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What will the 'new normal' be like?

Felice

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
In a very recent thread, Rebekah Scott commented 'A lot of people are afraid of one another, and they will be afraid of YOU for sure'. That made my heart sink, because the friendliness of the people along The Way is one of the things that makes the camino so special.
This new fear is something that I have noticed at home too. My little town used to be very friendly, and it was easy to chat to strangers and passers by. Even - or even especially - at the start of lockdown, people interacted, there was a concern, a spirit of all in this together. Not any more, that has long since gone. It started to seep away when the mask rules came in, and we could no longer see each others faces, now it has nearly all gone.
Maybe it is because our small town has become a focus for people coming out of plague ridden Birmingham to have a day out walking on the hills (and I can't say I blame them). Maybe the government ads telling us to regard everyone as a potential killer have got to us. I don't know. All I do know is that no-one interacts any more. Eyes averted, maybe even turn their backs to you as you pass by 3m away. All the humanity has gone, and I want to weep.
Is this how things will be when the camino opens up again? A fearful population that wants nothing to do with the potential killers in their midst? Pilgrims who only come to walk as part of a group and stick firmly to their bubble and no-one else? Suspicion and fear of anyone unknown? I sincerely hope not, but I cannot help but worry that the fear that is palpable everywhere at the moment will take a very long time to go away again.
 
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SabineP

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@Felice . I understand your emotions. There are times that I also despair if and when some kind of " normality " returns.
In the first lockdown there was indeed a spirit of togetherness whereas now most people seem to be self absorbed. Of course it does not help that we in the north of Europe have winter whereas in the first lockdown we enjoyed spring and the outdoors. More daylight too.

And still I have good hopes for the future. It will get worse before it gets better. It will be different , yes, but that is ok!
In my line of work I see alot of frontline workers but also many anonymous people making all the difference.
There is still so much goodness around us...

Virtual hug!
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
In a very recent thread, Rebekah Scott commented 'A lot of people are afraid of one another, and they will be afraid of YOU for sure'. That made my heart sink, because the friendliness of the people along The Way is one of the things that makes the camino so special.
This new fear is something that I have noticed at home too. My little town used to be very friendly, and it was easy to chat to strangers and passers by. Even - or even especially - at the start of lockdown, people interacted, there was a concern, a spirit of all in this together. Not any more, that has long since gone. It started to seep away when the mask rules came in, and we could no longer see each others faces, now it has nearly all gone.
Maybe it is because our small town has become a focus for people coming out of plague ridden Birmingham to have a day out walking on the hills (and I can't say I blame them). Maybe the government ads telling us to regard everyone as a potential killer have got to us. I don't know. All I do know is that no-one interacts any more. Eyes averted, maybe even turn their backs to you as you pass by 3m away. All the humanity has gone, and I want to weep.
Is this how things will be when the camino opens up again? A fearful population that wants nothing to do with the potential killers in their midst? Pilgrims who only come to walk as part of a group and stick firmly to their bubble and no-one else? Suspicion and fear of anyone unknown? I sincerely hope not, but I cannot help but worry that the fear that is palpable everywhere at the moment will take a very long time to go away again.
@Felice
We do not know how people will regard us when we come. However, we may have some influence over this. Do we think just of going on camino when areas open up to us? We can also think of keeping the local people safe, and feeling safe, when we are there. I won't fly until I have been vaccinated. I will want to know how long my protection will last. Depending on what we see locally, we can try to be sensitive to what we can do to help the local people feel safe with us. I shall take my mask with me, and wear it if it seems appropriate, or if asked. I shall have a vaccine certificate with me and will show it to anyone asking for my credencial and passport (I am assuming that I shall receive a document to prove vaccination). I shall just try to be sensitive to the fears of those around me. Or you could wait for another year and ask this question of those who have gone to walk pilgrimage routes in 2021. At my age, I may have only a few years more for caminos, so I shall go when I am safe and the borders are open. And I think that there may be many owners of private accommodation who will be glad to see the pilgrims return, if we are sensitive to them.
 

Marc S.

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Since 2012: CF, CdN, CP, Salvador, Aragones, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakobsweg NRW, Jakibspaad.
Sorry to read you experiencing a lack of interaction and mutual fear. Personally I do not quite experience it in the same way where I live, but of course this does not take anything away from your experience.

In the Netherlands hopefully everyone will be vaccinated this autumn and the idea is that the virus will thus be under control by then. I guess other western countries have similar prospects (whereas I try to keep in mind that many people in other parts of the world probably have very different prospects). I would like to think mutual fear in our society (which also existed pre-covid) will decrease post-covid. At least there will be opportunity again to be nice to each other and give free hugs 24/7 and we may appreciate more the things we alway considered normal. But you may say I'm a dreamer..

I am afraid through that the next 6-9 months may turn out to be a very strange time. When part of the population has been vaccinated, and part of the population has not been vaccinated, I wonder what this does to mutual fear. (for example, those vaccinated may feel less inclined to wear a face mask - but you can not really tell from the outside whether this is the case). What this will mean for the camino this year, I do not know...
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
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(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Just relax. All things will pass.

We are in a temporarily setback, but the Camino is there waiting for us. For some it is calling you in to walk, but you just have to wait a little. But we will be back: Just have some patience We shall once again share a beer, a good meal, a good talk, and fellowship on our way to Santiago. And all our Spanish friends along the Way will be so happy to see us again.
 
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@Felice
We do not know how people will regard us when we come. However, we may have some influence over this. Do we think just of going on camino when areas open up to us? We can also think of keeping the local people safe, and feeling safe, when we are there. I won't fly until I have been vaccinated. I will want to know how long my protection will last. Depending on what we see locally, we can try to be sensitive to what we can do to help the local people feel safe with us. I shall take my mask with me, and wear it if it seems appropriate, or if asked. I shall have a vaccine certificate with me and will show it to anyone asking for my credencial and passport (I am assuming that I shall receive a document to prove vaccination). I shall just try to be sensitive to the fears of those around me. Or you could wait for another year and ask this question of those who have gone to walk pilgrimage routes in 2021. At my age, I may have only a few years more for caminos, so I shall go when I am safe and the borders are open. And I think that there may be many owners of private accommodation who will be glad to see the pilgrims return, if we are sensitive to them.

At my age I too have only a few more years! :) Its the devil and the deep! I am at home when I am moving and not stood still and the Camino is my home. I cannot go there and will take all precautions when I can. BUT I sincerely hope I can put the safety and welfare of all of Iberia before my own wants even if I never see it again. I have been there. I have the books, the apps, the Compostelas and I need two souls to carry the memories. The Camino wends its way through local people's lives and homes. We should respect that. Walk soft and stay safe. I am having a glass ( several!) of good red Spanish wine and listening to Flamenco. My daughter is snow bound in the Highlands. Her local mountain rescue is on standby. They are volunteers.

