Coronavirus funeral news continues to pile up…
Pioneering funeral director Amy Cunningham in Brooklyn, NY has been featured in three in-depth articles. The stories focus on the huge challenges New York City funeral directors now face, even as the infection and death numbers trend downward.
Vox.com: 2 funeral directors on how the pandemic has upended the business of death. The subtitle: “Covid-19 is New York’s largest mass casualty event in more than 100 years. But there are no bodies in the street.” A compelling look at the overwhelming amount of death in New York City and how funeral directors there are coping.
Washington Monthly: Thousands of New Yorkers are Dying. What Happens to Their Bodies? A conversation with Amy Cunningham, Brooklyn’s environmentally-friendly funeral director. And yes, she is keeping empty caskets in her living room.
Associated Press: Brooklyn Neighborhood Comes Together to Bury a Stranger. Amy Cunningham posted an online neighborhood forum request for home grown flowers for a funeral. Strangers responded with generosity.
Other Stories About the Pandemic & Funerals
Jerusalem Post: Funerals and shiva move online. People throughout the world are filming funeral services and broadcasting them to family members and friends near and far.
New York Times: After a Lifetime Together, Coronavirus Takes Them Both. Across the country, reports are surfacing of long-term couples dying from Covid-19 in quick succession, redoubling the pain for those they leave behind.
New York Times: French Muslims Face a Cruel Coronavirus Shortage: Burial Grounds. For many immigrant families, the pandemic has halted the tradition of repatriating bodies to their country of origin, and finding a plot in France has become ever more difficult.
New York Times: ‘We Ran Out of Space’: Bodies Pile up as N.Y. Struggles to Bury Its Dead. The coronavirus is overwhelming New York’s system for burying its dead.
New York Post Celebrity Deaths
The New York Post has a running list of celebrities who have died as a result of coronavirus and COVID-19 complications. They include singer-songwriter John Prine (73), country singer Joe Diffie (61), magician and Las Vegas icon Roy Horn, of Sigfried & Roy (75), and playwright Terrence McNally (81).
New York Times Opinion: Do Not Resuscitate
By Yoojin Na, an emergency room physician at a hospital in metropolitan New York, wrote this compelling piece about advance medical directives. She says, “We need to be honest with ourselves and our patients. We can’t “do everything” and “save everyone.” Read it here.
New York Times Magazine Feature
How Do You Maintain Dignity for the Dead in a Pandemic? is an in-depth feature that focuses on how overwhelmed New York City funeral homes are struggling to fulfill their mission to serve grieving families. This feature provides a somber look at a possible future if infections and deaths spike in other parts of the United States.
USA Today: Burials without funerals…
This article in USA Today published on April 2, 2020, came out when the official pandemic death toll was 4,000. Today it is more than 86,000. Burials Without Funerals, Grief Without Hugs: Coronavirus is Changing How We Say Goodbye illustrates how physical distancing has changed funerals for all who die, not just those who die because of coronavirus.