses and our desire to be back on the Camino soon as is possible but life and protection of others comes way ahead of all that. I’m not sure that there is an acceptable level of safety as things are right now. It looks like the safety measures being recommended and put in place are not enough. How can they be? This virus is incredibly contagious. Patience. Patience. Patience.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
I agree with you Mick. Preservation of life comes before all else. We can wait for the Camino and it will wait for pilgrims. This is no light matter. It is serious. We all know and can understand the economic imperative for Spain and its small businesses and our desire to be back on the Camino soon as is possible but life and protection of others comes way ahead of all that. I’m not sure that there is an acceptable level of safety as things are right now. It looks like the safety measures being recommended and put in place are not enough. How can they be? This virus is incredibly contagious. Patience. Patience. Patience.
And far better to have Patience. Patience. Patience than Patients, Patients, Patients.

I do miss Spain though.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
I have just listened to a reporter being interviewed from Spain, there are serious spikes again all over the country, the ones you will only hear about are the ones where lockdown occurs, like Galicia and Catalunya. My opinion is that I would not travel to Spain now, think about what I may bring, spread and bring home. What's another year.

EDIT:
I have edited my post to remove content which may have been seen as criticizing others on the decisions they make re traveling to Spain at this time and my apologies to any I have offended.
 
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Sean Lad

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010 to 2019 walked total of 31 caminos
I have just listened to a reporter being interviewed from Spain, there are serious spikes again all over the country, the ones you will only hear about are the ones where lockdown occurs, like Galicia and Catalunya. My opinion is that travel to Spain now is just plain daft and indeed a bit selfish, think about what you may bring, spread and bring home. What's another year.
common sense at last
cop on the Camino and Spain we all love will be be waiting for us next year pg
cemetery a nice resting place but not before your time be safe
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I have just listened to a reporter being interviewed from Spain, there are serious spikes again all over the country, the ones you will only hear about are the ones where lockdown occurs, like Galicia and Catalunya. My opinion is that travel to Spain now is just plain daft and indeed a bit selfish, think about what you may bring, spread and bring home. What's another year.
I agree with you BUT " what's another year". Speak for yourself" At 82 I can't be sure! :)

The Malingerer.
 

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2019) SJPP to Logrono
CF May/June (2020) Logrono to ? (Delayed).
Here in the UK I live 30 miles from the town of Leicester, which has gone back into lock-down again due to spikes of the virus.

Based on the above, do I not step out my house now for fear of catching it or spreading it further, or do I just get on with life and take sensible precautions?

I agree with the sentiments of @MickMac but Spain is no different from elsewhere in Europe, we just seem to focus on Spain.

I look at life in the UK, with the new norm, and I then look at life in Spain with the new norm, and I see everyone getting on with life. (apart from where locked down)

By all means we should avoid obviously affected areas (I shall not be entering Leicester), but given this is how life is going to be for some time to come, we need to find a way of dealing with it. (for some, that means staying indoors)

Bad decisions of course depend on your point of view and your own personal standards, others will of course have differing opinions based on their own point of view.

Even if I decide to do some of the many UK walks it would have the same risks as walking in Spain, yet people are happy to "walk at home" in the belief that it is safer than in Spain/Europe.

For my point of view, I think there are too many negative posts on this forum (just my opinion folks). I never had those thoughts before lock-down, when this forum was far more welcoming. (Maybe we just have too much time on our hands now)

I will continue to 'like' others that are on the Camino, after all, its their walk and not ours. I'll certainly not be commenting on them because its maybe not something I would do. (again, just my opinion and not a reflection of people with alternative views)

I am still intending going out in September when I will make a late call as to whether I think its safe or not. I'm by no means ignoring whats going on in the world, but we all have our own thresholds.
 

Sean Lad

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010 to 2019 walked total of 31 caminos
Here in the UK I live 30 miles from the town of Leicester, which has gone back into lock-down again due to spikes of the virus.

Based on the above, do I not step out my house now for fear of catching it or spreading it further, or do I just get on with life and take sensible precautions?

I agree with the sentiments of @MickMac but Spain is no different from elsewhere in Europe, we just seem to focus on Spain.

I look at life in the UK, with the new norm, and I then look at life in Spain with the new norm, and I see everyone getting on with life. (apart from where locked down)

By all means we should avoid obviously affected areas (I shall not be entering Leicester), but given this is how life is going to be for some time to come, we need to find a way of dealing with it. (for some, that means staying indoors)

Bad decisions of course depend on your point of view and your own personal standards, others will of course have differing opinions based on their own point of view.

Even if I decide to do some of the many UK walks it would have the same risks as walking in Spain, yet people are happy to "walk at home" in the belief that it is safer than in Spain/Europe.

For my point of view, I think there are too many negative posts on this forum (just my opinion folks). I never had those thoughts before lock-down, when this forum was far more welcoming. (Maybe we just have too much time on our hands now)

I will continue to 'like' others that are on the Camino, after all, its their walk and not ours. I'll certainly not be commenting on them because its maybe not something I would do. (again, just my opinion and not a reflection of people with alternative views)

I am still intending going out in September when I will make a late call as to whether I think its safe or not. I'm by no means ignoring whats going on in the world, but we all have our own thresholds.
Free will and hopefully we all make the right decisions. I live in Ireland and my government has not lifted any travel restrictions to date

i went to mountains yesterday in a car solo climbed 4 small mountains and trekked/climbed over 40km
no contact with any human being and retured to my home. The new normal
live and let live
 

m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
but Spain is no different from elsewhere in Europe, we just seem to focus on Spain.
The part of Spain that is particularly interesting to us on the forum, CAMINO, IS different. Every day a lot of strangers pass through the village, it is enough that one is covid positive (no symptoms), and so from the village to the village, 800km. The difference is in mobility, which is significantly greater. And I hope this is not perceived as a negative comment. But I think it’s true: at the forefront is not the question of “how dangerous it is for me,” but “how dangerous I can be to others, especially the locals” (in Santo Domingo de la Calzada it was really very severe https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...l-town-one-of-europes-worst-covid-19-hotspots). If we are concerned about the survival of local business, it is not necessary to walk in these circumstances - there is an opportunity on the forum to contribute to those who have asked for it
 
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David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Oh look, another lecture... piled on top of a thousand lectures given on this forum over the past 5 months.
Indeed - the forum is very different from how it once was .. so many 'old-timers' gone now .. their accounts closed ... and where now the lightness, banter, humour, kindness, empathy? - what has happened? - it gives me pause .... it really does :(
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
I've not yet read all the messages in this thread - something I usually do before I reply. What I did: I typed the word "essential" into the search window. The search result was a "not found".

I live in a region that had high Covid-19 numbers - Covid-19 infected cases and Covid-19 fatal cases. I've not yet been on an overnight trip, not in the country where I live and not to a neighbouring country and not to Spain where I had planned to go to in March or April this year. Much as I would love to do it, I know that such kind of travelling is not essential right now.

I am quite happy to leave Camino walking to those who live in Spain.
 

Lexicos

Jim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
Not for me to judge choices made by our pilgrim friends. I respect the decisions of others. I'm sure no-one is acting out of malice or carelessness by doing a Camino now. This is entirely new territory for everyone (unless you were alive in 1918) and like it or not it puts us all to the test: our ethics, our morals, our appetite for risk, our patience, our care for others, care for ourselves, etc. etc. It is to be expected, the range of views and opinions, on a subject so serious and a threat so pervasive. Nothing I've read here in this thread is condescending or ill-meaning or ill intended. All posts are respectful and considered, as far as I can see. Enough from me on this topic.
I'm just gonna wait.
Soon as it is reasonably safe to go, safe for me and for everyone else, I'll weigh it up and probably go then and only then. Good health to all!
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
We are seeing a broad spectrum of beliefs around whether people think they or others are at danger of catching the virus and, having caught it, rating the risk of serious complications or dying. The young/old split is very prominent. But right now there's an additional practical reason for not walking on the camino: it's apparent there are going to be intermittent surges and lockdowns in different areas. What do you do if you are a pilgrim caught in the middle of one?
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Indeed - the forum is very different from how it once was .. so many 'old-timers' gone now .. their accounts closed ... and where now the lightness, banter, humour, kindness, empathy? - what has happened? - it gives me pause .... it really does :(
This has always been the case... old timers leave the forum all the time, there have been many of them over the years. There might have been a few more leaving these days since we are not really talking as much about the Camino as things are these days. But those days will come again. Let us try to be respectful and helpful either way if the conversation is virus related or camino related.