Samarkand.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I am afraid through that the next 6-9 months may turn out to be a very strange time. When part of the population has been vaccinated, and part of the population has not been vaccinated, I wonder what this does to mutual fear. (for example, those vaccinated may feel less inclined to wear a face mask - but you can not really tell from the outside whether this is the case). What this will mean for the camino this year, I do not know...
No pilgrim should consider coming on the Camino without being vaccinated! In addition, everyone will still need to wear a mask when in close contact with other adults, or inside shared accommodations. The first vaccines have a 90 to 95 percent efficacy rate which means at last 5 percent may still get it, 1 in 20 pilgrims, and many more may spread it.
Until we reach herd immunity through vaccinations, we must all do our part to protect each other and our Spanish hosts. This can not be optional!
 
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witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
The first vaccines have a 90 to 95 percent efficacy rate which means 5 percent may spread it, 1 in 20 pilgrims.
The efficacy rate of 90 to 95 percent means that the percentage of people who receive the vaccine have developed antibodies to the virus for a period of time. (duration as of yet unknown). It does not mean that the remaining who have been vaccinated may or may not spread it. Again, another unknown, as the vaccinated population may still also become infected before building immunity and transmit the virus without becoming ill.
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
Meh..
People are like kids...give it a week and they will be back to normal human interactions as the human spirit us amazingly resilent.

We will laugh and josh each other as humans are programed to do.
We will deprogram and return to a normalcy long missing.
But will have undertones of a darkness, where things will not be so taken for granted..the hysterical undertones will fade into the past and we will laugh and be joyfull in each others company again.

Change is the constant.only those who CHOOSE to live in fear and anxiety will continue in a circular loop of dread.

I choose to live, laugh and love without judgmental idiosyncracys.
Fear
Paranoia
Angst
Or judging others using situational ,changeable pathos.

Live
Laugh
Love...tomorrow is not a given

Ive almost been made dead numerous times by things put in my way in my 55 years.
Fire
Explosions
Criminals
Poisons
Ad nausium..so forgive me for being blunt...

Get out there and live fearlessly..fully and count every blessing if the day.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Meh..
People are like kids...give it a week and they will be back to normal human interactions as the human spirit us amazingly resilent.

We will laugh and josh each other as humans are programed to do.
We will deprogram and return to a normalcy long missing.
But will have undertones of a darkness, where things will not be so taken for granted..the hysterical undertones will fade into the past and we will laugh and be joyfull in each others company again.

Change is the constant.only those who CHOOSE to live in fear and anxiety will continue in a circular loop of dread.

I choose to live, laugh and love without judgmental idiosyncracys.
Fear
Paranoia
Angst
Or judging others using situational ,changeable pathos.

Live
Laugh
Love...tomorrow is not a given

Ive almost been made dead numerous times by things put in my way in my 55 years.
Fire
Explosions
Criminals
Poisons
Ad nausium..so forgive me for being blunt...

Get out there and live fearlessly..fully and count every blessing if the day.
After we reach herd immunity, I will live this luxury...not before😆 as no wo(man) is an island. ...
 
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Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
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In a very recent thread, Rebekah Scott commented 'A lot of people are afraid of one another, and they will be afraid of YOU for sure'. That made my heart sink, because the friendliness of the people along The Way is one of the things that makes the camino so special.
This new fear is something that I have noticed at home too. My little town used to be very friendly, and it was easy to chat to strangers and passers by. Even - or even especially - at the start of lockdown, people interacted, there was a concern, a spirit of all in this together. Not any more, that has long since gone. It started to seep away when the mask rules came in, and we could no longer see each others faces, now it has nearly all gone.
Maybe it is because our small town has become a focus for people coming out of plague ridden Birmingham to have a day out walking on the hills (and I can't say I blame them). Maybe the government ads telling us to regard everyone as a potential killer have got to us. I don't know. All I do know is that no-one interacts any more. Eyes averted, maybe even turn their backs to you as you pass by 3m away. All the humanity has gone, and I want to weep.
Is this how things will be when the camino opens up again? A fearful population that wants nothing to do with the potential killers in their midst? Pilgrims who only come to walk as part of a group and stick firmly to their bubble and no-one else? Suspicion and fear of anyone unknown? I sincerely hope not, but I cannot help but worry that the fear that is palpable everywhere at the moment will take a very long time to go away again.
Felice, I hear you. I think I can understand. Now is now. That is why I do my best to go out and walk before too many other people are around. Even this morning I met someone, watching the sunrise and taking photos. We had a little chat, at a suitable distance. Our advice is to stay at home ( I live in Ireland. We were the best in the class one day and next day almost, way down at the bottom...)
It does pain me to view runners and cyclists as the enemy. However, that is a part of my reality right now. I am waiting for my vaccination. Then it will be a new moment, a new now. For the present, it makes life easier to just do the simple thing of being here, being in the now. I am so glad to have the time to look and learn from a lot of information from people I trust, so that I can better understand the background to our current world malaise. Another post above says that once the right tide washes over the sand, the current state of emergency will be forgotten. True. But different. Now we know something, and we have to share in being responsible to mitigate the behaviour that has ever so gradually led to this dreadful condition that is our world.
Weep, and then breathe, and look up at the sky! Please forgive me if you think I am being trite. I am not. I just wanted, after some days, to say something to you, in return for your brave post.
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
In a very recent thread, Rebekah Scott commented 'A lot of people are afraid of one another, and they will be afraid of YOU for sure'. That made my heart sink, because the friendliness of the people along The Way is one of the things that makes the camino so special.
This new fear is something that I have noticed at home too. My little town used to be very friendly, and it was easy to chat to strangers and passers by. Even - or even especially - at the start of lockdown, people interacted, there was a concern, a spirit of all in this together. Not any more, that has long since gone. It started to seep away when the mask rules came in, and we could no longer see each others faces, now it has nearly all gone.
Maybe it is because our small town has become a focus for people coming out of plague ridden Birmingham to have a day out walking on the hills (and I can't say I blame them). Maybe the government ads telling us to regard everyone as a potential killer have got to us. I don't know. All I do know is that no-one interacts any more. Eyes averted, maybe even turn their backs to you as you pass by 3m away. All the humanity has gone, and I want to weep.
Is this how things will be when the camino opens up again? A fearful population that wants nothing to do with the potential killers in their midst? Pilgrims who only come to walk as part of a group and stick firmly to their bubble and no-one else? Suspicion and fear of anyone unknown? I sincerely hope not, but I cannot help but worry that the fear that is palpable everywhere at the moment will take a very long time to go away again.
Felice,
I wouldn't worry that much, because when the Camino reopens, there will be no longer the fear of today because God willing we will all ( or almost all ) be vaccinated.
Ultreia:)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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.
In a very recent thread, Rebekah Scott commented 'A lot of people are afraid of one another, and they will be afraid of YOU for sure'. That made my heart sink, because the friendliness of the people along The Way is one of the things that makes the camino so special.
This new fear is something that I have noticed at home too. My little town used to be very friendly, and it was easy to chat to strangers and passers by. Even - or even especially - at the start of lockdown, people interacted, there was a concern, a spirit of all in this together. Not any more, that has long since gone. It started to seep away when the mask rules came in, and we could no longer see each others faces, now it has nearly all gone.
Maybe it is because our small town has become a focus for people coming out of plague ridden Birmingham to have a day out walking on the hills (and I can't say I blame them). Maybe the government ads telling us to regard everyone as a potential killer have got to us. I don't know. All I do know is that no-one interacts any more. Eyes averted, maybe even turn their backs to you as you pass by 3m away. All the humanity has gone, and I want to weep.
Is this how things will be when the camino opens up again? A fearful population that wants nothing to do with the potential killers in their midst? Pilgrims who only come to walk as part of a group and stick firmly to their bubble and no-one else? Suspicion and fear of anyone unknown? I sincerely hope not, but I cannot help but worry that the fear that is palpable everywhere at the moment will take a very long time to go away again.
Hi Felice,
I've read your post a few times and it did make me feel a bit sad not knowing what to say and I am so sorry that you are feeling this way. A few replies though have given me the courage to reply to yours.

