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COVID When can we walk again? (March 2020 version)

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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
As much as I would love to be able to do a Camino this year I think that the idea that everything will be "back to normal" by September or October might be wishful thinking.
This virus will be circulating for some time. Right now, many people are being responsible and practicing social distancing, but what happens in a few months when we start to let our guard down? The virus will still be out there, ready, willing and able to infect more people.
I'm also reading posts on Camino Facebook groups from people who are hoping that they won't have to cancel their Caminos in May - just weeks away!
Of course we all are hopeful that this virus will be defeated soon, but I think that we need to face the reality that this might be the new normal for a while.
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
2020 Camino Del Norte
Trecile, we booked airfare for late September well before the current Covid-19 situation exploded. We aren't canceling anything at this time, but will continue to monitor the situation as we get closer to our date. In the big scheme of things, cancelling will not be a huge issue at all.
At some point though once things are looking better, we should keep in mind the many small businesses that exist only because of pilgrims and the Camino will certainly appreciate the return of pilgrims and their Euro's.
At some point it will become clear when this 'tipping point' has arrived.
I expect once we know more about Covid-19 the dealing with it will just become part of the 'new normal.'
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués Porto'17,Lisbon'18
Inglés A Coruña y Ferrol '18
Invierno'19
Hello,
As I've written on other threads Wednesday I decided to leave my short 7 day camino after 3 days. My son and I were due to walk together during semana santa, this is canceled. My son has been planning for a year to walk the french with his friends this summer, today he said 'I guess this means we won't walk ' I told him to keep his fingers crossed, I do think he will be able to walk this summer (August) I am an optimist at heart, hoping the drastic measures now mean that people can get back to their lives sooner rather than later. Again these things are easier for us because we live in Spain, we have the luxury to wait and decide until the very last minute.
Buen camino,
MaryEllen
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
As much as I would love to be able to do a Camino this year I think that the idea that everything will be "back to normal" by September or October might be wishful thinking.
This virus will be circulating for some time. Right now, many people are being responsible and practicing social distancing, but what happens in a few months when we start to let our guard down? The virus will still be out there, ready, willing and able to infect more people.
I'm also reading posts on Camino Facebook groups from people who are hoping that they won't have to cancel their Caminos in May - just weeks away!
Of course we all are hopeful that this virus will be defeated soon, but I think that we need to face the reality that this might be the new normal for a while.
I’m with you that this is likely wishful thinking, but it is probably easier for many of us to set up a new target and keep our fingers crossed. I think having that target means we sort of mentally skip over the next stage of likely exponential growth in our own countries, because having nothing to look forward to other than social isolation and lots of sick people is very depressing. Not that we can or should deny what’s coming, but planning a camino is always such a healthy distraction from depressing news, I think.

And about social distancing in a post-pandemic world, I thought this article was quite interesting and compelling.


Your comment about the “new normal” made me think about the Forbes article you just posted — all of the airlines are requiring you to do your rescheduled travel in a fairly short period, but that date too may be a moving target if the world doesn‘t “get back to normal” in the time frame they have adopted.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

simply B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
@trecile -

I have been thinking on the same topic.

IMHO, these are the factors that have to be taken into account for when “normal” returns to Spain; not addressed are disease dynamics for any pilgrim’s home country:

Time for the spread of epidemic to reach “peak” – the current math suggests the authorities will recognize that event within about three weeks. (Though I would not expect them to go public immediately.) However, the last several days of case numbers reported from Spain suggest a slowing of the rate of increase. So that puts us out to mid-April.

Time for the existing cases to resolve and infection rates to drop near zero – while anecdotal evidence suggests that this could take a month past the peak, we do not have enough solid data to be sure. But, let’s pretend that the stories are right. Takes us to mid-May but I propose adding a couple of weeks to take into account late-reporting hotspots. So now we are at early June.

Time for a mandated “clean up” period past the peak of the case numbers – it is to be expected that a thorough “Spring cleaning” will be required or recommended by the government. Even without a mandate, it is reasonable that the hospitality industry will police itself in this regard so as to boost tourist confidence that visiting Spain is safe and enjoyable. Maybe a month-long effort which takes us out to early July.

So, yes, I see a September being possible. What I do not know is how much damage will have been done by then to the economic fabric of the Camino. By that I mean, how many albergues, bars, casas, etc will be able to open in a timely manner? I suspect that the "new normal" will look a bit different than our past recent experience.

Only time will tell, I think. I will be watching the Forum avidly for “on the ground” reports as the current unpleasantness subsides.

