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COVID Wave of pilgrims when lock down is over?

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FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
Planning for Fall 2020, but not too worried if that doesn't happen - I can wait. 2021 will be a Holy Year so I wouldn't want to walk then - too crowded, especially after this - although, if there is a vaccine, I may in the Fall 2021.
Anyway, it's going to take me that long to get back into shape.
 

Jamie K

lifelong pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (May and June 2017)
Portuguese Camino (May and June 2018)
Possibly Le-Puy or VDLP
I would not consider to go walk the Camino after the world announces that the virus is over. Largely because I am still not sure how much we can be sure that the virus is absolutely and completely over unless there is an agreeable evidence that this is really over and completely safe without any doubt to go out and walk and stay at numerous albergues that have been used by numerous people from all over the world. I'm not afraid of me catching something from the places and people by going there but also me going over there and spreading something to local/passing through people in anyways. That seems possible to me..
I will closely watch the updates until I feel this is really over. Then I will consider planning for Camino..
And I definitely wouldn't like walking with loads of people on the trails/ways and arriving at albergues finding myself sharing one large room with fellow pilgrims.
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
I don't think we have to worry. Spain has been hit very hard with this virus. I don't think the Spanish govt. will recommend tourists or pilgrims wander through their lovely country until all is safe. Neither they, nor we, want to go through this again. When the Spanish govt feels comfortable enough to permit visitors to return, they will let us know. And the locals in this Forum will let us know whether they agree with the govt assessment or not!!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Largely because I am still not sure how much we can be sure that the virus is absolutely and completely over unless there is an agreeable evidence that this is really over and completely safe without any doubt to go out and walk and stay at numerous albergues that have been used by numerous people from all over the world.
Wow, that's a pretty complex set of conditions!!
First, the virus is here to stay. Humans have managed to eliminate two diseases with vaccines, smallpox in humans and rinderpest, a measles like disease of ruminants. Some countries have eliminated perhaps a dozen more, but not worldwide, so there is always the risk of the virus being brought back in.

We all hope that the current pandemic spread is brought under control, and we then know enough about this to prevent a further pandemic spread. We are getting more successful at doing this quickly, although there have been viruses that resisted our efforts to find vaccines for decades.

Second, once this is over, communal living of any sort will always have its infection risks, and there will also be risks in the general community - you will never be completely safe. Good hygiene practices will always be important. You might find good practices are more commonly practiced after this, but I would predict that over time this will decline. Your own personal discipline here will always be important to your personal safety.

And last, you might expect that hospitaleros are going to be just as concerned as you are to ensure that albergues don't become the source of disease, and will be taking measures to prevent that. I generally think they do that now. I can think of one or two places that were not as good as others, but across the board it wasn't the state of the albergues that worried me most.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2020)
Magic moments, Peregrinos carin'
Magic moments, memories we've been sharing
I'll never forget the moment we met
The night in ‘ Cebrerio
The way that we hugged to try to keep warm
Despite of the snow oh
Magic moments, memories we've been sharin'
Magic moments, when pilgrims are all carin'
Time can't erase the memory of
These magic moments filled with love
The Forums on line to soak up my time
For hours and hours
The way we can post about things that mean most
And feel that its all ours
Magic moments, memories we've been sharin'
Magic moments, Peregrinos carin'
Time can't erase the memory of
These magic moments filled with love
The way that we shared whenever a friend
Was feeling a bit down
The time that we knew, whatever we’d hoped
It was time for a shut-down
The Albergues and bars, the tiendas
That everyone prizes
The desperate hope, will there be bed,
And how there always is
This time will pass, as time always does

Magic moments filled with love


With profound and sincere apologies to Perry Como
Those of us who even remember Perry Como! (Me, me!) Oh, dearie, he would love it!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2020)
This is so hard. I have been wanting to do the Camino for a long time. In October or November, I FINALLY got the OK to do it from my husband. Finally bought normally non-refundable inexpensive tickets. I am scheduled to depart May 23rd. I can cancel my outbound flights (3 of them). But I canNOT cancel my return ticket (only have 1 so far). Why? I am flying in to one city and home from another... so they were purchased separately. Also, my return ticket is for July 14th, and COVID-19 refunds/vouchers are not being offered that far out yet. Like everyone else, I am heartbroken because I have accepted the fact that my camino is not going to happen (and of course, even more heartbroken because of the reality of what is going on around the world... but that is another topic). I have NOT cancelled my plans on paper yet. I am waiting for the airlines to start cancelling my May flights. I am hoping that will give me enough leverage to petition for the same refund/voucher to be given for my return flight.

