All Funerals Should Be Livestreamed – Funeral directors were urged by federal health officials on Monday to livestream future services to comply with restrictions against large gatherings as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance on Monday to the National Funeral Directors Association.
The CDC offered the option in order to abide by its Sunday recommendation to cancel or postpone gatherings of 50 people or more across the country to help stop the spread of the virus, according to NFDA.
The federal agency acknowledged that the large gatherings could “contribute to the spread” of the illness.
Monday’s recommendation by the CDC was issued before President Trump went a step further, telling Americans to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more until the summer.
For those who attend funerals amid the crisis, the CDC said there’s “no known risk” of being in the same room as somebody who died from the coronavirus.
High Fatalities In Italy
Coronavirus fatalities in Italy have soared to more than 2,000, the vast majority in small towns in the north that are struggling to cope with the sudden surge in bodies. Some crematoria are operating 24 hours a day and mortuaries are being used to store coffins. And then there are the quarantine restrictions.
On 26 February, Miriam Casali’s mother, Giuseppina, fell ill from the virus while on holiday in Genoa. Miriam, living in the town of Castiglione d’Adda, in the locked-down “red zone”, was unable to leave. After five days, she and her son were given special permission to travel to Genoa. But on the morning of 3 March, as they prepared to go, Giuseppina died.
“What hurts the most is that I couldn’t get to her,” Miriam tells me. “It makes you feel powerless. There’s nothing you can do. It’s devastating. Surreal.”
Under the restrictions, funerals are banned, to limit public gatherings. When the body of Giuseppina was brought back, a quick burial was held with a simple blessing from the priest.
“If she had died in a different way, it would have been easier to accept,” Miriam tells me, by video phone from her home. “She must have felt abandoned and there was nothing I could do. I’m never going to get over this.”