B
 

Delphinoula

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C.Franconia 2019 C.Algeciras Sevillia 2019
Swabian C. (2020)
If the Camino is a true pilgrimage we always have a choice.
We owe it to us and our fellow human to act wisely.
We have the option to walk everyday on the Camino. Everyday we can walk a piece of the way if it’s is like me to try to walk to my kitchen or in my neighborhood or in Spain.
I believe this decease may challenge us but being in the risk croup myself I am unafraid. Maybe by next summer we have the vaccine then we can travel unrestricted again.
Meanwhile we can try to apply the same virtues we learnt or could have learnt on the Camino in our daily live.
Everyday we can be at least a couple of minutes in the moment. We help and share. We pray we challenge ourselves.
Letters of outreach to go shopping for each other appear In our blocks. Little things. Just like the Camino.
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (1994) & (2013 - 2019)
Portugués (2015 - 2019)
de Madrid (2019)
Argentino/Inglés (2020)
As much as I would love to be able to do a Camino this year I think that the idea that everything will be "back to normal" by September or October might be wishful thinking.
This virus will be circulating for some time. Right now, many people are being responsible and practicing social distancing, but what happens in a few months when we start to let our guard down? The virus will still be out there, ready, willing and able to infect more people.
I'm also reading posts on Camino Facebook groups from people who are hoping that they won't have to cancel their Caminos in May - just weeks away!
Of course we all are hopeful that this virus will be defeated soon, but I think that we need to face the reality that this might be the new normal for a while.
Unless there is a full collapse, it will be business as usual by the summer. That's my guess. The virus is probably here to stay, like the flu.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
I cancelled my March start date early on and actually had some contributing family issues which made the decision easier. The plan now is to walk late September/early fall. Not a doctor or scientist but I believe within a several months COVID-19 will be on the decline.

The first case in China has been traced, if reliable, to November 19th. Yesterday, if reliable, China had 13 new cases. Using that information, if reliable, we are looking at a four month cycle. My totally unscientific analysis would speculate that August should be the beginning of a return to normalcy.

Wishful thinking also might have something to do with my thought process too.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
As soon as the airline allows for rescheduling our June flights w/o fees, we intend to reschedule for September. We will reevaluate in August. Will reschedule for October if necessary, and if that isn't a good situation, then it will move to May or June 2021.

I have a feeling that should we be able to go this fall, it will feel like a new dawn. The relief and reawakening after this storm will hopefully make for greater connections and camaraderie among pilgrims and those who are essential members of Camino infrastructure.
 

prairiegirlmb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Porto to SDC (September 2020)
Maybe I am too optimistic but I would like to think by September the virus will have slowed or disappeared. Also, by then there is a good chance a vaccine will have been developed (basing this as I am currently watching the news and they had just talked about this).

We are planning on going in late September/early October (Camino Portuguese), but concerned that everyone who unfortunately had to cancel/delay their caminos for the next couple of months would then reschedule for September/October (and therefore I wont be able to avoid big crowds). Tackle that issue when/if it comes.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Also, by then there is a good chance a vaccine will have been developed (basing this as I am currently watching the news and they had just talked about this).
I don't believe that there is a good chance that there will be a vaccine in 6 months! If that is what your news source is telling you you should probably find another source. According to what I have read from scientists, it will probably be a year or more before a vaccine is widely available.

 

Pinker to

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future
Agree when you say that looks like a long term issue, and the sooner we get used to the fact, the better.
I was also about to walk for a couple of weeks and grumpily forced to suspend it.
I have my next available window by mid-July, but don’t think things will be better enough by then either.
The way it is, a shame though.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I am only now "fantasizing" of a possible fall camino, having the same itinerary and lodging choices that I will now be cancelling for April/May. The only excitement is that I have never walked a camino in the fall before, so I have a bit of new anticipation...on the other hand I must be prepared that it may not be a viable option. 😐
 
@trecile -

I have been thinking on the same topic.

IMHO, these are the factors that have to be taken into account for when “normal” returns to Spain; not addressed are disease dynamics for any pilgrim’s home country:

Time for the spread of epidemic to reach “peak” – the current math suggests the authorities will recognize that event within about three weeks. (Though I would not expect them to go public immediately.) However, the last several days of case numbers reported from Spain suggest a slowing of the rate of increase. So that puts us out to mid-April.

Time for the existing cases to resolve and infection rates to drop near zero – while anecdotal evidence suggests that this could take a month past the peak, we do not have enough solid data to be sure. But, let’s pretend that the stories are right. Takes us to mid-May but I propose adding a couple of weeks to take into account late-reporting hotspots. So now we are at early June.

Time for a mandated “clean up” period past the peak of the case numbers – it is to be expected that a thorough “Spring cleaning” will be required or recommended by the government. Even without a mandate, it is reasonable that the hospitality industry will police itself in this regard so as to boost tourist confidence that visiting Spain is safe and enjoyable. Maybe a month-long effort which takes us out to early July.

So, yes, I see a September being possible. What I do not know is how much damage will have been done by then to the economic fabric of the Camino. By that I mean, how many albergues, bars, casas, etc will be able to open in a timely manner? I suspect that the "new normal" will look a bit different than our past recent experience.

Only time will tell, I think. I will be watching the Forum avidly for “on the ground” reports as the current unpleasantness subsides.

B
You say,the last several days of case numbers reported from Spain suggest a slowing of the rate of increase .Could you please give me the source for this quote.
 

gypsy9

Active Member
Yes, I too am one of the many have to reschedule my April departure.
I am holding a hopeful flame for June/July and this 2020 trip will be a modified version of what "might have been". But time will tell and we can only see what unfolds...