We live in an outer borough of London and I can honestly say that we have found people to be most respectful whilst out and about and in fact it can be funny at times
We mostly walk in the green spaces near our home and when on the paths...we move to the side...they move to the side...and there's a big space then in between ...a few smiles then when we look at each other!
Most people say hello, or nod, or smile as we do these days as I do believe that most of us really do believe that we are all in this together
Even with a mask.....a nod, along with a raise of the eyebrows can convey a sentiment of belonging/friendliness

We don't wear masks unless we are in the high street or supermarket where there may be a lot of people and then I shove something that is being in trails here in a few universities as "maybe" a defence against the virus up my nose , then spray my (researched best mask) with spray sanitiser....and then, as far as it's possible to keep a safe distance from others. A right palaver!

What I can say though is that I refuse to be frightened by this virus...I refuse to feel the fear that so many have right now because if I did allow myself to feel the fear, and the angst, and the paranoia that William mentioned then I would never leave the house and I could not live like this.
I just try to be as safe as possible for myself and others with what I've got
I feel dreadfully sad at not (being allowed) to visit with my grandsons.for my own safety...not my choice I can tell you! But I keep trying ..to no avail right now
I have a stubborn daughters!
"Himself" is pretty well anxious about the virus and even this I find hard to deal with at times but it is what it is and I have to understand and accept the fear that many people have right now and rightly so.
Also I truly believe that this virus will be with us for many many years ..and maybe forever and that, like the flu vaccine,we will also have to have the corona vaccine at the same time each year and then get on with our lives as we have before this plague came our way.
And I have to be immensely grateful that we are not suffering the effects that this virus is having on so many people and which makes me doubly sad ...economy, loss of homes mental health issues, death of so many people ....the list just goes on.....
The vaccine has been a miracle in the making and we are just hoping that our turn will arrive in the next few weeks
For now, I must just keep optimistic that things will get better.
"And all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well"
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
This is a scary time. I do NOT think the scaredness will continue once the virus is contained! The people in our village still wave and smile, they still leave boxes of apples and pumpkins on one anothers' doorsteps. The kindness is still there, but with some distance, as you'd expect.
We still have pilgrims at our house now and then, the neighbors send them over when they ask where we live. When this all started, the neighbors asked us how we handle the pilgrims, and we told them about our "social distance" practices, and that suffices. No one is nasty to pilgrims, but they keep well away from them when they do pass through.
It is going to take a while to recover from this. Anyone who arrives in Spain expecting the same carefree Camino they enjoyed in the last 10 or 15 years is in for a rude awakening, at least through 2021... not due to people becoming hard and suspicious, but due to logistical nightmares still in the works!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
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It's not going to happen quickly, but I think that once there is sufficient herd immunity via vaccination and the virus isn't circulating freely and widely it will be like childbirth - we won't completely forget the pain, but it will fade away!
 
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In our town people still smile behind the masks and wave to each other when stepping a bit aside to allow plenty of room to walk by. I don't see the fear/paranoia described but believe that such that does exist will fade as the Covid numbers decrease.

One of us is fully vaccinated and the other had first dose; we will be checking antibody levels before traveling anywhere but hope for a Camino in early 2022.
 
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(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
It's not going to happen quickly, but I think that once there is sufficient herd immunity via vaccination and the virus isn't circulating freely and widely it will be like childbirth - we won't completely forget the pain, but it will fade away!
I have put two kids into this world - It was easier than I feared.
 
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CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
So.... on the point about fear.... We were fortunate enough to see 2 friends for a back-yard fire before deciding that we'd cut all social efforts to zero until the end of our current lockdown (not because we have to: we are still permitted 5 people together outside), but because we a family with 2 people with health impairments that make them dependent on us and we 2 are both in the "compromised" group for heart and lung issues.

Anyway, I was bemoaning the fearfulness of others and hating being made to feel like Typhoid Mary when out for a walk and every encounter with a stranger would result not in a smiling nod of greeting but a wide berth that registers as "ew! cooties!"

But as my friends noted, we too give others a wide berth, and it's not *fear*... it's being polite, showing a concern not to be the asymptomatic person who makes someone else ill in this context of cold weather that allows the virus to hang around for longer in the still, frozen air.

So I'm going to suggest a reframing -- that this is not *fear*, but respect for each other's well-being. And there's nothing depressing about that at all.

What I do hope for, of course, is that we will not be burdened with such things with an infinitely receding horizon.

And I hope that people who are itching to go on Camino "because I can" will stop to think about whether that will set back Spain even more, do more economic damage. For the person who feels *entitled* to follow one desire often follows another (which with COV creates a super-spreader) , and I hope that such persons will decide to be respectful, to be kind enough to stay home, to shelve their own desires for a bit.

Of course there are people who will welcome your money. But that is a situation, potentially, of shooting one's own foot off, and I certainly want no part of that. I'm an EU citizen, and I am going to hope that the EU will take care of its own economic "balance sheet" for this time period, so that locals will not have to sacrifice health and security for tourist dollars that are, frankly, quite exploitative in this context.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
So.... on the point about fear.... We were fortunate enough to see 2 friends for a back-yard fire before deciding that we'd cut all social efforts to zero until the end of our current lockdown (not because we have to: we are still permitted 5 people together outside), but because we a family with 2 people with health impairments that make them dependent on us and we 2 are both in the "compromised" group for heart and lung issues.

Anyway, I was bemoaning the fearfulness of others and hating being made to feel like Typhoid Mary when out for a walk and every encounter with a stranger would result not in a sling nod of greeting but a wide berth that registers as "ew! cooties!"

But as my friends noted, we too give others a wide berth, and it's not *fear*... it's being polite, showing a concern not to be the asymptomatic person who makes someone else ill in this context of cold weather that allows the virus to hang around for longer in the still, frozen air.

So I'm going to suggest a reframing -- that this is not *fear*, but respect for each other's well-being. And there's nothing depressing about that at all.

