For thousands of years, funerals and burials have always been observed by many cultures and communities worldwide. Not only are burials and funerals a ceremony, but they also hold significant value in our tradition and culture.
The COVID-19 has caused drastic changes to different parts of society. Not only has it affected the world economy, how we socialize with others, and how we travel, but it has also exposed vulnerabilities in the public health system and how they operate. Almost all types of mass gatherings have been prohibited in public areas. But what about funerals and burials?
Since the first months of this year, many communities and states in the United States are beginning to relax their restrictions, especially since the vaccine rollout has raised confidence when it comes to large gatherings in the past few months. This has steadily increased the number of attendees allowed when it comes to large events and gatherings. This includes funerals and burials, which are known for accomodating around 15 – 50 guests, depending on where you’re living.
But right before we discuss important guidelines for setting up and planning your funeral, it’s important to consider the risks that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have designated in their Considerations for Gatherings and Control.
There are three types of risks and activities that you’ll need to be mindful of:
- Low-risk—As the name suggests, this will usually constitute activities that are only limited to a virtual and digital platform. Although, most would also consider smaller outdoor and in-door gatherings where everyone abides by safety precautions and guidelines. Wearing face masks, keeping personal objects, and ensuring that everyone is from the local community can mitigate risks.
- Medium-risk—Compared to low-risk environments, medium-risk gatherings are defined as indoor gatherings where individuals observe social distancing guidelines. However, the risk can greatly increase if many of the attendees are from outside the local community.
- Highest-risk—Compared to the previous two scenarios, this constitutes a large indoor gathering where safety precautions and measures at not observed. Many of these attendees will usually travel from outside the local community.
As you can see, abiding by rules and precautions can help mitigate infection rates from COVID-19. Regardless of what the situation might be, proper social distancing should be paramount in protecting the health and well-being of attendees. If certain parts of the facility cannot accommodate the number of guests, it doesn’t hurt to cut down on your attendees or simply imposing low-risk activities, such as online funerals.
Preparations and Preventive Measures
If you’re still in the process of planning the funeral or the burial, you might want to consider ensuring that everything is in order. This is especially true for caskets, headstones, and reaching out to attendees regarding the situation. Headstones are especially important since this might take a great deal of skill, time, and effort.
Fortunately, you won’t have to look anywhere else since there are professionally crafted headstones that can ensure that your loved one will be remembered throughout generations to come. These headstones are known for their elegant design and careful craftsmanship.
But other than making preparations to ensure that the risk of COVID-19 is low in your gathering, what are some preventive actions that you’ll need to keep in mind? Here’s what you can do:
- According to research and studies, staying in an area with poor ventilation has a good chance of increasing the risk of COVID-19 infection. That said, many funeral directors and planners would suggest holding services in a well-ventilated area. If good ventilation is not possible, then gatherings can be done outside instead.
- For individuals that do not live within the same household, they should at least be staying six feet apart from the other individual. It’s also integral to wear face masks at all times. The only time that face masks should be temporarily taken off is when attendees will need to eat and drink.
- Lastly, it’s important to constantly remind family members and guests that they should refrain from making any form of physical contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, and kissing.
Although burials and funerals might be emotionally daunting and exhausting for many individuals, planners should strictly adhere to these safety measures. It might seem hard to limit individuals when emotions are high, so it’s important to keep everyone informed and alert all the time.
Funerals and burials have always been a part of life. Even during uncertain times during the COVID-19 pandemic, burials and funerals are still an important part of our tradition, and it is what makes us human. Still, strict adherence to rules and safety precautions is an important part of keeping everyone safe in these large gatherings. Remember that safety and health should be your priority.