I agree that a c-virus vaccine may not be available until some time next year. Yet the nature of the virus may be ever-changing. Yes, some variation of 'flu has always lingered, century after century, in our world and on our pilgrim trails. I think we are all becoming better educated in terms of sanitation in shared spaces.

So...when the green lights glimmer, then I am off! I can think of nothing else that strengthens my immune system more than walking El Camino.
 
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alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
My heart is full of wishful thinking and hope--and I am still training my aging body for an end of September walk.
But my mind, after researching for real scientific knowledge (CDC, WHO, TED talks) says 'no way".

And a read of Wiki on the 1918 Spanish flu reminded me that it took 3 years and several waves to pass...................................

wash your hands,
stay away from crowds,
hope for a quick and effective vaccine.
 

ChesterChick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Camino Francis
2019 Camino Del Norte
As much as I would love to be able to do a Camino this year I think that the idea that everything will be "back to normal" by September or October might be wishful thinking.
This virus will be circulating for some time. Right now, many people are being responsible and practicing social distancing, but what happens in a few months when we start to let our guard down? The virus will still be out there, ready, willing and able to infect more people.
I'm also reading posts on Camino Facebook groups from people who are hoping that they won't have to cancel their Caminos in May - just weeks away!
Of course we all are hopeful that this virus will be defeated soon, but I think that we need to face the reality that this might be the new normal for a while.
I totally agree with you this might be the new normal. I am planning to do the Primitivo and then on to Finnestere in October but am holding off on making arrangements because of the situation. Spain has declared a state of emergency so folks who were hoping to go in May are probably out of luck. My fingers are crossed for the fall.
 

Delphinoula

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C.Franconia 2019 C.Algeciras Sevillia 2019
Swabian C. (2020)
Is there not a curfew in Spain now?
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
However, the last several days of case numbers reported from Spain suggest a slowing of the rate of increase. So that puts us out to mid-April.
From the New York Times today (14 March):
After Spain announced a state of emergency and put its capital under lockdown on Friday, the country at large braced for more drastic measures to be announced later on Saturday. Officials reported 1,500 new cases, the largest daily increase in the country so far, for a confirmed total of 5,703.
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
2020 Camino Del Norte
I am only now "fantasizing" of a possible fall camino, having the same itinerary and lodging choices that I will now be cancelling for April/May. The only excitement is that I have never walked a camino in the fall before, so I have a bit of new anticipation...on the other hand I must be prepared that it may not be a viable option. 😐
Fall is a great time to walk. We really enjoyed the Primitivo in the fall of 2018. This was after our prior four Camino's that were always early April. Weather was absolutely perfect!
 

simply B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
@Mournes -

"You say,the last several days of case numbers reported from Spain suggest a slowing of the rate of increase. Could you please give me the source for this quote."

Full Disclosure:

There is no quote and I tried (and apparently, failed) to frame this as a personal (though professionally informed) surmise with caution as to expectations. In retrospect, I should have started that para with "My math...."

Being credentialed (M.S.) and experienced in the hard sciences for a Public Health degree, I was tasked with "running the numbers" for various countries in mid-February. (I have been doing this for a long time. Well into my sixties and nobody has found me senile quite yet.) The companies that I work for were assessing risk for international travel while my son tasked me with planning a Camino starting mid-April..... so I brought France & Spain into my analysis folder.

Long story, short.... the best model using "epidemic math" from the 9th of March would have Spain at reporting close to 7,000 cases at this point in time. We are currently almost 10% of that number to the good side (6,315) link to the most recent updated figures and though they may have changed by the time you review it is time of most recent update that is important. (I always download data at the same time every day. )I am in the Pacific NW of the USA and typically derive my reports at 2pm local.:


I also use:

https://corona.help/country/spain and the site from Johns Hopkins:


All of these sites seem to publish ahead of WHO, and reconcile at least once daily, which is what I require to be timely and attentive to "worst case" situations. (Being right but late is not an option for me.)

I am not purveying false hope here. The math of an epidemic is downright scary because, as humans, our tendency is for linear thinking. Case curves associated with an outbreak are counter-intuitive and very steep. But contagions always hit a limit because they have their own ecosystem. Here's a link that conveys that concept simply, just substitute "virus" for "people" as you read.


Daily increase in cases reported will likely continue to be increasing for awhile, and often shockingly high. Yes, this is alarming, sad, and discouraging. But, IMHO, we need to have some perspective...

The Spanish are doing everything right in terms of social distancing which is the only realistic option at this point to slow the spread. The responsible thing to do is to not get too anxious nor contribute to a problem by getting back on The Way too soon.

If the next several days' numbers continue to be lower than modeled a few days back, then perhaps Spain is succeeding in "flattening the curve". There will still be days, I think, when case counts increase unimaginably. (Anything else would actually be surprising.) As long as the case counts are lower than earlier models of the contagion, things are moving in the right direction.

My apologies for an unwillingness to share the math on a public forum. Just two days ago, I shared findings with clients. "Stunned" would be an understatement as to atmosphere in the room when I finished. (I should have brought brown paper bags, with a bottle of spirits in each, so they could breathe into one and drink from the other.) Anyway, all company travel is canceled for my clients. And my Camino with my son, and son of my late Camigo is also canceled.