About 1000 pilgrims still log on to the forum every day, even in these virus times.
 

MickMac

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
Frances 2018
Frances 2018
Ponferrada-Santiago
July 2019
I have read the comments to my thread, some good, some not, that is the new world order "C'est La Vie" .
All I was trying to say is the Camino is about thinking of others, it's not all about "you" if there is the slightest risk of spreading this virus for pitys sake"don't go".
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
I'm in Spain. I don't consider myself selfish and I think it's a little easy to make sweeping statements.

I live in rural SW France and we have very few cases. We have been super vigilant with the lock-down and indeed since restrictions have been lifted. I live with 2 autoimmune conditions and have had cancer which has life long implications for my health... I know I am at risk and so we have taken no chances.

We had planned to walk this year and have indeed cancelled trips like many others. But the opportunity to walk now was an option.

We drove from home. We booked an apartment (and are the first visitors here this year). We bought our own car and our own bedding. We walk alone. We take picnics. We eat at home.

I don't believe that we are bringing any risk to locals and I don't believe we are taking risks.

Most people here are wearing masks but not all... and the people around us Spanish. Our car has French plates and they assume we are French and we are greeted with warmth.

We did think long and hard about our choice to come. We could stay at home. But we can't spend the rest of our lives in our house. The day we left was the anniversary of the death of my walking buddy. She died from cancer at the age of 51... it was swift and within 10 weeks she was gone. My mother and grandmother died in their 50's.... and I factored all of this into my decision. It wasn't selfish. It was considered and balanced.

I wont go into a busy shop. I wont got inside a bar or a restaurant. I wont go on a plane or a bus. I wont go anywhere busy. But I feel walking isolation in nature is safer.

I am sad that you feel I'm selfish. I hope my explanation offers an alternative view.
 

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 forum is very different from how it once was .. so many 'old-timers' gone now .. their accounts closed ... and where now the lightness, banter, humour, kindness, empathy? - what has happened?
Oh look, another lecture... piled on top of a thousand lectures given on this forum over the past 5 months.
Theoretically, it's possible to disagree kindly, and hopefully that kindness happens. But this is New Territory for all of us, and the consequences of being wrong are much higher then when we're choosing socks, or poles, or what routes to walk. So so it's not surprising that sometimes we get testy or defensive.

So I see deep concern for others in this post much more then a lecture.
But I think it’s true: at the forefront is not the question of “how dangerous it is for me,” but “how dangerous I can be to others, especially the locals”

And about forum departures: People leave for many reasons, and some of the recent departures have had nothing to do with the atmosphere here. Admittedly it's a heavy time, and the posts here are heavier than normal. But nothing's going to change the reality of the way things are, so I tend to take refuge in photograph threads and in people's virtual Caminos — as well as in personal message threads here with inspiring and wonderful Camino friends.
 
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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)
Mick

I understand your intent. It was my post elsewhere which you misquoted in your opening essay.

I try - and sometimes fail - to sprinkle my posts with liberal ‘in my opinion’ and ‘your opinion may vary’ statements. I do not put forwards my point of view as having universal merit or the moral high ground. Providing we make our points in a civilised manner we can all describe however we wish to conduct ourselves within the law.

The uncalibrated contention that no action can be justified which poses a risk to others denies the reality of society. There are (roughly) 20,000 deaths and serious injuries in the uk every year as a result of traffic incidents. Those 20,000 lives annually could be saved in an instant by banning road transport - but of course, that is ridiculous. Society judges the utility of road transport to outweigh the annual death-toll, and the same applies to an unknown degree to the current epidemic and the tragic consequences thereof.

Our views differ - but I don’t set mine out as being superior to yours.

David
 

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 am sad that you feel I'm selfish. I hope my explanation offers an alternative view.
There isn't a single standard of what constitutes selfishness — and it's not the walking or not walking that determines that. Rather, it's the attitude people have in making that decision that makes it selfish or not. And what you are doing is absolutely not selfish! I hear a lot of sensitivity about the possible effects of your presence on the people around you — rather than only thinking about the danger of the journey to you. That consideration is distinctly unselfish. 🙏
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Here in the UK I live 30 miles from the town of Leicester, which has gone back into lock-down again due to spikes of the virus.

Based on the above, do I not step out my house now for fear of catching it or spreading it further, or do I just get on with life and take sensible precautions?

I agree with the sentiments of @MickMac but Spain is no different from elsewhere in Europe, we just seem to focus on Spain.

I look at life in the UK, with the new norm, and I then look at life in Spain with the new norm, and I see everyone getting on with life. (apart from where locked down)

By all means we should avoid obviously affected areas (I shall not be entering Leicester), but given this is how life is going to be for some time to come, we need to find a way of dealing with it. (for some, that means staying indoors)

Bad decisions of course depend on your point of view and your own personal standards, others will of course have differing opinions based on their own point of view.

Even if I decide to do some of the many UK walks it would have the same risks as walking in Spain, yet people are happy to "walk at home" in the belief that it is safer than in Spain/Europe.

For my point of view, I think there are too many negative posts on this forum (just my opinion folks). I never had those thoughts before lock-down, when this forum was far more welcoming. (Maybe we just have too much time on our hands now)

I will continue to 'like' others that are on the Camino, after all, its their walk and not ours. I'll certainly not be commenting on them because its maybe not something I would do. (again, just my opinion and not a reflection of people with alternative views)

I am still intending going out in September when I will make a late call as to whether I think its safe or not. I'm by no means ignoring whats going on in the world, but we all have our own thresholds.
The key word for me in all of this is RESPONSIBILITY and I think we should behave accordingly.

Take care and buen Camino irrespective of where and when you go.

The Malingerer.

:)
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
I hope my explanation offers an alternative view.
And how high is the percentage of those who announce their departure to Spain to go on camino now and who travel in their own car and rent an apartment and go on day walks, like you do, versus those who travel by plane and other means of mass transportation and stay in albergues mainly (although they bring a tent just in case) and eat and drink in bars and sit together with others who are not part of their family or "social bubble" and share dormitories and showers and bathrooms with them, and every day and every night with people they've not met before? I guess your alternative view is not an alternative option for many if not most of those who are posting on the forum.

Funny, actually, now that I think about it: your method is what I did in the beginning of my long walk to Santiago, long before I knew about what I call "camino lore" or what I regard as the current prevailing Camino narrative. I hadn't read a single Camino book and hadn't seen a single Camino movie or Camino videoclip when I set out. I didn't know that they existed. How I sometimes long for those days of blessed ignorance. 🤭
 
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Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
I have read the comments to my thread, some good, some not, that is the new world order "C'est La Vie" .
All I was trying to say is the Camino is about thinking of others, it's not all about "you" if there is the slightest risk of spreading this virus for pitys sake"don't go".
Mick, although my response was mildly sarcastic it wasn't ad hominem. I apologize, mate, if it came across that way.