On to the original question: I STILL want to go. I want to go as soon as I can. I want to go when Spain welcomes visitors again. But my reality is that I only have summer in which I might be able to go again. And I need to be able to afford to go. Next year is Holy Year, and I would be happy to go then, but am nervous about the crowds. Also... I am nervous about the potentially inflated airfare prices due to the economic impact on the airlines. I can't afford to pay more than I did to buy these tickets. I am also nervous that I will purchase NEW tickets, only for the airline to go bankrupts after a failed attempt to restart their business. I am also nervous that lodging will be more limited and/or more expensive. And then there is the health of myself and others. Will I get COVID-19 before I go? Will a vaccine be ready? If a vaccine is ready, will I be able to actually get it? Too many questions.

So... while wishing for a miracle that I know will not happen allowing me to depart as planned in May... realistically I am looking at rescheduling for next summer and HOPING I can make it happen. But, if everything does not fall into place, I am also looking at possibly never getting to go. At least not in the not so distant future.
One Autumn afternoon, I sat in a London library reading Jennifer Lash's memoir of travel to European pilgrimage sites; she actually took the train to Santiago de Composela as she was too ill to walk. Booooiinnng! Something went off in my being: I had to walk t Camino. This was 1994: No internet, no Google, no Forum, nothing. Just ... I gotta go, I gotta go. In the meantime, life. From England, to Scotland, to Florida to Colorado. A great job opened up in Colorado Springs. My birthday -- 02.27.2002. My Catholic Aunt Mary has passed, left each niece $2500. The check falls from the envelope and as it drifts to the floor in a moment of no-time-no-space, I say, aloud "The Camino". Well, you've read this so far, right? So, 7-8 years, waiting, hoping, dreaming. And no one understood me, I was like the 2002 version of the Ancient Mariner, clutching friends and REI shoe salespersons, asking "The Camino? In Spain? Pilgrimage? What boots? Trekking poles?" People were backing away from me! Naw, I exaggerate -- but wow, was I alone! I quit my job, sold my furniture, parked my car and took off on bright April morning, a 62 year old American woman with a lot of world travel experience, no Spanish, some Colorado and Scottish mountain experience, totally wrong Lady Scarpas boots and a Kelty backpack. I don't remember if I had earplugs or not: that naive! But, I had had to wait! My story is one of literally thousands of similar tales with one common factor: We have had to wait! Here's my one piece of advice and you don't even have to be religious or even Christian. Trust St James. Whatever the legends, he is The Man. Find a picture, put it on your desk, your night stand, and talk to him! Let it out, ask for what you want and then wait for the answer. Trust. Love. Be. Ultreya!
 

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 Autumn afternoon, I sat in a London library reading Jennifer Lash's memoir of travel to European pilgrimage sites; she actually took the train to Santiago de Composela as she was too ill to walk. Booooiinnng! Something went off in my being: I had to walk t Camino. This was 1994: No internet, no Google, no Forum, nothing. Just ... I gotta go, I gotta go. In the meantime, life. From England, to Scotland, to Florida to Colorado. A great job opened up in Colorado Springs. My birthday -- 02.27.2002. My Catholic Aunt Mary has passed, left each niece $2500. The check falls from the envelope and as it drifts to the floor in a moment of no-time-no-space, I say, aloud "The Camino". Well, you've read this so far, right? So, 7-8 years, waiting, hoping, dreaming. And no one understood me, I was like the 2002 version of the Ancient Mariner, clutching friends and REI shoe salespersons, asking "The Camino? In Spain? Pilgrimage? What boots? Trekking poles?" People were backing away from me! Naw, I exaggerate -- but wow, was I alone! I quit my job, sold my furniture, parked my car and took off on bright April morning, a 62 year old American woman with a lot of world travel experience, no Spanish, some Colorado and Scottish mountain experience, totally wrong Lady Scarpas boots and a Kelty backpack. I don't remember if I had earplugs or not: that naive! But, I had had to wait! My story is one of literally thousands of similar tales with one common factor: We have had to wait! Here's my one piece of advice and you don't even have to be religious or even Christian. Trust St James. Whatever the legends, he is The Man. Find a picture, put it on your desk, your night stand, and talk to him! Let it out, ask for what you want and then wait for the answer. Trust. Love. Be. Ultreya!
Beautiful story and you have a wonderful way with words!
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
I don't think so. Many who postponed this year will go next year. Things will go back to normal. People will get used to the idea that the virus is everywhere.
Think about it. A number of the tour companies will be out of business. There will be fewer international flights which will be more expensive. Fewer albergues open for quit some time. And more people wary if travelling anyway. A new normal.
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to start the Camino Frances from St Jean at the end of May (2020).
Think about it. A number of the tour companies will be out of business. There will be fewer international flights which will be more expensive. Fewer albergues open for quit some time. And more people wary if travelling anyway. A new normal.
I did think about it. I just thought something different from you.
Travel within Europe will resume. People are desperate to get out, after being cooped up. The Camino businesses are desperate to get their businesses started again. People will still want to go in holy year.
Nobody knows. You may be right. We'll just have to wait and see.
 