Better days will come. Though, between now and then, one can expect to be alarmed any number of times. As best you can manage, please do not go to the 'dark places' in your mind - - this too shall pass....

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

― Frank Herbert, Dune

I have tried to keep my response to an economical minimum but I have no time to make it shorter. Now I have to go back to penciling out whether we should close our offices and for how long.

B

[Mods - if this and/or my earlier post are a problem, feel free to delete with no complaint from me]
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Is there not a curfew in Spain now?
A "curfew" typically means that people are required to stay at home during specific hours. The situation in Spain does restrict movement, but I haven't see any reference to time of day. People are allowed to go outside for specific reasons but not without those specific reasons. Here is an article that describes the situation.

See also the thread on Current Conditions on the Camino.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I wonder if it isn't time to ease off our reporting of the round-the-world statistics, developments, rationales for various policies, and the merits of various modelling techniques. Anybody who is on this forum is equally able to access their trusted (and untrusted) news sources, all of which provide more than enough reading material for us.

I appreciate that this is a way to have conversations while social-distancing (new verb) and wouldn't want to see it cut off or limited too much, but sometimes the debates are distracting from our purpose of providing information focused on the camino.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
@Mournes -

"You say,the last several days of case numbers reported from Spain suggest a slowing of the rate of increase. Could you please give me the source for this quote."

Full Disclosure:

There is no quote and I tried (and apparently, failed) to frame this as a personal (though professionally informed) surmise with caution as to expectations. In retrospect, I should have started that para with "My math...."

Being credentialed (M.S.) and experienced in the hard sciences for a Public Health degree, I was tasked with "running the numbers" for various countries in mid-February. (I have been doing this for a long time. Well into my sixties and nobody has found me senile quite yet.) The companies that I work for were assessing risk for international travel while my son tasked me with planning a Camino starting mid-April..... so I brought France & Spain into my analysis folder.

Long story, short.... the best model using "epidemic math" from the 9th of March would have Spain at reporting close to 7,000 cases at this point in time. We are currently almost 10% of that number to the good side (6,315) link to the most recent updated figures and though they may have changed by the time you review it is time of most recent update that is important. (I always download data at the same time every day. )I am in the Pacific NW of the USA and typically derive my reports at 2pm local.:


I also use:

https://corona.help/country/spain and the site from Johns Hopkins:


All of these sites seem to publish ahead of WHO, and reconcile at least once daily, which is what I require to be timely and attentive to "worst case" situations. (Being right but late is not an option for me.)

I am not purveying false hope here. The math of an epidemic is downright scary because, as humans, our tendency is for linear thinking. Case curves associated with an outbreak are counter-intuitive and very steep. But contagions always hit a limit because they have their own ecosystem. Here's a link that conveys that concept simply, just substitute "virus" for "people" as you read.


Daily increase in cases reported will likely continue to be increasing for awhile, and often shockingly high. Yes, this is alarming, sad, and discouraging. But, IMHO, we need to have some perspective...

The Spanish are doing everything right in terms of social distancing which is the only realistic option at this point to slow the spread. The responsible thing to do is to not get too anxious nor contribute to a problem by getting back on The Way too soon.

If the next several days' numbers continue to be lower than modeled a few days back, then perhaps Spain is succeeding in "flattening the curve". There will still be days, I think, when case counts increase unimaginably. (Anything else would actually be surprising.) As long as the case counts are lower than earlier models of the contagion, things are moving in the right direction.

My apologies for an unwillingness to share the math on a public forum. Just two days ago, I shared findings with clients. "Stunned" would be an understatement as to atmosphere in the room when I finished. (I should have brought brown paper bags, with a bottle of spirits in each, so they could breathe into one and drink from the other.) Anyway, all company travel is canceled for my clients. And my Camino with my son, and son of my late Camigo is also canceled.

Better days will come. Though, between now and then, one can expect to be alarmed any number of times. As best you can manage, please do not go to the 'dark places' in your mind - - this too shall pass....

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

― Frank Herbert, Dune

I have tried to keep my response to an economical minimum but I have no time to make it shorter. Now I have to go back to penciling out whether we should close our offices and for how long.

B

[Mods - if this and/or my earlier post are a problem, feel free to delete with no complaint from me]
I find it interesting you sum all this up with a quote from a Science Fiction book/movie.
 

simply B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
I wonder if it isn't time to ease off our reporting of the round-the-world statistics, developments, rationales for various policies, and the merits of various modelling techniques. Anybody who is on this forum is equally able to access their trusted (and untrusted) news sources, all of which provide more than enough reading material for us.

I appreciate that this is a way to have conversations while social-distancing (new verb) and wouldn't want to see it cut off or limited too much, but sometimes the debates are distracting from our purpose of providing information focused on the camino.
I have to admit that I am of two minds about the proposal....

On one hand, I think that the mods have more than enough to do and should not not be taxed more than they are. That means, "just shut it down and wait".

On the other hand, an open discussion, might help in alleviating/countering the fear response which is currently running amok. I recognize that creates a drag on the mods' time which is "un-good', to say the least.