You have every right to feel as you do. However, the original post was exactly like countless other posts, many of them given by a group of posters who roam from thread to thread saying similar, often in a condescending or lecturing manner (as if they have some special knowledge or wisdom--like most of us aren't living through the same worldwide event). Over the past several months, it has become quite tedious to read the forum. Most often, their posts are chastisements in response to those who are hopeful about returning to the Camino. I guess your post was a tipping point for me to say something.

In addition, it seems that only responses that align with the views of this band of lecturers are praised, and any dissent or questioning is frowned upon. In this way, the forum at this time doesn't align with the Camino, which is a very accepting community that lifts up and cares for other pilgrims.
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Congratulations Malingerer on reaching the age 82
assume you are fit and with no underlining medical conditino so
whats another year
Well, I have Asthma, COPD and a bucketful of lesser villains having a go at my mortality BUT being a Derryman my personality is liberally sprinkled with a fair amount of warped humour and bloody mindedness! This and a long suffering guardian angel is what gets me along the Camino! I love the Pyrenees as with the fog and low cloud and evil weather I can curse most horribly and blame it on the ponies! Keep on truckin! :)

The Malingerer.
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Mick, although my response was mildly sarcastic it wasn't ad hominem. I apologize, mate, if it came across that way.

You have every right to feel as you do. However, the original post was exactly like countless other posts, many of them given by a group of posters who roam from thread to thread saying similar, often in a condescending or lecturing manner (as if they have some special knowledge or wisdom--like most of us aren't living through the same worldwide event). Over the past several months, it has become quite tedious to read the forum. Most often, their posts are chastisements in response to those who are hopeful about returning to the Camino. I guess your post was a tipping point for me to say something.

In addition, it seems that only responses that align with the views of this band of lecturers are praised, and any dissent or questioning is frowned upon. In this way, the forum at this time doesn't align with the Camino, which is a very accepting community that lifts up and cares for other pilgrims.
Couldn't agree more!

The Malingerer.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
like most of us aren't living through the same worldwide event
We aren't living through it in the same way worldwide though, and I don't mean individually but collectively. Or did you - where you live - live through the same severe months long lockdown conditions as they lived through in Spain for example? I don't think so. Our collective memories differ.
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
We aren't living through it in the same way worldwide though, and I don't mean individually but collectively. Or did you - where you live - live through the same severe months long lockdown conditions as they lived through in Spain for example? I don't think so. Our collective memories differ.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I share the fear that this topic is going to continue to dominate our discussions whenever someone ventures out onto the camino for who knows how long. Almost daily there is a new “live from the camino” thread or links to articles in the popular press showing pilgrims walking. Each one of those threads provides the opportunity for jumping on.

It is obvious that some forum members have very strong opinions and are condemning of those who venture out. But it is equally obvious that Spain has opened its borders to some countries, and many albergues have opened in response to new and extremely rigorous restrictions. To call out people who go there under those conditions as selfish, disrespectful and ignorant is beyond the pale, IMO. If Spain’s public health officials have concluded that it is safe enough and worth the risk in terms of the overall health of the economy, and if people walking are willing to abide by the restrictions, I don’t know why a forum member should be annointed as the one who gets to impose an additional layer of restrictions to meet his or her individual opinions. The risks are not trivial, of course, and it may be that there will be more shut-downs like the current ones in Lleida (on the Camino Catalán) and Ribadeo/Mondoñedo/Lourenzá (on the Norte), so people should be prepared for unanticipated interruptions, closures, and maybe even quarantines.

You can call the shots for your own decision when to return, but I don’t know why so many people think they can tell people they are ignorant for following the guidelines of the Spanish public health authorities.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future
Sensitive issue, but with all due respect I’d like to add something just to say how I see it. No intention to be controversial.

I find OP’s concern understandable, no doubt about that. Indeed I also agree with some of his statements, but on the other hand, don’t think that necessarily implies people currently walking or planning their hikes are careless either.
As someone mentioned above I also think it’s rather a matter of attitude.

So saying, situation is worrisome enough to be alert for.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
You can call the shots for your own decision when to return, but I don’t know why so many people think they can tell people they are ignorant for following the guidelines of the Spanish public health authorities.
One, I think the thrust of comments here is not about saying people are ignorant, rather suggesting that they consider if they are truly looking beyond their own interests and urging them to consider whether there is a bigger picture here.
Two, I don't think us pilgrims can just hold up the guidelines of the Spanish public health authorities and say that general compliance with those means everything is OK. Those are general guidelines. The camino is a very specific situation where people, often from abroad, visit 100s of communities large and small within the space of a few weeks and physically transact with those communities along the way. In normal life there is nothing quite like that level of close and transitory contact. I'm advocating that the onus is on adults such ourselves to appreciate the special factors involved here and act in a way that is prudent for others, as much as for ourselves.
 

MarkyD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
I'm in Spain. I don't consider myself selfish and I think it's a little easy to make sweeping statements.

I live in rural SW France and we have very few cases. We have been super vigilant with the lock-down and indeed since restrictions have been lifted. I live with 2 autoimmune conditions and have had cancer which has life long implications for my health... I know I am at risk and so we have taken no chances.

We had planned to walk this year and have indeed cancelled trips like many others. But the opportunity to walk now was an option.

We drove from home. We booked an apartment (and are the first visitors here this year). We bought our own car and our own bedding. We walk alone. We take picnics. We eat at home.

I don't believe that we are bringing any risk to locals and I don't believe we are taking risks.

Most people here are wearing masks but not all... and the people around us Spanish. Our car has French plates and they assume we are French and we are greeted with warmth.

We did think long and hard about our choice to come. We could stay at home. But we can't spend the rest of our lives in our house. The day we left was the anniversary of the death of my walking buddy. She died from cancer at the age of 51... it was swift and within 10 weeks she was gone. My mother and grandmother died in their 50's.... and I factored all of this into my decision. It wasn't selfish. It was considered and balanced.

I wont go into a busy shop. I wont got inside a bar or a restaurant. I wont go on a plane or a bus. I wont go anywhere busy. But I feel walking isolation in nature is safer.

I am sad that you feel I'm selfish. I hope my explanation offers an alternative view.
This is a very thoughtful reply, as are most here. We all make our own decisions, but sometimes external influences conspire against us. I live in Madrid, I have family who live in other parts of Spain that I would dearly love to visit. I can wait, I have been waiting; but I'll also be asking them before I make the trip to visit them. I too will drive by car and do similar to you, although my accommodation will be with family. There will always be a risk, but should that dictate 100% how we make decisions? It should definitely influence our decisions, make us take additional precautions etc. It's a tough one, the OP is saying what he thinks is best and he has given good reasons. This is one of those things where opinions and perspectives will vary. We can all listen and learn from eachother.
When we go to the supermarket there are risks, but we have no other means of getting food. Some people have to travel to go to work, more risks. We often depend on those people taking more risks so we an live with less risk. It's just not so black and white at times. Stay safe everyone, this thing isn't over by a long chalk; but we know more now and we know what precautions to take to minimise risks.
 
To me, one of the worst side effects of this pandemic is how polarizing it has been. I’ve seen close friends of 40 years with opposite points of views one - who thinks Its a huge overreaction to a mild illness and the other who is extremely cautious, and of course there are stats and experts to support whatever you believe. Maybe it’s frustration, but there does seem to be less tolerance and acceptance of other viewpoints.
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
We aren't living through it in the same way worldwide though, and I don't mean individually but collectively. Or did you - where you live - live through the same severe months long lockdown conditions as they lived through in Spain for example? I don't think so. Our collective memories differ.
I have lived through four months of lockdown and am still doing so although many of the restrictions have been lifted.. The virus/Pandemic is still with us and,whilst this be the case, I will continue.
I prefer to be guided by public health interests rather than economic and anything I want to do will take a back seat to what I need to do.
 

fransw

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012; Le Puy - Conques 2014;Camino Aragonese Oloron Ste Marie - Puenta la Reina 2018
The decision to open the borders is a compromise, it is not the result of mathematical evidence. In many cases it is about money, the economic argument!
 

