‘We Have No Space’: LA County Funeral Director Describes Virus’s Toll

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP through Getty Images

” When you inform a household We have no area, they need to begin making phone calls to see what mortuaries have areas offered. And Ive been doing this since 1965, and Ive never seen anything like this,” he informs Morning Edition host Noel King.

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP by means of Getty Images

A coffin is loaded into a hearse at the Boyd Funeral Home as burials at cemeteries are postponed to the rise of COVID-19 deaths on Jan. 14, 2021 in Los Angeles.

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP by means of Getty Images

Most of us dont need to believe too typically about the logistics of passing away and about what closure, like wakes, funerals, memorials, really requires.

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Latest quotes reveal that almost 1 in 3 individuals in Los Angeles County have been infected with the infection given that March, and infections resulted in more than 14,000 deaths. The county is presently experiencing a post-holiday rise in COVID-19 cases.

However Todd Beckley has to. The Los Angeles County-area funeral service director says hes never ever knowledgeable anything like the coronavirus pandemic. He says that Inglewood Cemetery Mortuary where he works is so overwhelmed, theyre using “every embalming table, every gurney, every table.”

A casket is loaded into a hearse at the Boyd Funeral House as burials at cemeteries are delayed to the rise of COVID-19 deaths on Jan. 14, 2021 in Los Angeles.

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And there is a waiting list 23 households long.

Following are highlights of the interview:

No, you cant.

Part of your job is helping people. You help them grieve, you help them get a sense of closure. You cant do that right now for many individuals.

Well now we have to inform the household that were setting up services in February. Were not going to be able to serve them for three to 4 weeks.

Interview Highlights

Do households in their grief comprehend this?

Every death that takes place in California, the death certificate has actually to be submitted with the county health department and an authorization has to be provided by that department. And if the departments closed– and for circumstances, at Christmas and New Years, they closed the day before the vacation, they were closed the holiday, they were closed the weekend. Four days, funeral directors in the state werent able to file death certificates or get authorizations for cremation or burial.

Taylor Haney and Kelley Dickens produced and edited the audio story. Farah Eltohamy produced it for the Web.

Individuals that chew out us the most in all due regard are the medical facilities since they are overwhelmed, and they have someone whos died, and were informing the health center “Im sorry, we cant send out a cars and truck.” And thats why youre finding in California specifically medical facilities are erecting fridge trucks in every parking lot that they can just to accommodate the variety of decedents that they have.

The Los Angeles County-area funeral director says hes never knowledgeable anything like the coronavirus pandemic. He says that Inglewood Cemetery Mortuary where he works is so overwhelmed, theyre using “every embalming table, every gurney, every table.”

I read that air quality regulators have lifted the limitations on the number of individuals can be cremated in big parts of Southern California. When you heard that, what went through your mind?

You understand, most of families say “We understand.”

Every death that happens in California, the death certificate has to be submitted with the county health department and an authorization has to be provided by that department. 4 days, funeral directors in the state werent able to file death certificates or get authorizations for cremation or burial. Now you heard about the crematory concern and in lifting the guidelines we were informed: theres a burial vault shortage.

Now you heard about the crematory concern and in lifting the guidelines we were notified: theres a burial vault shortage. Theres a scarcity of cardboard boxes for cremation.