So Many People Are Dying Of COVID-19 In Brazil That Families Only Have Ten Minutes To Pay Respects As Undertakers And Gravediggers are Overwhelmed

It’s not a big deal.

Don’t worry about it.

COVID-19 is a meme and it does not matter.

People keep saying this, but the reality is that COVID-19 is a serious threat that is killing people all around the world. In Brazil, which is emerging as a major hot spot of the illness, so many people have died and continue to die that families only have ten minutes to pay their respects as undertakers and gravediggers are working around the clock and can barely keep up with the need for their services because there are so many people dying.

A death caused by a suspected case of COVID-19 is flagged as a biohazard, and the D3 stamped at the top of the 79-year-old’s paperwork meant the gravediggers needed to suit up in full personal protective equipment—thick, teal rubber gloves, an N95 mask, and a hooded white plastic suit—before the hearse arrived.

For the family—like many others around the globe—it meant they had just 10 minutes to say goodbye.

There was no wake for the father of three, no funeral service with family and friends gathered around, sharing stories: his love of hard work, cats and dogs, and singing samba classics around the house. Brazilian wakes can be large affairs, with an open casket, and attendees embracing the deceased.

Instead, his body was wrapped in plastic, his casket sealed. His wife of 60 years, her own health long questionable, couldn’t be there to say one final farewell, and his daughter stayed home to watch over her.

The four who could make it stood shoulder to shoulder, watching silently as the men hurried to cover the casket. (Undertakers in Italy are haunted by what they saw during the crisis.)

When the last shovel of dirt was tossed, a heap among the rows of vacant graves waiting to be filled, Manoel’s youngest son, Rodrigo Manoel da Silva, dropped his chin to his chest.

“It wasn’t supposed to be like this,” he whispered, as another hearse pulled up next to Q56, the section of the cemetery where his father was laid to rest. “Everybody wanted to be here. They should have been here. He deserved better.”

Since the arrival of the novel coronavirus in Brazil, burials have been brief. Many of its victims in São Paulo, where the majority of the country’s cases and deaths are concentrated, are being sent to the Vila Formosa Cemetery, considered the largest in Latin America at 750,000 square meters (185 acres). More than 1.5 million people are buried within the two-part complex, founded in May 1949. (source)

Thjs is a very serious matter.

As we have noted, there is a very strong chance that COVID-19 may return in the fall.

Please be ready for it so to be aware of the statistics about it but not to become a statistic.

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