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)
What I felt moved to say Tom said far better than I could have:
One, I think the thrust of comments here is not about saying people are ignorant, rather suggesting that they consider if they are truly looking beyond their own interests and urging them to consider whether there is a bigger picture here.
Two, I don't think us pilgrims can just hold up the guidelines of the Spanish public health authorities and say that general compliance with those means everything is OK. Those are general guidelines. The camino is a very specific situation where people, often from abroad, visit 100s of communities large and small within the space of a few weeks and physically transact with those communities along the way. In normal life there is nothing quite like that level of close and transitory contact. I'm advocating that the onus is on adults such ourselves to appreciate the special factors involved here and act in a way that is prudent for others, as much as for ourselves.

of course there are stats and experts to support whatever you believe.
This topic is more loaded than most since following those different opinions can potentially result an illness or death of people who live along the Camino. So it's not like arguing over poles.

The title of the thread doesn't imply a blanket condemnation of going as opposed to staying home. The decision is too complicated and nuanced for that. But in making that decision I feel it's essential to consider its consequences to people living in tbe communities through which we wish to walk.

No matter how important it is to each of us individually, walking a Camino is essentially a recreational activity rather than an essential one. So were I in any way at risk I'd be saying "No, thank you" to the idea of walking now - it's past my rationalization threshold. How would I feel if my walking caused an elder along the way to die?
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I must add in a new twist... even in my own household we are a bit at odds...not entirely on polar opposite ends of our opinions, but certainly not exactly "like minded". Not necessarily about the camino, but locally, such as visiting family or friends. It has its own challenges. Anyone else experiencing similar?
 
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Peadarmac

Irlandes Pedro
Camino(s) past & future
Astorga-S de C '11,'18,19
St Jean-Belorado '13 & '17
Belorado-Astorga '15
Fisterra-Muxia '11,'18,'19
Sorry for this rant but I am getting angry so here goes,
Economic needs are forcing bad decisions to be made.
For a few weeks now I have been reading posts of people starting there walk and getting lots of "likes" from others.
Recently in a post someone said " The drive to the airport might be as dangerous to you, as walking three weeks in of the Camino " poor Galicia and Spain has no hope with views like this.

I know we all want things to go back to our memories of the past Caminos, but try to think of others that is that what the spirit of the Camino is about.?
"Think of others when making your decision to walk it will still be there in months and years to come even if we are not".
To me the Camino is about friendship caring, sharing and helping fellow humans in body and spirit.
The virus you could be carrying could damage the health of thousands of your fellow humans.
"Selfishness is no excuse for ignorance
Sorry for this rant but I am getting angry so here goes,
Economic needs are forcing bad decisions to be made.
For a few weeks now I have been reading posts of people starting there walk and getting lots of "likes" from others.
Recently in a post someone said " The drive to the airport might be as dangerous to you, as walking three weeks in of the Camino " poor Galicia and Spain has no hope with views like this.

I know we all want things to go back to our memories of the past Caminos, but try to think of others that is that what the spirit of the Camino is about.?
"Think of others when making your decision to walk it will still be there in months and years to come even if we are not".
To me the Camino is about friendship caring, sharing and helping fellow humans in body and spirit.
The virus you could be carrying could damage the health of thousands of your fellow humans.
"Selfishness is no excuse for ignorance
Well said Mick. Delighted to hear fellow Peregrinos feel as strongly as I do about travelling to
Sorry for this rant but I am getting angry so here goes,
Economic needs are forcing bad decisions to be made.
For a few weeks now I have been reading posts of people starting there walk and getting lots of "likes" from others.
Recently in a post someone said " The drive to the airport might be as dangerous to you, as walking three weeks in of the Camino " poor Galicia and Spain has no hope with views like this.

I know we all want things to go back to our memories of the past Caminos, but try to think of others that is that what the spirit of the Camino is about.?
"Think of others when making your decision to walk it will still be there in months and years to come even if we are not".
To me the Camino is about friendship caring, sharing and helping fellow humans in body and spirit.
The virus you could be carrying could damage the health of thousands of your fellow humans.
"Selfishness is no excuse for ignorance
Well said Mick 👍 100 % spot on . Delighted to hear fellow Peregrinos feel as strongly as I do 👍👍
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
One, I think the thrust of comments here is not about saying people are ignorant,
The last line of the original post in this thread says that. Other comments in these and other threads have used terms like disrespectful, stupid, etc etc, no need to gather them all.

Those are general guidelines. The camino is a very specific situation
I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss the guidelines issues by the Spanish government as somehow being inattentive to the uniqueness of the Camino. Of course they know that the Camino is different and poses different risks, that’s why they have published lengthy regulations and restrictions specifically for albergues, for other camino businesses, and for pilgrims. It may be that the Camino produces different kinds of outbreaks that require different kinds of reactions, but I have no doubt that the Spanish government is well aware of what the Camino is all about.

I have no more confidence than many forum members about how these regulations are going to deal with the virus, and I am well aware that the economic drivers were just as important as the health drivers in the decision to open. For those reasons, I personally would not set off now. And I would feel free to articulate the reasons that drive my own personal decision. But I draw the line at criticizing, and in some cases condemning, people who are doing exactly what Spain is opening the door for them to do.

This is a never-ending discussion. I may think that it is silly to walk before there is a vaccine. Am I allowed to tell others who don’t share that opinion that they are stupid for going without one? I may think that it is wrong to walk while there are any cases in either my country of origin or in Spain — am I entitled to tell others who disagree they are selfish? All I am saying is that we should hold back on the judgment. Judgment is fine for those who camp illegally, or who violate any Spanish laws, but this is not the case, in fact it is the opposite.
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
The last line of the original post in this thread says that. Other comments in these and other threads have used terms like disrespectful, stupid, etc etc, no need to gather them all.



I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss the guidelines issues by the Spanish government as somehow being inattentive to to uniqueness of the Camino. Of course they know that the Camino is different and poses different risks, that’s why they have published lengthy regulations and restrictions specifically for albergues, for other camino businesses, and for pilgrims. It may be that the Camino produces different kinds of outbreaks that require different kinds of reactions, but I have no doubt that the Spanish government is well aware of what the Camino is all about.

I have no more confidence than many forum members about how these regulations are going to deal with the virus, and I am well aware that the economic drivers were just as important as the health drivers in the decision to open. For those reasons, I personally would not set off now. And I would feel free to articulate the reasons that drive my own personal decision. But I draw the line at criticizing, and in some cases condemning, people who are doing exactly what Spain is opening the door for them to do.

This is a never-ending discussion. I may think that it is silly to walk before there is a vaccine. Am I allowed to tell others who don’t share that opinion that they are stupid for going without one? I may think that it is wrong to walk while there are any cases in either my country of origin or in Spain — am I entitled to tell others who disagree they are selfish? All I am saying is that we should hold back on the judgment. Judgment is fine for those who camp illegally, or who violate any Spanish laws, but this is not the case, in fact it is the opposite.
One of the problems is that the guidelines and advice given is good providing that everyone adheres to them.
My country has been badly hit and at the first sign of opening up and relaxing restrictions people have acted as though there has been no pandemic. The chain is only as strong as the weakest link.
Whist this pandemic and virus exists due to human transmission and travelling exacerbates this.....I will be doing what I can to minimise this.
 

m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
Nearly 50 years ago, when I was studying to become a professor, my professor of pedagogy and psychology, a truly wonderful human being, said a phrase about assessment that I then always adhered to: “if in doubt, if you are not sure - assess for the benefit of the student ".
Somehow I translated this into the current situation. I miss the Camino. I visit the forum every day. I look at photos from previous years. I watch a video of a member of the forum ..... Occasionally I feel sadness, longing for that feeling, freedom, fullness. I walk, but it’s by no means the same. I think at times - but maybe it would work. And then I remember my professor and I do as it says in the OP: “Think before you walk”.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
One of the problems is that the guidelines and advice given is good providing that everyone adheres to them.
My country has been badly hit and at the first sign of opening up and relaxing restrictions people have acted as though there has been no pandemic. The chain is only as strong as the weakest link.
Whist this pandemic and virus exists due to human transmission and travelling exacerbates this.....I will be doing what I can to minimise this.
Years ago in America there was a soap opera called "The Young and the Restless". The virus has brought that to light...I call it "The young and the reckless" as I think in general they have been the biggest offenders.
 