What I do hope for, of course, is that we will not be burdened with such things with an infinitely receding horizon.

And I hope that people who itching to go on Camino "because I can" will stop to think about whether that will set back Spain even more, do more economic damage, for the person who feels *entitled* follow one desire often follows another, and I hope that such persons will decide to be respectful, to be kind enough to stay home.

Of course there are people who will welcome your money. But that is a situation, potentially, of shooting one's own foot off, and I certainly want no part of that. I'm an EU citizen, and I am going to hope that the EU will take care of its own economic "balance sheet" for this time period, so that locals will not have to sacrifice health and security for tourist dollars that are, frankly, quite exploitative in this context.
Well said. We are in a period of transition, and wise thinking and precaution will go a long way, helping us to "the other side".
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
I can put the safety and welfare of all of Iberia before my own wants

Thank you @malingerer, very nicely put

To my mind, this is the watch word: to rephrase the "golden rule" - do to others as they would have you do to them.

Which means getting to know and understand wants and needs in their terms.

In my professional life my mentors would say "Study the needs of your clients".

So how do we study the wants, needs and convenience of the countries, regions, states, provinces, cities, towns, villages and hamlets we would like to walk through. Especially when their language is not mine, or yours.

What follows assumes we are allowed into Spain (or whatever).

Until we absolutely know they are out of their lock down (at whatever level we might think it to be) I suggest we should do as we would do away from home during our highest level of lockdown.

And not when we might think it appropriate.

And be aware one area might be "out" of lockdown, but not the next. Assume a worst case scenario.

For example:
Masks at the ready (around our necks) at all times;
Cover nose and mouth whenever anyone is in view in the country side;
Always when in hamlets or bigger;
Always when inside any building;
Always when near groups;
Keep your distance at all times;
Sanitize hands frequently;

kia ora (keep healthy)
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
In the news in the past few days are sportspeople arriving in another country for a tournament saying "it is unfair to change the rules at the moment they arrive".

What is unfair is that some fellow travellers brought Covid-19 with them on the same plane. The result is the sportspeople cannot train for 14 days while in quarantine and may not be able to regain competition level of skill and fitness needed to compete.

It is going to take some time for a new normal to develop.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
@Felice asks "What will the 'new normal' be like?

It is only since the late 1960s that world wide travel became the new normal.

Even in 1964, to get to the other side of the world, travel was a boat trip of many, many, weeks. And in 1971 it took several days by B747 (and other smaller jets) to get back as schedules were quite thin. My journey included overnight stopovers at Copenhagen, Delhi, Bangkok and sufficient time to visit Melbourne, had I wanted to.

Going forward, with climate change will air travel be priced appropriate to the emissions created?

Will we need to become practised in the use of sail boats, as well as practised walkers?

Will some countries, mindful of the damage they perceive tourists can bring to the environment or local way of life, limit numbers.

One thing I think the pandemic has taught my friends and family is that their health (and that of their friends and families) is more important long term that a "quick buck" in the present.

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia mana'wa'nui (be strong, confident and patient) and get going when others say they are ready for you.
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
At some point
Enough will be enough.

Watching,waiting until a-the economy is absolute wreckage will no longer be an option when losing everything is in the line.
Things will progress as they must,pushing beyond fear and the mongering of.. to where people will follow human nature and "open" up.

People must have commerce among themselves and throughout the land to survive...without commerce, moneys the govt gets from it will dry up..and then the real suffering will begin.

Travels are an option
Principalities that rely on travelers currency flow will suffer most.imagine there is a rural area where the tourist dollars sustain part of or most of the local economy.

Spain will decide when Spain is ready...irregardless of any sentiment or ideology driven narrative.
People will be people and travel irregardless of how others view that.that is free will unfettered

In plain speak?

Some will hide their head in the sand while the world moves on despite, and in spite of Covid.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Imagine if we were to love the localities so much that we sent money to them to sustain their communities, instead of making it about a “beggars can’t be choosers” relationship of tourist dollars commanding all.
Certainly when I am able, I send money to an albergue I would have been at this year, or to this forum, or subscribe to Camino content producers, buy goods from Spain and Portugal... buy things offered on the Forum store website.
We can surely have a more communal approach to the economic reality that locations that rely on tourism may still deserve our currencies even if we cannot travel there now, or this year...
Many of us cannot afford to spend as much this year as we would have in ordinary circumstances. There has been job-loss, or increased health costs, or disability support costs for those who need daily assistance... I fall into that latter category, but I still do what I can without seeing the need to make a nation, a region... sacrifice its safety for access to my leisure spending.
At some point
Enough will be enough.

Watching,waiting until a-the economy is absolute wreckage will no longer be an option when losing everything is in the line.
Things will progress as they must,pushing beyond fear and the mongering of.. to where people will follow human nature and "open" up.

People must have commerce among themselves and throughout the land to survive...without commerce, moneys the govt gets from it will dry up..and then the real suffering will begin.

Travels are an option
Principalities that rely on travelers currency flow will suffer most.imagine there is a rural area where the tourist dollars sustain part of or most of the local economy.

Spain will decide when Spain is ready...irregardless of any sentiment or ideology driven narrative.
People will be people and travel irregardless of how others view that.that is free will unfettered

In plain speak?

Some will hide their head in the sand while the world moves on despite, and in spite of Covid.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Imagine if we were to love the localities so much that we sent money to them to sustain their communities,
If you have been following this forum through the pandemic you will know that many forum members have done this, and continue to do so. This is a necessity now and it is how we care for our friends. But there will be a time when this pandemic is over and it will be safe to see one another again, and a country that we have learned to love. I look forward to that time.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
If you have been following this forum through the pandemic you will know that many forum members have done this, and continue to do so. This is a necessity now and it is how we care for our friends. But there will be a time when this pandemic is over and it will be safe to see one another again, and a country that we have learned to love. I look forward to that time.
Yes; I know. I was putting out a gentle reminder that we do not have to hold a country ransom.
I look forward to returning too, and have purchased a pack for my long-lost and recently found step-sister, that she may go with me.
But the bit of “devil may care; they need our money and we want to go” in some attitudes is getting to me.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
In a very recent thread, Rebekah Scott commented 'A lot of people are afraid of one another, and they will be afraid of YOU for sure'. That made my heart sink, because the friendliness of the people along The Way is one of the things that makes the camino so special.
This new fear is something that I have noticed at home too. My little town used to be very friendly, and it was easy to chat to strangers and passers by. Even - or even especially - at the start of lockdown, people interacted, there was a concern, a spirit of all in this together. Not any more, that has long since gone. It started to seep away when the mask rules came in, and we could no longer see each others faces, now it has nearly all gone.
Maybe it is because our small town has become a focus for people coming out of plague ridden Birmingham to have a day out walking on the hills (and I can't say I blame them). Maybe the government ads telling us to regard everyone as a potential killer have got to us. I don't know. All I do know is that no-one interacts any more. Eyes averted, maybe even turn their backs to you as you pass by 3m away. All the humanity has gone, and I want to weep.
Is this how things will be when the camino opens up again? A fearful population that wants nothing to do with the potential killers in their midst? Pilgrims who only come to walk as part of a group and stick firmly to their bubble and no-one else? Suspicion and fear of anyone unknown? I sincerely hope not, but I cannot help but worry that the fear that is palpable everywhere at the moment will take a very long time to go away again.
None of us know what is on the other side of this pandemic. I expect a lot will eventually return to the state it was before. I am hopeful some things will change for the better and fearful that some things will change for the worse. I try my best to encourage the former and divert from the latter.