My home state in the USA is Washington - - and I am seeing some really strange behavior about now, and being forced to deal with it. In the midst of a major marketing campaign for my clients, I have had to recommend, just an hour ago, a "time-out" for ALL travel. That recco is not well received, according to my Inbox.

Signed,

B (conflicted)
 

simply B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
I find it interesting you sum all this up with a quote from a Science Fiction book/movie.
Well @jpflavin1 , Science Fiction is the genre in which one is allowed the opportunity to write those things that would be considered outlandish/strange in the current day....and we do live in strange days at the moment. It does not make the observation less true.

BTW, I seem to recall a "J.P. Flavin" from High School, way back on the windy plains of Chicago. Your "voice" here has a bit of "Chi-town" in it. (And there's nothing wrong with that!:))

Shoot me a PM if you think we have a connection there.

B
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Well @jpflavin1 , Science Fiction is the genre in which one is allowed the opportunity to write those things that would be considered outlandish/strange in the current day....and we do live in strange days at the moment. It does not make the observation less true.

BTW, I seem to recall a "J.P. Flavin" from High School, way back on the windy plains of Chicago. Your "voice" here has a bit of "Chi-town" in it. (And there's nothing wrong with that!:))

Shoot me a PM if you think we have a connection there.

B
Not to derail the thread, but I’ll bet this is about to be the first non-camino related reunion that I can remember on the forum!
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Well, I just responded to a PM from @jpflavin1 as we figure out potential connections. I LOVE this Forum.....

Spoiler Alert: We probably did not like each other in H.S. That would be my fault as I have never been a "people person".

B
Maybe some day we will connect on a Camino.

Joe
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
May I say that this forum has become my major way of communicating with anybody, as Church has just been cancelled for the rest of the month, and the pastoral visit that I had planned, and the yoga classes at my seniors' centre, as well as all other activities there, and the Spanish classes at another centre, and everything else. I have done my shopping, so I should have what I need to stay in the house. (Lots of tp). But my active life has ground to a halt. For the first time, I regret not having a television service. I can only think of two things to do: say my prayers and plan my next camino. Blessings to all of you and happy camino planning.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP2Santiago completed (Sept.15, 2018).
I’m with you that this is likely wishful thinking, but it is probably easier for many of us to set up a new target and keep our fingers crossed. I think having that target means we sort of mentally skip over the next stage of likely exponential growth in our own countries, because having nothing to look forward to other than social isolation and lots of sick people is very depressing. Not that we can or should deny what’s coming, but planning a camino is always such a healthy distraction from depressing news, I think.

And about social distancing in a post-pandemic world, I thought this article was quite interesting and compelling.


Your comment about the “new normal” made me think about the Forbes article you just posted — all of the airlines are requiring you to do your rescheduled travel in a fairly short period, but that date too may be a moving target if the world doesn‘t “get back to normal” in the time frame they have adopted.

Buen camino, Laurie
Excellent article. Thank you Laurie for providing the link. Thanks also to all the Moderators for contributing your time and info to the forum.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
We are planning on going in late September/early October (Camino Portuguese), but concerned that everyone who unfortunately had to cancel/delay their caminos for the next couple of months would then reschedule for September/October (and therefore I wont be able to avoid big crowds).
Same worry for Spring 2021.
It's already a bit "intimidating" what's with Holy Year and much heard of and (perhaps) dreaded bed race... now folks are talking about moving their (cancelled) trips for the same time frame as well 🙄
 

katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016;CP (Central) Porto-SdC 2017;CP (Coastal) Porto-SdC 2018;CF Leon-SdC 2019
I have to admit that I am of two minds about the proposal....

On one hand, I think that the mods have more than enough to do and should not not be taxed more than they are. That means, "just shut it down and wait".

On the other hand, an open discussion, might help in alleviating/countering the fear response which is currently running amok. I recognize that creates a drag on the mods' time which is "un-good', to say the least.

My home state in the USA is Washington - - and I am seeing some really strange behavior about now, and being forced to deal with it. In the midst of a major marketing campaign for my clients, I have had to recommend, just an hour ago, a "time-out" for ALL travel. That recco is not well received, according to my Inbox.

Signed,

B (conflicted)
I, for one, appreciate your knowledgable and scientific input. Thankyou.
 

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino in 2020
@Mournes -

"You say,the last several days of case numbers reported from Spain suggest a slowing of the rate of increase. Could you please give me the source for this quote."

Full Disclosure:

There is no quote and I tried (and apparently, failed) to frame this as a personal (though professionally informed) surmise with caution as to expectations. In retrospect, I should have started that para with "My math...."

Being credentialed (M.S.) and experienced in the hard sciences for a Public Health degree, I was tasked with "running the numbers" for various countries in mid-February. (I have been doing this for a long time. Well into my sixties and nobody has found me senile quite yet.) The companies that I work for were assessing risk for international travel while my son tasked me with planning a Camino starting mid-April..... so I brought France & Spain into my analysis folder.