Jamie K

lifelong pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (May and June 2017)
Portuguese Camino (May and June 2018)
Possibly Le-Puy or VDLP
Wow, that's a pretty complex set of conditions!!
First, the virus is here to stay. Humans have managed to eliminate two diseases with vaccines, smallpox in humans and rinderpest, a measles like disease of ruminants. Some countries have eliminated perhaps a dozen more, but not worldwide, so there is always the risk of the virus being brought back in.

We all hope that the current pandemic spread is brought under control, and we then know enough about this to prevent a further pandemic spread. We are getting more successful at doing this quickly, although there have been viruses that resisted our efforts to find vaccines for decades.

Second, once this is over, communal living of any sort will always have its infection risks, and there will also be risks in the general community - you will never be completely safe. Good hygiene practices will always be important. You might find good practices are more commonly practiced after this, but I would predict that over time this will decline. Your own personal discipline here will always be important to your personal safety.

And last, you might expect that hospitaleros are going to be just as concerned as you are to ensure that albergues don't become the source of disease, and will be taking measures to prevent that. I generally think they do that now. I can think of one or two places that were not as good as others, but across the board it wasn't the state of the albergues that worried me most.
I hope you are right. I really do! I don't know I'm just saying all this because this is a new thing for me. (I'm just talking about the way I feel about the whole situation) We are all in different situations that we are dealing with this and that I hope we get through this within reasonable time frame and we get to continue to do what we loved in sustainable ways. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2020)
Wise and wonderful words, @catheriam !

We all so want instant gratification. But patience pays off, in the end, and much more hansomely.
Whew, thank you! That poured out from me this morning and clearly without much of a filter. I don't know about either wise or wonderful, yet the words came from my heart. While staring at my picture of St James! Gracias!
 

Robi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May/June 2018
Too many unknowns, it all comes down to speculation, but the Swedish approach does not seem optimal.
It is good that it exists because when all this is over, comparisons will be made between different approaches, which may help in the future.
Italy and Spain are two weeks late in applying quarantine, Britain has opted for lenient measures first and changed its mind, the Netherlands is also leaning on lenient measures, the US is also trying to reduce damage to the economy at the expense of more casualties.
My country is small Croatia, we have opted for strict measures and the lowest possible number of casualties, and then we will try to help the economy. We also had the misfortune that the capital city of Zagreb was hit by an earthquake in the midst of an epidemic.

The prognosis for Croatia is 166 deceased, which is about 41 people per million population, given that the country has about 4 million inhabitants.
The forecast for Sweden is about 4182 casualties, that is about 418 people per million population, because Sweden has about 10 million inhabitants.
We can say that the predictions for the Swedish model are about ten times higher than for the Croatian model.
I repeat these are just predictions, there are still too many unknowns, and it is not yet known what the economic consequences will be, or how much the casualties will bring.

Health data

On the link you can change the country and see the forecast for your country, what measures have been introduced and on what date, how many patients are predicted, how many beds will be missing, etc.

For Spain, they predict the end of the disease by mid-June.
 

jfairclough

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo planned for 2020
Reading this thread has been really helpful as I am booked to go June 28-July 20 and now I see this probably won't happen. For those of you who have flights booked in the coming months, are you waiting for the airline to cancel the flight so you get a full refund? I had another trip in April (in the US) I had to cancel and sadly I won't be able to make use of the credit in 6 months as I'll be back working at my school. It's a pity the airlines don't get a year credit...in any case, I don't want to be of luck with more flights so I'm thinking wait for the airline itself to cancel? Any thoughts are appreciated.
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to start the Camino Frances from St Jean at the end of May (2020).
Reading this thread has been really helpful as I am booked to go June 28-July 20 and now I see this probably won't happen. For those of you who have flights booked in the coming months, are you waiting for the airline to cancel the flight so you get a full refund? I had another trip in April (in the US) I had to cancel and sadly I won't be able to make use of the credit in 6 months as I'll be back working at my school. It's a pity the airlines don't get a year credit...in any case, I don't want to be of luck with more flights so I'm thinking wait for the airline itself to cancel? Any thoughts are appreciated.
I think most people are waiting for airlines to cancel, then they have to give you a refund. However, if they fly the flight and you decide not to take it, you may not get anything. There is no guarantee that by June 28th there will not be flights. I completely understand you probably still don't want to go, but that's not the airline's problem.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Health data
On the link you can change the country and see the forecast for your country, what measures have been introduced and on what date, how many patients are predicted, how many beds will be missing, etc. For Spain, they predict the end of the disease by mid-June.
@Robi, that is an interesting link, thank you for posting it, I hadn't seen this yet! I understand that the modelling is done by IHME, so that's quite something.
 

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 repeat these are just predictions, there are still too many unknowns, and it is not yet known what the economic consequences will be, or how much the casualties will bring.
Thank you Robi. A good resource.
One thing to note is that the models assume full social distancing. Which is obviously not happening everywhere, as you point out. Nor is there necessarily consistency in all areas within a given country. The USA right now is a good example of the latter.

So later, there will be much data to crunch and deep questions to be asked.
 
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