There are a few things that I am fairly confident of:
- We will not proceed directly from "pandemic" to "new normal" (whatever that is). There will be one (likely more) transition stages in between. Whatever we see as vaccines are distributed and things start to open up isn't the new normal. It is a transition stage. We are probably looking at least five years out, perhaps longer before we are in "the new normal". And the world doesn't stay still. That "new normal" will continue to change, too, as things always change.
- I don't think we are going to see fundamental changes in human nature. The world has been through many pandemics. Judging from what I read in literature, none of the previous ones seems to have fundamentally changed human nature. I don't think this one will, either.
- The Camino will still be there. It has also lasted through several pandemics. As was pointed out in another thread, although there may be closures of albergues/restaurants/etc. these business will return when people start walking again. Demand creates opportunity and people will seize it.
- What that "new normal" will look like, that the Camino and us humans will inhabit, none of us really knows.

I also remember that the people who live along the Camino will have had a few years practice being fearful and many generations of practice being hospitable. I know which I expect to emerge in the end.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
@Felice . I understand your emotions. There are times that I also despair if and when some kind of " normality " returns.
In the first lockdown there was indeed a spirit of togetherness whereas now most people seem to be self absorbed. Of course it does not help that we in the north of Europe have winter whereas in the first lockdown we enjoyed spring and the outdoors. More daylight too.

And still I have good hopes for the future. It will get worse before it gets better. It will be different , yes, but that is ok!
In my line of work I see alot of frontline workers but also many anonymous people making all the difference.
There is still so much goodness around us...

Virtual hug!
Virtual hug from me too. But I have a perhaps different outlook on "normal", having lived in 3 countries and 30 different dwellings, and lots of years. With all the moving, living through WWII and those that followed, etc etc, I've come to see "normal" as being more dependent on what is going on inside myself than on my surroundings. Sure, there are places and circumstances I like more, others less, but mostly I've found it possible to figure out how to adapt, and mostly enjoy, wherever I am. My Dad said something once that's similar to your "it will get worse, then better.." making it clear he meant that pleasant, and unpleasant, things are both going to come, but they also come to pass. There is so much good! Lots of it gathered together here on this forum. BTW, Portugal is definitely one of my most favorite places; I lived in Braga, and Lisbon, and Horta in the Azores.
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
None of us know what is on the other side of this pandemic. I expect a lot will eventually return to the state it was before. I am hopeful some things will change for the better and fearful that some things will change for the worse. I try my best to encourage the former and divert from the latter.

There are a few things that I am fairly confident of:
- We will not proceed directly from "pandemic" to "new normal" (whatever that is). There will be one (likely more) transition stages in between. Whatever we see as vaccines are distributed and things start to open up isn't the new normal. It is a transition stage. We are probably looking at least five years out, perhaps longer before we are in "the new normal". And the world doesn't stay still. That "new normal" will continue to change, too, as things always change.
- I don't think we are going to see fundamental changes in human nature. The world has been through many pandemics. Judging from what I read in literature, none of the previous ones seems to have fundamentally changed human nature. I don't think this one will, either.
- The Camino will still be there. It has also lasted through several pandemics. As was pointed out in another thread, although there may be closures of albergues/restaurants/etc. these business will return when people start walking again. Demand creates opportunity and people will seize it.
- What that "new normal" will look like, that the Camino and us humans will inhabit, none of us really knows.

I also remember that the people who live along the Camino will have had a few years practice being fearful and many generations of practice being hospitable. I know which I expect to emerge in the end.
In NZ we are perhaps an example of the longer term intermediate stage that parts of the rest of the world might be like once other countries start to gain some level of control over this virus.

Firstly, some axioms:
1 - The whole world is interconnected and this means that any individual who is vaccinated is irrelevant. There is no chance of controlling this virus until the whole world has widespread access to vaccines. The WHO estimate that on current trends it will be 4-5 years before the poorest nations have access to some sort of vaccine for Covid-19. Until all nations have access to control measures and use them then Covid-19 will continue to disrupt life.

2 - Our medical treatments get better with experience and new research but at the same time and counter balancing, the virus is widespread enough that it has the population base to support rapid genetic mutations. These mutations will continue to happen and serious consequences will result. This will happen until and unless there is world wide control, see axiom 1.

3 - The argument between health outcomes versus economic outcomes is a false dichotomy. Both historic examples and the current example of NZ is that the countries and communities that best control the health of their population also get the best economy. The NZ economy has, overall, more than recovered from the costs of lock downs and other health measures. Some parts of the NZ economy have not recovered completely but other parts are booming and overall the results are good.

---------

If you are prepared to accept these axioms and use NZ as an example of the intermediatory stage between the start of control and world wide control then here is what I have noticed.

International trade is disrupted and goods are taking longer than expected to arrive and freight is much more costly. This means that there is less choice and higher prices. This is highlighting economic divisions which already existed but is also creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses to introduce new products, services and to change common business practices. There is nothing like a crisis to spur innovation.

Even where there is no community transmission of the virus such as in NZ, there is an ongoing need for community based control measures such as mask wearing on public transport, contact tracing and strict control on people entering the community from outside. This means that these measures will be with us for a long time.

Human nature is to only pay attention to immediate threats and so over time people are less likely to comply with community control measures such as mask wearing and contact tracing. As a result there will be ongoing waves of high infection as the virus breaks free from the control measures. NZ, as an example, may well have another outbreak and subsequent lock down as people become more careless over time. This will even happen after widespread vaccination because the virus exists outside of our community.

It is not yet clear how these examples will translate into a Spanish perspective and actions on the Camino but it is clear to me that pilgrims from outside Spain who think that they will be able to walk a relatively "normal" Camino within Spain before 2024-25 are very likely to be disappointed.
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Some examples of how Covid-19 has changed behaviour in NZ:
People are now spending money that was once spent on international travel on alternative leisure purchases such as boats. Our boat industry is having one of its biggest boom periods ever seen.

There is a lot more interest and money being spent on gardening, including myself. My garden has never been so big or time consuming.