Long story, short.... the best model using "epidemic math" from the 9th of March would have Spain at reporting close to 7,000 cases at this point in time. We are currently almost 10% of that number to the good side (6,315) link to the most recent updated figures and though they may have changed by the time you review it is time of most recent update that is important. (I always download data at the same time every day. )I am in the Pacific NW of the USA and typically derive my reports at 2pm local.:


I also use:

https://corona.help/country/spain and the site from Johns Hopkins:


All of these sites seem to publish ahead of WHO, and reconcile at least once daily, which is what I require to be timely and attentive to "worst case" situations. (Being right but late is not an option for me.)

I am not purveying false hope here. The math of an epidemic is downright scary because, as humans, our tendency is for linear thinking. Case curves associated with an outbreak are counter-intuitive and very steep. But contagions always hit a limit because they have their own ecosystem. Here's a link that conveys that concept simply, just substitute "virus" for "people" as you read.


Daily increase in cases reported will likely continue to be increasing for awhile, and often shockingly high. Yes, this is alarming, sad, and discouraging. But, IMHO, we need to have some perspective...

The Spanish are doing everything right in terms of social distancing which is the only realistic option at this point to slow the spread. The responsible thing to do is to not get too anxious nor contribute to a problem by getting back on The Way too soon.

If the next several days' numbers continue to be lower than modeled a few days back, then perhaps Spain is succeeding in "flattening the curve". There will still be days, I think, when case counts increase unimaginably. (Anything else would actually be surprising.) As long as the case counts are lower than earlier models of the contagion, things are moving in the right direction.

My apologies for an unwillingness to share the math on a public forum. Just two days ago, I shared findings with clients. "Stunned" would be an understatement as to atmosphere in the room when I finished. (I should have brought brown paper bags, with a bottle of spirits in each, so they could breathe into one and drink from the other.) Anyway, all company travel is canceled for my clients. And my Camino with my son, and son of my late Camigo is also canceled.

Better days will come. Though, between now and then, one can expect to be alarmed any number of times. As best you can manage, please do not go to the 'dark places' in your mind - - this too shall pass....

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

― Frank Herbert, Dune

I have tried to keep my response to an economical minimum but I have no time to make it shorter. Now I have to go back to penciling out whether we should close our offices and for how long.

B

[Mods - if this and/or my earlier post are a problem, feel free to delete with no complaint from me]
Thank you for the explanation.
 

capanko

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Coastal Portugues
We were going to bicycle the Camino from Porto to Santiago this May. Well, that is off the table now. So, we are looking to rebook our travel. What is the weather like in early September? We already have a trip scheduled for October 6-21 so those dates are out and we want to give ourselves enough time between trips. Thank you for any advice. We are also open to other dates, but we have to rebook for travel in 2020, we can’t move it out to next year.
Cheri
 
Camino(s) past & future
October 2020
As much as I would love to be able to do a Camino this year I think that the idea that everything will be "back to normal" by September or October might be wishful thinking.
This virus will be circulating for some time. Right now, many people are being responsible and practicing social distancing, but what happens in a few months when we start to let our guard down? The virus will still be out there, ready, willing and able to infect more people.
I'm also reading posts on Camino Facebook groups from people who are hoping that they won't have to cancel their Caminos in May - just weeks away!
Of course we all are hopeful that this virus will be defeated soon, but I think that we need to face the reality that this might be the new normal for a while.
We have plans to walk in October. Hopefully things will settle down some.
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
As much as I would love to be able to do a Camino this year I think that the idea that everything will be "back to normal" by September or October might be wishful thinking.
This virus will be circulating for some time. Right now, many people are being responsible and practicing social distancing, but what happens in a few months when we start to let our guard down? The virus will still be out there, ready, willing and able to infect more people.
I'm also reading posts on Camino Facebook groups from people who are hoping that they won't have to cancel their Caminos in May - just weeks away!
Of course we all are hopeful that this virus will be defeated soon, but I think that we need to face the reality that this might be the new normal for a while.
This message is really to Ivar. I am very concerned about the economy in Spain and what will happen to the many businesses that support pilgrims. I want them to be there when I return and for the many planning to walk. Is there a way to set up a fund that the millions who have walked in recent years could contribute to. Business owners could apply for relief funds to keep them solvent until the Camino is open again.
 

Lucyk

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo 2015
I planned to go in mid October and I am still hoping, but the big question to me is not just when things with die down and become safe for walking, but how much time we will have before they start up again. Because there is definitely a possibility that we will have more than one go-round with this.
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
As much as I would love to be able to do a Camino this year I think that the idea that everything will be "back to normal" by September or October might be wishful thinking.

Of course we all are hopeful that this virus will be defeated soon, but I think that we need to face the reality that this might be the new normal for a while.
Sadly, I agree with you...

There is medical advice coming through to the effect that something around 60-70% of the population needs to be immune to the virus before effective 'herd immunity' kicks in and the opportunity for the virus to find a susceptible person falls dramatically.

In the absence of an effective vaccine, the only way this herd immunity builds up for for most people in the community is to become infected, 'suffer' and recover (yes, some people will not recover!). Even then, the level of immunity to further infection by a recovered person has not been demonstrated.

As the availability of a vaccine seems, from various public statements, to be 12 -18 moths away; and the response of most countries seems to be along the lines of "slow down the infection rate to something below what our health system can cope with", and containment is no longer an option, the current public health measures in many countries would seem likely to continue for much of the rest of 2020 and maybe well into 2021...

