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The coronavirus makes virtual funerals the new normal



So Tony about these virtual funerals have they work so funerals and memorial services in wakes have started being conducted over video chat apps like zoom skype for many families in the time of the pandemic similarly to a traditional funeral they're still aspects that the family can have control love lake religious aspect meaningful readings and songs played etc. It's just a bit more complicated to navigate a sense sometimes. This is the first time a person might be using this type of technology even though we might think of video chat apps is fairly common. But it's not the same as being able to share a physical space with the people who loved the person that you did. That's now gone. Yeah it's one thing for us to casually chat or video conference a funeral that it's obviously that's something that has a lot more gravity to to it and so it's interesting to me how that actually works like how do you. It is a solemn occasion. It's one of the incredible importance Hot is one Replicate that in for the virtual experience for the conference so basically I spoke to a woman in Oregon who owns a funeral home and she's been conducting digital funerals virtual funerals in memorial services and essentially what she does if she sets up her laptop in front of the casket. The Shroud and after everyone has dialed into the zoom. Call skype call. She makes sure that everybody has what they need. I can see Annan. She waits in her office and she gives the family time about an hour and then she'll check back in. She'll see if they need anything more time. If anyone still there logged in and the end she often goes to the burial. Sometimes if the family isn't allowed to attend and shall film or photograph or she'll do video chat call from the burial From the cemetery and gap. So that's that's kind of how funerals are working in during panic. Yeah it's interesting. How that works. You bought finish point about how you know for some folks. This is the first time on the conferencing like beyond the complexity of organizing something like this. A federal directors almost have to be tech support Radka educate folks into using conferencing. I don't know if you could if the funeral director anything about that. Like the extra responsibility she now has. Right it was. That was also interesting. I mean her her name was Elizabeth for Neon. She's out of Oregon Dating talk to her because she's she had used video chat apps prior And if somebody couldn't make to a funeral you know she would set up the video chat APP like somebody was at school and she would have that going so they could also be at the funeral but now that's almost exclusively what's happening because of covid nineteen so but I mean if if it's an elderly couple they might not know how to use skype or phone are like we might know how to do so. I think that that is a challenge. That families face now with with nineteen in doing funerals over Over skype and you. You mentioned that you know like almost saw. The is that how common things like that. What the situation is like is at are. Most of these funerals be conducted. Virtually now there are a lot more common now during the coronavirus. Pandemic especially with the lockdown orders and social distancing rules that only permit about ten or fewer people in place When I talked to Elizabeth. She said that she abused Chat APPs in the past like I said But visit virtual funerals and memorial services have become so much more common out and. I think they're going to stay in some capacity even when lockdowns are lifted and life returns to whatever normal will be having video chat apps as an option gives family and friends from all over the opportunity to give their respect without worrying about travel even without the fear of pandemic. You know you don't have to come from Alaska or across the ocean or if somebody is uncomfortable with funerals they can still say goodbye to a loved. One with a shoutout. Yeah you raise a really good point because I mean you could argue that you know having a laptop at a funeral or do when these conference calls before all this might have been seen as inappropriate but all of a sudden with the The situation has forced this to become the norm. I could definitely see how this could be something. That's a lot more susceptible socially at funerals Even once we get past this pandemic out beyond beyond the adding laptop look at funeral. Homes changed at all to account for this for the social distancing policies. Like what what? What else have they done to making more commenting for current situation right? When I spoke with Elizabeth. She told me that the mortuary the cemetery boards funeral bureau's the entities that are in charge of licensing and protocol for funeral homes and cemeteries in. Each state have said that it's best. It's in the best interest of funeral. Homes to treat every death like cove in nineteen deaths simply for the safety of the embalmers and other workers in the industry But more of adopted this digital approach to handle as many aspects of the funeral as possible during the pandemic and that's for the safety of themselves in the families who need the plan service so a lot more Through my research for this article it wasn't just Elizabeth's funeral home. That have been taking this digital

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