There is a lot more internal tourism.
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
In a very recent thread, Rebekah Scott commented 'A lot of people are afraid of one another, and they will be afraid of YOU for sure'. That made my heart sink, because the friendliness of the people along The Way is one of the things that makes the camino so special.
This new fear is something that I have noticed at home too. My little town used to be very friendly, and it was easy to chat to strangers and passers by. Even - or even especially - at the start of lockdown, people interacted, there was a concern, a spirit of all in this together. Not any more, that has long since gone. It started to seep away when the mask rules came in, and we could no longer see each others faces, now it has nearly all gone.
Maybe it is because our small town has become a focus for people coming out of plague ridden Birmingham to have a day out walking on the hills (and I can't say I blame them). Maybe the government ads telling us to regard everyone as a potential killer have got to us. I don't know. All I do know is that no-one interacts any more. Eyes averted, maybe even turn their backs to you as you pass by 3m away. All the humanity has gone, and I want to weep.
Is this how things will be when the camino opens up again? A fearful population that wants nothing to do with the potential killers in their midst? Pilgrims who only come to walk as part of a group and stick firmly to their bubble and no-one else? Suspicion and fear of anyone unknown? I sincerely hope not, but I cannot help but worry that the fear that is palpable everywhere at the moment will take a very long time to go away again.

All the pilgrims who have been walking during the pandemic have tended to forget about the virus. For good and bad. I think there is hope for the future! :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012-2018 Frances, Via de la Plata, Portugues Central and Seaside, Norte
In a very recent thread, Rebekah Scott commented 'A lot of people are afraid of one another, and they will be afraid of YOU for sure'. That made my heart sink, because the friendliness of the people along The Way is one of the things that makes the camino so special.
This new fear is something that I have noticed at home too. My little town used to be very friendly, and it was easy to chat to strangers and passers by. Even - or even especially - at the start of lockdown, people interacted, there was a concern, a spirit of all in this together. Not any more, that has long since gone. It started to seep away when the mask rules came in, and we could no longer see each others faces, now it has nearly all gone.
Maybe it is because our small town has become a focus for people coming out of plague ridden Birmingham to have a day out walking on the hills (and I can't say I blame them). Maybe the government ads telling us to regard everyone as a potential killer have got to us. I don't know. All I do know is that no-one interacts any more. Eyes averted, maybe even turn their backs to you as you pass by 3m away. All the humanity has gone, and I want to weep.
Is this how things will be when the camino opens up again? A fearful population that wants nothing to do with the potential killers in their midst? Pilgrims who only come to walk as part of a group and stick firmly to their bubble and no-one else? Suspicion and fear of anyone unknown? I sincerely hope not, but I cannot help but worry that the fear that is palpable everywhere at the moment will take a very long time to go away again.
I haven't experienced any noticeable coldness here in California. What I have missed is the smiles in passing. The times when you just smile at people and they smile at you. You can't see the smiles because of the masks. We can wave, and we do, but it is not the same. At least for me.
 

David61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
In NZ we are perhaps an example of the longer term intermediate stage that parts of the rest of the world might be like once other countries start to gain some level of control over this virus.

Firstly, some axioms:
1 - The whole world is interconnected and this means that any individual who is vaccinated is irrelevant. There is no chance of controlling this virus until the whole world has widespread access to vaccines. The WHO estimate that on current trends it will be 4-5 years before the poorest nations have access to some sort of vaccine for Covid-19. Until all nations have access to control measures and use them then Covid-19 will continue to disrupt life.

2 - Our medical treatments get better with experience and new research but at the same time and counter balancing, the virus is widespread enough that it has the population base to support rapid genetic mutations. These mutations will continue to happen and serious consequences will result. This will happen until and unless there is world wide control, see axiom 1.

3 - The argument between health outcomes versus economic outcomes is a false dichotomy. Both historic examples and the current example of NZ is that the countries and communities that best control the health of their population also get the best economy. The NZ economy has, overall, more than recovered from the costs of lock downs and other health measures. Some parts of the NZ economy have not recovered completely but other parts are booming and overall the results are good.

---------

If you are prepared to accept these axioms and use NZ as an example of the intermediatory stage between the start of control and world wide control then here is what I have noticed.

International trade is disrupted and goods are taking longer than expected to arrive and freight is much more costly. This means that there is less choice and higher prices. This is highlighting economic divisions which already existed but is also creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses to introduce new products, services and to change common business practices. There is nothing like a crisis to spur innovation.

Even where there is no community transmission of the virus such as in NZ, there is an ongoing need for community based control measures such as mask wearing on public transport, contact tracing and strict control on people entering the community from outside. This means that these measures will be with us for a long time.

Human nature is to only pay attention to immediate threats and so over time people are less likely to comply with community control measures such as mask wearing and contact tracing. As a result there will be ongoing waves of high infection as the virus breaks free from the control measures. NZ, as an example, may well have another outbreak and subsequent lock down as people become more careless over time. This will even happen after widespread vaccination because the virus exists outside of our community.

It is not yet clear how these examples will translate into a Spanish perspective and actions on the Camino but it is clear to me that pilgrims from outside Spain who think that they will be able to walk a relatively "normal" Camino within Spain before 2024-25 are very likely to be disappointed.
While I agree with most of what you say there is no comparison of Spain and New Zealand. NZ is not a transit point globally nor is it a tourist destination of great numbers. Spain 2019 received 83.7 million tourists! They need those people back and soon for the economy. When reporting these record numbers the tourism minister Reyes Maroto said it was fantastic and hoped 2020 would be even better. (If she had only known). Today she announced tourism will fully re-open this year with first visitors in Spring. We shall wait and see.
 

David61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
BUT, PM Pedro Sanchez said Spain will not re-open until the end of Summer at the earliest
 
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mvanert

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
In a very recent thread, Rebekah Scott commented 'A lot of people are afraid of one another, and they will be afraid of YOU for sure'. That made my heart sink, because the friendliness of the people along The Way is one of the things that makes the camino so special.
This new fear is something that I have noticed at home too. My little town used to be very friendly, and it was easy to chat to strangers and passers by. Even - or even especially - at the start of lockdown, people interacted, there was a concern, a spirit of all in this together. Not any more, that has long since gone. It started to seep away when the mask rules came in, and we could no longer see each others faces, now it has nearly all gone.
Maybe it is because our small town has become a focus for people coming out of plague ridden Birmingham to have a day out walking on the hills (and I can't say I blame them). Maybe the government ads telling us to regard everyone as a potential killer have got to us. I don't know. All I do know is that no-one interacts any more. Eyes averted, maybe even turn their backs to you as you pass by 3m away. All the humanity has gone, and I want to weep.
Is this how things will be when the camino opens up again? A fearful population that wants nothing to do with the potential killers in their midst? Pilgrims who only come to walk as part of a group and stick firmly to their bubble and no-one else? Suspicion and fear of anyone unknown? I sincerely hope not, but I cannot help but worry that the fear that is palpable everywhere at the moment will take a very long time to go away again.
I'm sorry you're having that experience. Here in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada where I walk 4 or 5 days a week I'm not getting that kind of response. Here when I cross paths with folks and they make eye contact with me I always greet them and get greetings back. That is about 70% of the people I come across, young or old and that is the same as it was pre-covid. I believe it'll be similar to what it was if not even better when we are able to return.
 