So no further thoughts of a camino in 2020 for me, and 2021 was never really an option for me either (being a Holy Year). Just hoping the body holds together well enough and long enough for a 2022 camino...
 
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Casserole

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 - Solo, SJPdP to Finisterre
2018 - Daughter (2) and Hubby, Sarria to SdC
My Camino is set to begin July 20, so far I’m just in a “sit and wait” situation as I’m not sure I want to cancel just yet as things are changing daily/weekly at this point....🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻
Mine is set to start July 28. I’m trying to be optimistic, but the way things are being handled in my country doesn’t seem likely that travel would be an option.
 

mguillen

MGuillen
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Trecile, we booked airfare for late September well before the current Covid-19 situation exploded. We aren't canceling anything at this time, but will continue to monitor the situation as we get closer to our date. In the big scheme of things, cancelling will not be a huge issue at all.
At some point though once things are looking better, we should keep in mind the many small businesses that exist only because of pilgrims and the Camino will certainly appreciate the return of pilgrims and their Euro's.
At some point it will become clear when this 'tipping point' has arrived.
I expect once we know more about Covid-19 the dealing with it will just become part of the 'new normal.'
We’re in the same boat
 

Jay Es

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017 the del Norte, home via the Portuguse to Vigo, Planning a Via de la Plata for October 2018.
If you are asking it probably means you've heard what the experts are saying. Just Concentrate on staying well and helping people through this. Wether that's in your local community or by self isolating or social distancing depending on your circumstances. so you and others are here to enjoy 2021.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Consider this also. Even at the point when countries feel the virus is ‘contained’, they will be watching other countries and restricting travel from those places until they are confident it’s safe. I think travel will only get restored on an incremental basis as nations watch for resurgent spread.

Reopening municipal albergues will not be the top priority. Locals will need to assess their family situations, possibly travel to grieve the loss of relatives they were not able to be with at the time of their deaths, and regroup, and may not welcome a bunch of foreigners traipsing along.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
My decision not to travel this year was made last month. Further, we have been advised that our Canadian Military are prepared to return home at a moment's notice, should they be needed. Quietly, if this is the situation, most national armed forces are in the same posture.

During the announcement, it was also advised that the virus will continue to hit us in waves for the next 12 to 18 months. So, we can forget about weeks, possibly months before we are allowed to travel again.

The Governments of the World will tell us when their countries are safe and back up and running. For those of us wanting to walk within the Camino network, we must look to the Camino itself as well as Ivar for his recommendations.
 

Left Coaster

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
@trecile -

I have been thinking on the same topic.

IMHO, these are the factors that have to be taken into account for when “normal” returns to Spain; not addressed are disease dynamics for any pilgrim’s home country:

Time for the spread of epidemic to reach “peak” – the current math suggests the authorities will recognize that event within about three weeks. (Though I would not expect them to go public immediately.) However, the last several days of case numbers reported from Spain suggest a slowing of the rate of increase. So that puts us out to mid-April.

Time for the existing cases to resolve and infection rates to drop near zero – while anecdotal evidence suggests that this could take a month past the peak, we do not have enough solid data to be sure. But, let’s pretend that the stories are right. Takes us to mid-May but I propose adding a couple of weeks to take into account late-reporting hotspots. So now we are at early June.

Time for a mandated “clean up” period past the peak of the case numbers – it is to be expected that a thorough “Spring cleaning” will be required or recommended by the government. Even without a mandate, it is reasonable that the hospitality industry will police itself in this regard so as to boost tourist confidence that visiting Spain is safe and enjoyable. Maybe a month-long effort which takes us out to early July.

So, yes, I see a September being possible. What I do not know is how much damage will have been done by then to the economic fabric of the Camino. By that I mean, how many albergues, bars, casas, etc will be able to open in a timely manner? I suspect that the "new normal" will look a bit different than our past recent experience.

Only time will tell, I think. I will be watching the Forum avidly for “on the ground” reports as the current unpleasantness subsides.

B
Hey SimplyB; Love your logic. Do you have a source for the math on the peak? I'm in Canada and haven't seen any speculation on that point. That may be deliberate so that we don't let our guard down prematurely but being a stats guy I have a keen interest in such things.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Several posts have been deleted. I think it is best not to copy-and-paste long social media posts from other people and sources. In some cases, there may be political commentary that is not appropriate here on the forum, and also we are not the right venue to debate or refute statements they have made.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Often times, the advice is to expect the best, but to plan for worst in terms of emergencies (groceries, supplies, etc) 'just in case' those worst situations occur. And I agree. Jill and I have had a Deep Pantry - of 18 months of food and consumable supplies - that we have developed and have used for 20+ years.

Planning for a late Fall Camino is sort of the reverse: Plan for the best, but be committed to deal with the worst. If the financial penalties to cancelling a Camino are limited, then I will look ahead and plan for a positive 'just in case'. If things do not change in terms of travel by then, then I am no worse off than now.

If I could not easily cancel travel plans and be refunded reservations and tickets, and with limited financial risk, I might choose to wait and see.