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)
Am I allowed to tell others who don’t share that opinion that they are stupid for going without one?
am I entitled to tell others who disagree they are selfish?
Absolutely not.

Communication is complicated, though, so words that are not so strong can still cause a lot of defensiveness — out of all proportion to the intention of the message.
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Absolutely not.

Communication is complicated, though, so words that are not so strong can still cause a lot of defensiveness — out of all proportion to the intention of the message.
Nothing is more difficult than the written word...it lacks tone and inflection.
I am a simple man....so, if anyone feels the need to reply, say it simply. 🤣
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (July 2016), Primitivo (July 2018), Portuguese (March 2019)
I'm in Spain. I don't consider myself selfish and I think it's a little easy to make sweeping statements.

I live in rural SW France and we have very few cases. We have been super vigilant with the lock-down and indeed since restrictions have been lifted. I live with 2 autoimmune conditions and have had cancer which has life long implications for my health... I know I am at risk and so we have taken no chances.

We had planned to walk this year and have indeed cancelled trips like many others. But the opportunity to walk now was an option.

We drove from home. We booked an apartment (and are the first visitors here this year). We bought our own car and our own bedding. We walk alone. We take picnics. We eat at home.

I don't believe that we are bringing any risk to locals and I don't believe we are taking risks.

Most people here are wearing masks but not all... and the people around us Spanish. Our car has French plates and they assume we are French and we are greeted with warmth.

We did think long and hard about our choice to come. We could stay at home. But we can't spend the rest of our lives in our house. The day we left was the anniversary of the death of my walking buddy. She died from cancer at the age of 51... it was swift and within 10 weeks she was gone. My mother and grandmother died in their 50's.... and I factored all of this into my decision. It wasn't selfish. It was considered and balanced.

I wont go into a busy shop. I wont got inside a bar or a restaurant. I wont go on a plane or a bus. I wont go anywhere busy. But I feel walking isolation in nature is safer.

I am sad that you feel I'm selfish. I hope my explanation offers an alternative view.
I don’t believe for a moment that you’re being selfish. Your reasons for walking are clearly thoughtful and considered. My wife and I were scheduled to walk from St. Jean at the end of March, hardly the best time so we stayed home. Since then we’ve talked constantly about walking again and are desperately trying to balance walking and thus providing an income with not walking and thus not causing any risk. Our son (anaesthetist) and daughter (nurse) both got Covid whilst looking after patients. Thankfully both were fine. We were ill at the same time with similar symptoms and will find out if we have antibodies this week. I had thought that finding out we’d had Covid would make our decision to walk easier but now I’m not so sure. Walking a Camino is a wonderful experience. Walking and giving local families the impression that we might be carrying an awful life threatening disease amongst communities such as Santa Domingo that have suffered so much from Covid is quite different. We’re so torn 😞
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
I don’t believe for a moment that you’re being selfish. Your reasons for walking are clearly thoughtful and considered. My wife and I were scheduled to walk from St. Jean at the end of March, hardly the best time so we stayed home. Since then we’ve talked constantly about walking again and are desperately trying to balance walking and thus providing an income with not walking and thus not causing any risk. Our son (anaesthetist) and daughter (nurse) both got Covid whilst looking after patients. Thankfully both were fine. We were ill at the same time with similar symptoms and will find out if we have antibodies this week. I had thought that finding out we’d had Covid would make our decision to walk easier but now I’m not so sure. Walking a Camino is a wonderful experience. Walking and giving local families the impression that we might be carrying an awful life threatening disease amongst communities such as Santa Domingo that have suffered so much from Covid is quite different. We’re so torn 😞
A brilliant post on an interesting thread.
Hilighting the dilemma that is (probably) the most important aspect.....protecting others.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'm in Spain. I don't consider myself selfish and I think it's a little easy to make sweeping statements.

I live in rural SW France and we have very few cases. We have been super vigilant with the lock-down and indeed since restrictions have been lifted. I live with 2 autoimmune conditions and have had cancer which has life long implications for my health... I know I am at risk and so we have taken no chances.

We had planned to walk this year and have indeed cancelled trips like many others. But the opportunity to walk now was an option.

We drove from home. We booked an apartment (and are the first visitors here this year). We bought our own car and our own bedding. We walk alone. We take picnics. We eat at home.

I don't believe that we are bringing any risk to locals and I don't believe we are taking risks.

Most people here are wearing masks but not all... and the people around us Spanish. Our car has French plates and they assume we are French and we are greeted with warmth.

We did think long and hard about our choice to come. We could stay at home. But we can't spend the rest of our lives in our house. The day we left was the anniversary of the death of my walking buddy. She died from cancer at the age of 51... it was swift and within 10 weeks she was gone. My mother and grandmother died in their 50's.... and I factored all of this into my decision. It wasn't selfish. It was considered and balanced.

I wont go into a busy shop. I wont got inside a bar or a restaurant. I wont go on a plane or a bus. I wont go anywhere busy. But I feel walking isolation in nature is safer.

I am sad that you feel I'm selfish. I hope my explanation offers an alternative view.
Of all the posts in this thread, this is the one that makes me a little angry. Why in the world should @LesBrass have to justify her own carefully thought out personal decision to weigh risks and benefits? I assume that most people think that she is acting responsibly and carefully. So, do we now have a standard that says, well, maybe some decisions to walk are not selfish, but just let us see how you reached your decision and then we will decide?

BTW, I am sure that if you had asked @LesBrass how she made the decision, she would have been happy to tell you, so I am not saying that we shouldn’t have this conversation. I just find it extremely sad that now people who are following the law and who have made their own personal decision are going to be reluctant to post on the forum for fear of being criticized, or just as bad, will feel that they have to justify how they reached their decision so that the people who are piling on on this thread will not criticize them.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Yes, the written word can often be taken the wrong way.
When my son was little I would play a learning cassette full of children's songs at bedtime. Here is part of one I remember well...🎶"If you can't say something nice...say nothing. It's a bit of good advice...say nothing."
Maybe it's juvenile, but hey, food for thought. I think most of us need to be reminded of that occasionally throughout life...I know I do.
 

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2019) SJPP to Logrono
CF May/June (2020) Logrono to ? (Delayed).
Spot on @Perigrina2000, my concern is the same as yours, namely that people who are actually walking one of the many Caminos will not contribute in fear of being flamed.