BookGirl305

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Ingles (after Covid)
On the greetings, I have found early in the morning, the walkers will always greet each other and return the greeting. The runners have headphones in and ignore everyone but their own run. By about 10am, the pairs of female friends hit the park and they don't acknowledge anyone else, and the families look startled to have been greeted but will usually smile and reply. After 12, no one talks to each other at all.
 

Katia Taam

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Every year, since 2000. Most times portuguese camino also twice the french camiño. Two time Le Puy .
I do live in Brazil and it is nowadays, probably, the most rejected country. Everyone is afraid of brazilian covid mutation...
I feel that many persons are developing a "covid phobia" and they are so vompletely afraid of going out as the atmosphere were contaminated.
All that said I do believe that it will pass...everything will pass. So, breath heavily and have faith...we will be able to hug again.
I am very optimistic:)
 

taigirl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
No pilgrim should consider coming on the Camino without being vaccinated! In addition, everyone will still need to wear a mask when in close contact with other adults, or inside shared accommodations. The first vaccines have a 90 to 95 percent efficacy rate which means at last 5 percent may still get it, 1 in 20 pilgrims, and many more may spread it.
Until we reach herd immunity through vaccinations, we must all do our part to protect each other and our Spanish hosts. This can not be optional!
Not sure about the vaccine in other countries but the one we are getting in Australia will not stop you being infected or from passing the virus to others. It will only prevent you from developing severe symptoms. So I will still need the mask and social distancing. I may not get sick but I can still be infectious.
 

taigirl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
In the news in the past few days are sportspeople arriving in another country for a tournament saying "it is unfair to change the rules at the moment they arrive".

What is unfair is that some fellow travellers brought Covid-19 with them on the same plane. The result is the sportspeople cannot train for 14 days while in quarantine and may not be able to regain competition level of skill and fitness needed to compete.

It is going to take some time for a new normal to develop.
I live in Melbourne and the reality is that the ones that brought the covid with them were tennis players and their entourage. Everyone who arrives in Australia, tennis player or not has to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days. No exception.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Not sure about the vaccine in other countries but the one we are getting in Australia will not stop you being infected or from passing the virus to others. It will only prevent you from developing severe symptoms. So I will still need the mask and social distancing. I may not get sick but I can still be infectious.
The fact is that it has not yet been determined if the vaccine keeps you from getting infected, and thus able to transmit the virus, or if it just keeps you from developing severe symptoms. Along with the scientists we are still learning.
 

taigirl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
We can only hope, however that is the information we are being given by our govt medical officers.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
While I agree with most of what you say there is no comparison of Spain and New Zealand. NZ is not a transit point globally nor is it a tourist destination of great numbers. Spain 2019 received 83.7 million tourists! They need those people back and soon for the economy. When reporting these record numbers the tourism minister Reyes Maroto said it was fantastic and hoped 2020 would be even better. (If she had only known). Today she announced tourism will fully re-open this year with first visitors in Spring. We shall wait and see.
I agree with you that NZ doesn't have the same numbers of tourists as Spain, after all we have only 5M people here overall.
One of the things we noticed about the sky above Spain was the pattern of jet-trails across the blue.

However our tourism industry was one of our largest industries, and was hit badly, initially our experts all expected a much bigger economic hit. Businesses such as travel agents, tourism companies and airlines, as well as entire specific tourist locations have all suffered alike. However as Doughnut stated, locals have travelled internally (where their dollars used to go offshore) and I was interested to hear the statistics last week - that all our major 'walks' are busier than ever, I think 4 or 9% up on previous years when overseas tourists were here. Accommodation on these walks is all booked out, it seems NZers have put on their boots and headed out to see the country.
They have continued to spend in retail, most of our larger retailers have done so well they were able to pay the government back for the initial wage subsidy they received during the lockdown. Maybe people want to receive their goods faster (international shipping is slower and disrupted) and aren't ordering online from overseas companies. There is a big push to support local businesses.
Our Christmas retail spend was high, many retailers are relieved.
Other businesses have grown as well - with home delivery more popular, couriers and transport companies are in greater demand. House renovations, landscaping, spend on boats and campers/caravans has increased. Our government has focused on training courses for people to be able to change careers.
House prices are increasing out of control all over the country. Many people have made lifestyle changes as a result of the early lockdown, and are buying outside of the main centres. And NZers are returning from overseas and buying houses.
So our economy is recovering, and the economists are pleasantly surprised. Yes there is some unemployment, but most of the people I knew who lost jobs are slowing getting back into work. At one point just about everyone I knew had lost jobs, now I follow them on LinkedIn and see them employed again. So life feels normal, and we dont have restrictions. I cant remember when I last had to wear a mask, or measured 2 metres between myself and someone else. Yesterday the daughter of our friend was married and they were able to hold the wedding as normal with over 100 people, and a dance afterwards. We do have to record our visits to stores and restaurants etc to allow for contact tracing if required.

However we still have planes arriving with Covid positive passengers, and those exposed on the planes. So managing our borders is a huge job with risk. Especially as our quarantine hotels are in our biggest cities.
My worry is complacency, as we get used to living a normal life when the disease is arriving daily, and will do for maybe several more years, especially as new strains are even more contagious.
I think how hard it is for us to manage borders and we are a pretty isolated island.
 
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David61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
I agree with you that NZ doesn't have the same numbers of tourists as Spain, after all we have only 5M people here overall.
One of the things we noticed about the sky above Spain was the pattern of jet-trails across the blue.

However our tourism industry was one of our largest industries, and was hit badly, initially our experts all expected a much bigger economic hit. Businesses such as travel agents, tourism companies and airlines, as well as entire specific tourist locations have all suffered alike. However as Doughnut stated, locals have travelled internally (where their dollars used to go offshore) and I was interested to hear the statistics last week - that all our major 'walks' are busier than ever, I think 4 or 9% up on previous years when overseas tourists were here. Accommodation on these walks is all booked out, it seems NZers have put on their boots and headed out to see the country.
They have continued to spend in retail, most of our larger retailers have done so well they were able to pay the government back for the initial wage subsidy they received during the lockdown. Maybe people want to receive their goods faster (international shipping is slower and disrupted) and aren't ordering online from overseas companies. There is a big push to support local businesses.
Our Christmas retail spend was high, many retailers are relieved.
Other businesses have grown as well - with home delivery more popular, couriers and transport companies are in greater demand. House renovations, landscaping, spend on boats and campers/caravans has increased. Our government has focused on training courses for people to be able to change careers.
House prices are increasing out of control all over the country. Many people have made lifestyle changes as a result of the early lockdown, and are buying outside of the main centres. And NZers are returning from overseas and buying houses.
So our economy is recovering, and the economists are pleasantly surprised. Yes there is some unemployment, but most of the people I knew who lost jobs are slowing getting back into work. At one point just about everyone I knew had lost jobs, now I follow them on LinkedIn and see them employed again. So life feels normal, and we dont have restrictions. I cant remember when I last had to wear a mask, or measured 2 metres between myself and someone else. Yesterday the daughter of our friend was married and they were able to hold the wedding as normal with over 100 people, and a dance afterwards. We do have to record our visits to stores and restaurants etc to allow for contact tracing if required.