The Deep Pantry.........................

The Deep Pantry is where we do our daily 'shopping' for groceries or TP or bandaids or cleaners. Shopping at the grocery store is what we do to replace what we have taken from the Pantry. It allows rotation of goods and keeps things in good order. . . just in case. We took two to three years to build the Deep Pantry, doing so by buying just a little bit extra of the shelf-stable groceries and supplies we normally purchased each time we went shopping.

Disasters and COVID-19 types of concerns and the Zombie apocalypse was not why we were motivated to build up our Deep Pantry. It was to have a type of savings bank in place. If we ever experienced an interruption of income due to unemployment or disaster, we wanted to preserve any available hard cash so that we could pay non discretionary expenses, like the mortgage and utilities.

If we have no need to go out and by groceries or supplies during times of no new income stream, then the Deep Pantry is just as good as money in the bank, because it KEEPS the money in the bank to spend on those necessary bills. Secondary benefit: Sure, when something like a huge snowstorm or road damage or COVID-19 or floods make getting essentials difficult, it is already here.

BTW, the Deep Pantry is also designed to provide for neighbors in dire straights as well. We will not risk our own well being by giving more than we need for ourselves, but that's why we have set-aside supplies to share, in case we can help others.
 

jgiesbrecht

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept-Oct 2020
My Camino is set to begin July 20, so far I’m just in a “sit and wait” situation as I’m not sure I want to cancel just yet as things are changing daily/weekly at this point....🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻
Yep, if I were you I would expect to not go, but as you said, for now wait and see. Then you are ready for the worst but prepared to go if it can work out.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
We had planned to fly out from Australia to France on 13 April 2020, walk a bit of the Voie d'Arles, walk the Voie de la Nive, be volunteers in SJPdP for a week, walk to Pamplona, then fly to Lisbon and walk to SDC and Fisterra/Muxia. Finally, spend some time in Switzerland with my wife's family, on the farm, helping with the potato harvest. :)

Interestingly, the airlines have not yet cancelled our flights (we know they will). We have pre-booked much of our trip (for medical reasons mainly), and apart from Moinho Garcia, we haven't had an accommodation cancellation yet.

Knowing that we will have to look at a later departure, we have been working on a number of re-entry points, at various dates. That gives us hope, and keeps our spirits up!

We had already decided we will walk the VdlP in 2021, so we can now also start working on finding out how we can walk it in short stages (again, for medical reasons).

And meanwhile, we look at the photos of our 2018 walk from Switzerland to SDC: keeping the dream alive :)
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Wish you the best...
 

ObeeOne

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage for 2020
I don't believe that there is a good chance that there will be a vaccine in 6 months! If that is what your news source is telling you you should probably find another source. According to what I have read from scientists, it will probably be a year or more before a vaccine is widely available.

Will not be getting the vaccine. Would agree to Chloroquin though.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I just received an email yesterday that our Iberia's flight from Chicago to Madrid has been canceled. We purchased flight insurance so now will have the hassle of working to get a refund, our preference over vouchers. We also have two other Iberia flights within Spain...wonder how we deal with those. Iberia has not addressed thise yet. Yesterday I spent half a day canceling all of our 20+ lodging reservations...so sad after all the planning and choosing "just the right" places to stay. At least I can save those names for a future camino as I plan to walk the same route whenever"...fingers crossed.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I just received an email yesterday that our Iberia's flight from Chicago to Madrid has been canceled. We purchased flight insurance so now will have the hassle of working to get a refund, our preference over vouchers. We also have two other Iberia flights within Spain...wonder how we deal with those. Iberia has not addressed thise yet. Yesterday I spent half a day canceling all of our 20+ lodging reservations...so sad after all the planning and choosing "just the right" places to stay. At least I can save those names for a future camino as I plan to walk the same route whenever"...fingers crossed.
If the airline cancels your flight they have to give you a refund, not just a voucher.
 

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
If the airline cancels your flight they have to give you a refund, not just a voucher.
I know, but it doesn't mean it will be easy as I'm sure they hope many will settle for a voucher. I'm sure I will have to jump through a few annoying hoops first.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
As much as I would love to be able to do a Camino this year I think that the idea that everything will be "back to normal" by September or October might be wishful thinking.
This virus will be circulating for some time. Right now, many people are being responsible and practicing social distancing, but what happens in a few months when we start to let our guard down? The virus will still be out there, ready, willing and able to infect more people.
I'm also reading posts on Camino Facebook groups from people who are hoping that they won't have to cancel their Caminos in May - just weeks away!
Of course we all are hopeful that this virus will be defeated soon, but I think that we need to face the reality that this might be the new normal for a while.
I agree and am devastated as I had planned my second Camino for Sept'Oct. I had to cancel it in 2017, 2018 and 2019. I can't believe I will have to postpone it again.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
I had plans for Sept Oct but I seriously doubt that it will be safe then. This is going to take months! and especially in Spain. I wouldn't risk it.
"Say it ain't so".........................................
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
This thread has been closed, since the March 2020 discussion seems outdated now. See this newer thread discussing possible re-opening of Spain in July 2020.
 
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