This would be a poorer forum if people decided not to contribute for fear of having to justify their actions.
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
No need to read this if you are not interested in it... I try to comment on threads when I can be of help or add something to the conversation.
Ivar, I thought about your words while out on my morning walk. A few questions:
1) How am I to know if I am interested in the post or not unless I read the post? The title gave nothing to indicate whether I would agree or disagree with the content of the post.
2) If I understand correctly, a thread started with a post which clearly states it is a "rant" critical of and based on what others have posted on the forum is "helpful" or "adds something to the conversation" yet a quip pointing out that it is a rehash of countless similar posts isn't acceptable?
3) Based on the logic stated in your reply, if I start a thread ranting about the ranting/lecturing, I'm cool, right?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sep/Oct 2015
C Primitivo Sep / Oct 2016
Portugese Sep/Oct 2017
VdlP, Muxia 2018
I made a decision back in March to cancel all my plans for walking in 2020. And I did so in the hope that I can reactivate my planning for late 2021. Nothing has happened in the meantime for me to reconsider or change my decision. I based my decision on a number of considerations, and not necessarily in order of priority -
a) my own health, safety and well being,
b) the well being of my wife and family,
c) the health and safety of all those I would encounter on the way, while travelling, flying, on public transport, and more particularly while walking the many villages, towns and cities, overnight stays in albergues, visiting cafes, country shops etc.
d) my presence making the situation worse in Spain or Italy and here at home,
e) returning home, and maybe infected,
f) stranded in isolation in lock down in another country.
I could go on. I don't think of myself as being negative where I consider myself being a realist.
I've been around a while and made lots of decisions and live with the consequences. I am not willing to see other people potentially suffer from the consequences of one wrong decision at this very difficult time.
It is so easy to feel frustration and annoyance at some posts here and on other forums. My wish is that people will reconsider and act prudently. I hear the elders in Granon asking us to stay away for now. I hear that message loud and clear, I respect their wishes and act accordingly.
This is a difficult time but it is only a few months or maybe a year in the 1,000 year history of the Camino de Santiago and this too shall pass!
 

Michelle B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2020
Sorry for this rant but I am getting angry so here goes,
Economic needs are forcing bad decisions to be made.
For a few weeks now I have been reading posts of people starting there walk and getting lots of "likes" from others.
Recently in a post someone said " The drive to the airport might be as dangerous to you, as walking three weeks in of the Camino " poor Galicia and Spain has no hope with views like this.

I know we all want things to go back to our memories of the past Caminos, but try to think of others that is that what the spirit of the Camino is about.?
"Think of others when making your decision to walk it will still be there in months and years to come even if we are not".
To me the Camino is about friendship caring, sharing and helping fellow humans in body and spirit.
The virus you could be carrying could damage the health of thousands of your fellow humans.
"Selfishness is no excuse for ignorance
I have to agree, I think it is socially irresponsible to travel for leisure at this time.
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
I so wish people would not get "angry".
I have been interested to read the posts which have views opposite to my own.
This is the premise of healthy debate and opinion.
Just as an aside....today a flight to Jersey arrived from the UK with a passenger who tested positive for Covid
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I share the fear that this topic is going to continue to dominate our discussions whenever someone ventures out onto the camino for who knows how long. Almost daily there is a new “live from the camino” thread or links to articles in the popular press showing pilgrims walking. Each one of those threads provides the opportunity for jumping on.

It is obvious that some forum members have very strong opinions and are condemning of those who venture out. But it is equally obvious that Spain has opened its borders to some countries, and many albergues have opened in response to new and extremely rigorous restrictions. To call out people who go there under those conditions as selfish, disrespectful and ignorant is beyond the pale, IMO. If Spain’s public health officials have concluded that it is safe enough and worth the risk in terms of the overall health of the economy, and if people walking are willing to abide by the restrictions, I don’t know why a forum member should be annointed as the one who gets to impose an additional layer of restrictions to meet his or her individual opinions. The risks are not trivial, of course, and it may be that there will be more shut-downs like the current ones in Lleida (on the Camino Catalán) and Ribadeo/Mondoñedo/Lourenzá (on the Norte), so people should be prepared for unanticipated interruptions, closures, and maybe even quarantines.

You can call the shots for your own decision when to return, but I don’t know why so many people think they can tell people they are ignorant for following the guidelines of the Spanish public health authorities.
I love this!
The Malingerer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
I agree with you BUT " what's another year". Speak for yourself" At 82 I can't be sure! :)

The Malingerer.
I don’t believe for a moment that you’re being selfish. Your reasons for walking are clearly thoughtful and considered. My wife and I were scheduled to walk from St. Jean at the end of March, hardly the best time so we stayed home. Since then we’ve talked constantly about walking again and are desperately trying to balance walking and thus providing an income with not walking and thus not causing any risk. Our son (anaesthetist) and daughter (nurse) both got Covid whilst looking after patients. Thankfully both were fine. We were ill at the same time with similar symptoms and will find out if we have antibodies this week. I had thought that finding out we’d had Covid would make our decision to walk easier but now I’m not so sure. Walking a Camino is a wonderful experience. Walking and giving local families the impression that we might be carrying an awful life threatening disease amongst communities such as Santa Domingo that have suffered so much from Covid is quite different. We’re so torn 😞
"I can't spend the rest of my life in my house..." Ridiculous! I am! A wild guess 99% of the readers of this Forum are, right now, staying at home! I would never, ever write a post on this Forum indicating I was so bored and so selfish, clutching in my hands a fistful of excuses and willfully self-administering permission to defy common sense, consideration for others, every immunologist and ever-changing province restrictions to potentially carry death to Spain. No rationale to leave home and willfully engage in a holiday/pilgrimage/optional outing -- in this country or any other -- carries the slightest weight with me.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
I agree with you BUT " what's another year". Speak for yourself" At 82 I can't be sure! :)

The Malingerer.
You are right my friend but count your blessings that you are at least safe and healthy and can still dream.
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
What I felt moved to say Tom said far better than I could have:


This topic is more loaded than most since following those different opinions can potentially result an illness or death of people who live along the Camino. So it's not like arguing over poles.

The title of the thread doesn't imply a blanket condemnation of going as opposed to staying home. The decision is too complicated and nuanced for that. But in making that decision I feel it's essential to consider its consequences to people living in tbe communities through which we wish to walk.

No matter how important it is to each of us individually, walking a Camino is essentially a recreational activity rather than an essential one. So were I in any way at risk I'd be saying "No, thank you" to the idea of walking now - it's past my rationalization threshold. How would I feel if my walking caused an elder along the way to die?
I do not consider my spiritual needs to be a recreational activity!

The Malingerer.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I don’t know why a forum member should be annointed as the one who gets to impose an additional layer of restrictions to meet his or her individual opinions.
Good point. We are a group of amateurs who gather together to talk about a topic of mutual interest. There are undoubtedly many experts among us - on various subjects, perhaps with some relevance to the camino - but this forum does not have a mechanism for curating or selecting appointed experts or authorities, and self-appointed experts are always suspect. There is no process for decision-making and setting of policies.

All members' opinions are admissible, in theory. However, practical rules have been set to keep the forum reasonably polite and focused.

Public health decisions are very difficult, and as a minimum, we should accept the decisions made by the responsible authorities. If you disagree with their decisions, you can advocate directly with them or you can take the extra precautions you think are appropriate, but arguing here on the forum is not particularly helpful.

I am not making any plans to travel, but can understand that people in other circumstances might do so before I.

I have a daughter who is a mountain climber. I hate it. I fear it. However, I do not seize every opportunity to tell her my opinion on the matter. I do not go on a mountain climbing forum to tell people that they are being irresponsible.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Based on some of the comments in this thread....
I'd be a bit scared to post "live from the Camino"!
 

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 have a daughter who is a mountain climber. I hate it. I fear it. However, I do not seize every opportunity to tell her my opinion on the matter. I do not go on a mountain climbing forum to tell people that they are being irresponsible.
Ugh. I can only imagine how that feels.
And...
Mountain climbing potentially harms the individual who chooses to do it. But our choice to walk is imposes potential harm on people who have no say in the matter. That's another matter, right?
 