However we still have planes arriving with Covid positive passengers, and those exposed on the planes. So managing our borders is a huge job with risk. Especially as our quarantine hotels are in our biggest cities.
My worry is complacency, as we get used to living a normal life when the disease is arriving daily, and will do for maybe several more years, especially as new strains are even more contagious.
I think how hard it is for us to manage borders and we are a pretty isolated island.
I made no comment on NZ's economy. I am very pleased it is doing well and that people are rediscovering a beautiful country. My only point was Spain's economy is heavily reliant on tourism and she needs those people back
 

Marianjhart

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May-June (2018)
In a very recent thread, Rebekah Scott commented 'A lot of people are afraid of one another, and they will be afraid of YOU for sure'. That made my heart sink, because the friendliness of the people along The Way is one of the things that makes the camino so special.
This new fear is something that I have noticed at home too. My little town used to be very friendly, and it was easy to chat to strangers and passers by. Even - or even especially - at the start of lockdown, people interacted, there was a concern, a spirit of all in this together. Not any more, that has long since gone. It started to seep away when the mask rules came in, and we could no longer see each others faces, now it has nearly all gone.
Maybe it is because our small town has become a focus for people coming out of plague ridden Birmingham to have a day out walking on the hills (and I can't say I blame them). Maybe the government ads telling us to regard everyone as a potential killer have got to us. I don't know. All I do know is that no-one interacts any more. Eyes averted, maybe even turn their backs to you as you pass by 3m away. All the humanity has gone, and I want to weep.
Is this how things will be when the camino opens up again? A fearful population that wants nothing to do with the potential killers in their midst? Pilgrims who only come to walk as part of a group and stick firmly to their bubble and no-one else? Suspicion and fear of anyone unknown? I sincerely hope not, but I cannot help but worry that the fear that is palpable everywhere at the moment will take a very long time to go away again.
My thought is that we are not the first pilgrims who’ve ever lived through a pandemic. The camino has survived hundreds of years during some of the worst plague times. Surely this will continue to be true.
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
More than most threads, this one reminds me what an international community frequent this forum.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I live in Mexico City. The pandemic stats climbed speedily last year, until around June there was a kind of plateau -not worse, not better. As almost in every country, the situation deteriorated in December and continues to be bad. News of people passing away went from vague notes in the newspapers to people that I actually knew and worked in the same place.

I am privileged because as an employee in a government institution, my income is not at risk, and can do home office. But many people cannot, and as they say, " if I don't work, my family don't eat". So, in the mornings the metro is as overcrowded as usual. It is not still clear if vaccines will be available for all, and how and when they will be administered. As this forum policies state that political comments are not accepted, I will say no more.

My neighborhood is eerily quiet, especially since public schools are closed. I go to an hour stroll every day with my wife, just before sunset. Mostly pleasant, but we are always a bit nervous about other walkers’ behavior (are they wearing masks or not? or talking in their cellphones?) People tend to avoid each other, even cross to the opposite sidewalk. The usual and polite "buenas tardes" has all but disappeared. I am sad about this, because we used to feel that other neighbors were members of the same community, even if I did not personally know them, and some casual greetings were nice.

I had planned a pilgrimage in the Ingles, for last June; cancelled, obviously. I miss the Camino badly, but (provided I could arrange personal and job issues) I will not start planning again before I get a vaccine and Spain´s government opens completely the country to tourists, at least for six uninterrupted months.
 
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D

Deleted member 56069

Guest
I may be in a minority here, but I have come to really detest the term 'new normal'. It seems we are to accept that the 'old normal' is dead and gone, never to return. I believe the 'old normal' should be our goal.

The unfortunate thing about Covid is that many politicians world wide see it as an opportunity to piggy back on and to push for major societal changes. I am unconvinced at this point that the politicians and the press haven't made a bad situation entirely much worse.

The latest vaccine information suggests that the best outcome of the current available vaccine candidates is that it will lessen the severity of Covid should you contract it. You can still spread it. They have no idea how long your partial immunity may last. They aren't sure how effective it will be against the number of new covid variants either. As a result, face masks aren't going away any time soon.

There is no idea of the long term effects of the covid vaccine either. Those that are currently receiving their shots are the 'Beta' test group.

As I have mentioned in other threads, although I am not at all anti-vax, I have some major reservations on the Covid vaccines due to it's new delivery system. So my 'new normal' will likely be the reality of no more world travel. The idea of 'vaccine passports' is more than just a concept, it is sure to be a reality as soon as they come up with a paper and electronic format that is accepted internationally.

As others have mentioned, people's reaction to Covid has divided people greatly. People have become more judgmental and fearful of others. Again I believe the daily 'fear porn' of the press hasn't helped this situation.

So I still train almost every day with the hope the 'old normal' may come back one day when the world regains it's sanity...and health. Hopefully this happens sooner versus later. Time is marching on and my knees are letting me know most clearly now they are getting close to their 'best before' date.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
A very poignant and realistic post as we see how things are developing now, but you have ended with a little hope.🙂
I love your wording that your knees are getting close to their "best before date". I think many of us retirees concern ourselves with similar thoughts as we wait and wait.
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Some, and with luck, some more.
Lots of interesting thoughts in this thread.

My thought is that the “new normal” will be the old normal with different set of requirements and expectations of our host country put upon us.

Buen (acceptance of change) Camino
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
In NZ Covid-19 is changing our inner cities, suburbs and towns. The lockdowns and consequential huge increase in working from home has demonstrated how well remote working can work and the benefits for both employee and employer.

Inner city businesses that cater to commuter workers such as cafes and lunch bars were the first to notice the ongoing reduction in trade, next were the restaurants, clothing shops and other retailers and finally the office and retail building rental market. On the few occasions when I now go into the central city the reduction in foot traffic is very noticeable. In addition and unfortunately there has also been a noticable reduction in the use of public transport.

Counterbalancing this is the increasing trade for suburban Cafe's and lunch bars/restaurants.

Now that people can move around freely again, they are choosing to either renovate their existing suburban homes to add work-from-home facilities or to move to where there are more facilities, including to once shunned smaller towns with long commutes but more space or pleasant surrounds such as beaches. The relatively wide availability of high speed internet has helped this trend and the availability of high speed internet is one of the factors that are considered when people move.

Of course these changes provide opportunities as well. There are so many renovations being done that many trades people are quoting 12 month or longer delays before they can start working. Also, rapidly emptying inner city office space is being eyed up for alternative uses such as housing conversions. These conversions may be a particularly NZ trend as we have a desperate housing shortage and resultant sky high house prices but with decreasing demand for inner city office space the availability of space will drive alternative uses.

I am not sure how these factors will affect other countries but perhaps smaller Spanish towns with good Internet connectivity and good services may see a rise in demand for housing.
 

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