Rex

Pilgrim Trekker
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago (2013)
Lisboa to Santiago (2018)
For me, the "loss" of walking a Camino this year is a sad experience, but it is not life threatening to miss a life experience.
I am conflicted when I think about the Camino experience, as I have long practiced the "leave no trace" mantra and method of hiking and camping. Today, I cannot say that my presence on the Camino would leave no trace, as I've not been tested (and won't be, if our current rate of testing continues here at home), and the virus continues to swirl in our part of the USA. So, I'll not walk until we have a vaccine and I can be sure that my Camino presence leaves only a minimal trace.
In the intervening period, my best course of action is to refrain from judging the choices made by others, and focus on making choices that align with my personal values, which for me at present means staying put and reading about Caminos past and Caminos to come!

Buen Camino
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
Even if I decide to do some of the many UK walks it would have the same risks as walking in Spain, yet people are happy to "walk at home" in the belief that it is safer than in Spain/Europe.
I intend to walk a section of the local St Augustine Trail (solo) in Kent next week and am relieved that, unlike a trip to my much loved Spain, it will not involve two trips between airports in the close confines of an aircraft.
Probably safer as far as I'm concerned.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
even in my own household we are a bit at odds
Exactly. It is hard to reach a personal decision, much harder to reach a family policy, and very very difficult to set a public policy. All of these levels are important - public policy constrains us all, families debate and compromise, and then the individuals act. The level of freedom that we have as individuals varies according to the situation we are in.

Mountain climbing potentially harms the individual who chooses to do it. But our choice to walk is imposes potential harm on people who have no say in the matter. That's another matter, right?
Yes, I'm aware of that difference in degree, at least. (Those accidents hurt more than the individual.)

As to whether the "other" people (in Spain) have a say in the matter, and what they would say, there is still lots of room for argument. Do we listen to their appointed authorities and representatives, do we apply our own filters and judgements, or do we conduct a direct poll, or maybe all of the above in order to make our decisions?
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
There was just a study released in Spain that shows the possibility of herd immunity from the virus is almost impossible. Below are links from the CNN article plus the full study that has been published in The Lancet.
I am lucky enough to have been taught how to read studies so I found reading the Lancet study very informative. Seashell who has two children in the medical field and anyone else who has family or close friends would probably benefit from asking them about the study.



I found the last paragraph in the Lancet study to be very enlightening:

"In conclusion, our study provides nationwide and regional estimates of SARS-CoV-2 dissemination in Spain, showing remarkable differences between higher and lower prevalence areas. One in three infections seems to be asymptomatic, while a substantial number of symptomatic cases remained untested. Despite the high impact of COVID-19 in Spain, prevalence estimates remain low and are clearly insufficient to provide herd immunity. This cannot be achieved without accepting the collateral damage of many deaths in the susceptible population and overburdening of health systems. In this situation, social distance measures and efforts to identify and isolate new cases and their contacts are imperative for future epidemic control."

Over and over again it is proving to be very problematic to say the least when places open to soon. Just ask the United States and especially the states of Florida, Texas and Arizona. Or take a look at California and now parts of Spain that locked down early and seemed to control things well and then opened and the virus especially in California has come roaring back.

There is also more and more evidence of serious long term negative health outcomes for people who have recovered from Covid. There is even alot of concern for those who were even asymptomatic. As the days go by more and more research is started and more and more anecdotal evidence is appearing to support these claims.



These are just two links of many. Just as the Lancet study has many links that support their conclusions from other studies.

This is not meant as a criticism for anyone's actions. This is just science and we should always be guided by science.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)

Sean Lad

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010 to 2019 walked total of 31 caminos
Remember that many Pilgrims are no longer with us due Covid -19.
I personally know 4 and quite young RIP. Also a special friend who walked 12 caminos 82 years old lady and contacted Covid-19 on her 1st day out after 3 months lockdown. She is now clear but weak and unlikely to walk camino again
Buen Camino all
 

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)
As to whether the "other" people (in Spain) have a say in the matter, and what they would say, there is still lots of room for argument. Do we listen to their appointed authorities and representatives, do we apply our own filters and judgements, or do we conduct a direct poll, or maybe all of the above in order to make our decisions?
Yes, that's the challenge isn't it? It seems that there is as much diversity of opinion are people in Spain as there is here.

If I might if I might say very directly: this disease is scary as heck. And none of us have any immunity. It would not surprise me if a lot of the high energy around these discussions is in part a displaced response to the vulnerability and challenges we all face with this.

So may everybody, all of us, be safe and well.
 

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2019) SJPP to Logrono
CF May/June (2020) Logrono to ? (Delayed).
I have to agree, I think it is socially irresponsible to travel for leisure at this time.
Yet another person passing judgement on others, perhaps Facebook is a better place for those that want to point fingers and say their way is better.

We are all adults and don't need the condemning wagging finger
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I am not willing to see other people potentially suffer from the consequences of one wrong decision at this very difficult time.
Today, I cannot say that my presence on the Camino would leave no trace, as I've not been tested (and won't be, if our current rate of testing continues here at home), and the virus continues to swirl in our part of the USA. So, I'll not walk until we have a vaccine and I can be sure that my Camino presence leaves only a minimal trace.
I totally agree.
While I can't walk a Camino this year I'm not dwelling on what I can't do. (at least trying not to!) I'm finding new things to do that I enjoy. 7 years ago I had never heard of the Camino and my life was fine. Yes, it's been enhanced by the opportunity to do 5 Caminos, but who knows what new thing I will discover that I have been overlooking?
I'm not living in fear of the virus, but I am reasonably cautious and acting responsibly towards others.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
My decision not to travel on my annual migration around Europe at this time is based on the fact that nobody will die if I don't travel but someone could if I do travel, that somebody could be me or my wife or someone I encounter along the way, any risk to life is not worth it but everyone must and will make their own decisions.
 

JohnLloyd

Author of "Go Your Own Way"
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - SJPDP to SdC - Autumn 2018
Portugués - Porto to SdC - Spring 2019
Francés again - ASAP
This is such a difficult subject for us all to work our way through.

Everyone has different circumstances to consider, different perspectives and concerns.

Wrestling with my own conflicting thoughts of walking another Camino rather a lot these last few days, I thought the best way to answer my inner voice was to ask a question at the place where it all began, at Beilari in St-Jean.

The wisdom, the compassion and the insight that I read in the response from Joseph tells me all that I need to know. I have my answer.

Thank you, Joseph.

I will see you and your lovely team at Beilari at another time, when the circumstances better serve the Camino and the communities along the Way, and not mine alone.

Beilari's Thoughts
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
We aren't living through it in the same way worldwide though, and I don't mean individually but collectively. Or did you - where you live - live through the same severe months long lockdown conditions as they lived through in Spain for example? I don't think so. Our collective memories differ.
Yes
BTW, exactly where on the French Spanish border is the Covid19 proof barrier?
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
I've been out walking today; and yes we're on the camino. We thought and talked a lot about this thread and I've just read through again the comments.

The problem is there is no right or wrong here. We (my husband and I) went through every possible scenario before deciding to come. I also thought long and hard about getting my hair cut... and was terrified of going to the hospital before we left for my 6 month check-up (4 months late already because of lock-down). I put off going shopping and I try and find the quietest time of day... and when I return home I put my groceries in quarantine away from the kitchen. I can't speak for others, I can only speak for myself. Our lock-down was very strict... pretty much akin to the Spanish lockdown - it started in early March and lifted little by little from mid-may.

As the French lock-down ended and the UK lock-down started we took anther decision to drive back to the UK and collect our son from Uni. He'd been stuck in one bedroom in halls for weeks and even took his exams online in that room. He could have stayed there but we all agreed that it would be better in rural France than London. We assessed the risks, we took advice from the consulate and our local authorities. We took precautions to minimise contact with the outside world and we drove 2000km to bring him home. And then we isolated for 14 days.

If you are thinking that villages here in this area are shut up and in lock-down I can assure they aren't. Bars and restaurants are busy, gift shops are full of shoppers and tourist sites have full car parks. These visitors are Spanish... we've not seen a foreign plate yet. In the mountain villages most folks wear masks but today in Potes it was 50/50... and it was so busy that we drove through very quickly, avoiding the town and the tourists... it was far too crowded for us... but I would say that these visitors were Spanish.

Before we left and before we decided to rent an apartment I wrote to a few of the hotels and asked them if we should come. I also emailed a few alburgues that I know and asked them the same... are we crazy to consider this? will we be welcome? Should we stay at home? All replied and said yes! come! If you check some of the facebook groups for the various camino you can also see that alburgues are opening and inviting pilgrims. Are they all wrong? Should they stay closed? Should even the Spanish pilgrims stay at home?

I am terrified of this awful virus. I hate how it has impacted on so many lives. The long term health implications and the financial implications for people who have lost jobs and businesses. I'm not taking any decision lightly. But I do believe we still have to live a life. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay safe in your 'bubble of friends and family'. Keep at least a 2m distance and respect the laws and rules around you. Imagine if we all did this? Some folks wont even wear a mask!

I know that many will still think we took a risk. My mother in law is 87 this year and she is desperate to come and visit us in France. She has been living alone in her isolation since March. She said the last time we spoke that she was going to book a flight. She said she could die before they find a vaccine and she doesn't intend to spend her last days stuck at home alone... she said she misses her first born and she wants to come. And she will when we return... and we'll all self isolate for 2 weeks again and she'll stay with us for 2 months.

I will post later about our walk today... and it will still be Live from the camino... I have to say I was almost in tears today when we reached the Cross... I feel so lucky to be here in this glorious nature... I feel humbled and blessed and I don't take on ounce of it for granted. Stay safe pilgrims... and may these awful times soon pass for us all.
 
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Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
This thread grew into incredible proportions over the course of today. I just dont understand the point of even having these discussions as we are all biased to some extend by personal stories, media, politicians, our own fears etc... Its just pure spread of hysteria.

I am walking the Camino in two weeks, I feel no need of justifying myself for it. We had a lockdown in Czech Republic for over 10 weeks with mandatory face masks all the time. Now, we are back to normal. Nothing has changed, pubs are crowded, malls are crowded, holiday resorts are crowded and people just live on.

We all take risks on daily basis. Every decision we make is affecting someone else and taking some pseudo-moralistic stands and attacking people who are acting in accordance with the law and health standards... is not really fair.

Its all gonna go back to normal. Its all gonna be fine again. So, lets just not argue and hope we will share some wine and laugh in future while enjoying Spanish sunset :)
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
BTW, exactly where on the French Spanish border is the Covid19 proof barrier?
To me personally, the border between France and Spain is not fundamentally different from the border between the department of the Landes and the department of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. At one point during the last three months, people around where I live were asked not to go further than where they can walk; elsewhere they were asked not to cross the border of their town or their province. Around where I live people are asked now - asked and not forced to do so by law - not to travel far for their summer vacation this year.

And so I make a distinction between those who live close to that border and those who don't. Oh yes, I am unashamedly judgemental. But I try to keep my judgement largely to myself.
 
Last edited:

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I have read every post so far on this thread and thank you all for your thoughtful and emotional perspectives. I believe that I could trust all of you to do what is best for yourselves and others as well, if I met you on the camino.

If any of you go, you will be the ones to model distancing, wear masks, wash your hands frequently, camp, get private rooms if possible, and be very aware of your neighbor.

I am happy for LesBrass - Buen Camino! May your presence on the camino be a blessing and inspiration on how to plan a safe camino.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I've been out walking today; and yes we're on the camino. We thought and talked a lot about this thread and I've just read through again the comments.

The problem is there is no right or wrong here. We (my husband and I) went through every possible scenario before deciding to come. I also thought long and hard about getting my hair cut... and was terrified of going to the hospital before we left for my 6 month check-up (4 months late already because of lock-down). I put off going shopping and I try and find the quietest time of day... and when I return home I put my groceries in quarantine away from the kitchen. I can't speak for others, I can only speak for myself. Our lock-down was very strict... pretty much akin to the Spanish lockdown - it started in early March and lifted little by little from mid-may.

As the French lock-down ended and the UK lock-down started we took anther decision to drive back to the UK and collect our son from Uni. He'd been stuck in one bedroom in halls for weeks and even took his exams online in that room. He could have stayed there but we all agreed that it would be better in rural France than London. We assessed the risks, we took advice from the consulate and our local authorities. We took precautions to minimise contact with the outside world and we drove 2000km to bring him home. And then we isolated for 14 days.

If you are thinking that villages here in this area are shut up and in lock-down I can assure they aren't. Bars and restaurants are busy, gift shops are full of shoppers and tourist sites have full car parks. These visitors are Spanish... we've not seen a foreign plate yet. In the mountain villages most folks wear masks but today in Potes it was 50/50... and it was so busy that we drove through very quickly, avoiding the town and the tourists... it was far too crowded for us... but I would say that these visitors were Spanish.

Before we left and before we decided to rent an apartment I wrote to a few of the hotels and asked them if we should come. I also emailed a few alburgues that I know and asked them the same... are we crazy to consider this? will we be welcome? Should we stay at home? All replied and said yes! come! If you check some of the facebook groups for the various camino you can also see that alburgues are opening and inviting pilgrims. Are they all wrong? Should they stay closed? Should even the Spanish pilgrims stay at home?

I am terrified of this awful virus. I hate how it has impacted on so many lives. The long term health implications and the financial implications for people who have lost jobs and businesses. I'm not taking any decision lightly. But I do believe we still have to live a life. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay safe in your 'bubble of friends and family'. Keep at least a 2m distance and respect the laws and rules around you. Imagine if we all did this? Some folks wont even wear a mask!

I know that many will still think we took a risk. My mother in law is 87 this year and she is desperate to come and visit us in France. She has been living alone in her isolation since March. She said the last time we spoke that she was going to book a flight. She said she could die before they find a vaccine and she doesn't intend to spend her last days stuck at home alone... she said she misses her first born and she wants to come. And she will when we return... and we'll all self isolate for 2 weeks again and she'll stay with us for 2 months.

I will post later about our walk today... and it will still be Live from the camino... I have to say I was almost in tears today when we reached the Cross... I feel so lucky to be here in this glorious nature... I feel humbled and blessed and I don't take on ounce of it for granted. Stay safe pilgrims... and may these awful times soon pass for us all.
I am grateful for @LesBrass 's posts, and her blog, because I find her to be roughly in the same location that I am with regards to the current risks from long walks, and therefore most able to suggest ways that I can manage the risks on my own upcoming walk. Not in Spain, because I live in western Canada and will not travel outside my immediate region at present. But in my brief walk in the Rocky Mountains next month; I shall be walking alone, for only four days, and had given little thought to my possible risk to others, beyond my usual practices at this time of social distancing, mask wearing and general hygiene. I was anticipating minimal careful contact with others on my way to the trail and meeting no one at all while walking in the mountains. I ordered one of those special camino masks from Ivar, which is waterproof and seems sturdy enough for backcountry use. A friend will drive me to the trail. But how will I manage if the trail, easily accessible from the road, turns out to be packed with walkers? I shall have to fall back on mask, social distancing, and careful hygiene. When I get home, after taking the bus from Banff, I shall self-isolate at home, just in case. And I shall stock up with food before I leave to make that feasible. I consider it my responsibility, in this time of pandemic, to take every precaution to avoid infecting others. Thanks again, @LesBrass , for assisting my reflections.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
It may be time to bring this thread to a close.

Many of the posts here insist on condemning and judging others who are actually following the guidelines and recommendations of health and government officials in Spain.

All are welcome to opinions and to express them here....but forum rules prohibit attacking others or judging the legal actions of others....as @Tincatinker pointed out many posts ago.:rolleyes:

Thanks for understanding....and please do not start another thread to continue this.:D
 
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