As Coronavirus or COVID19 takes hold across the world, considerations and preparations have been put into the works to stream funerals of loved ones online if the UK faces a pandemic of the virus in the coming weeks.
The UK is currently on red alert as the killer virus continues to grow in numbers across the country, with five people already deceased. Large events are already on the verge of being cancelled throughout Spring and Summer including the London Marathon and Euro 2020 Football Tournament.
Following these impending cancellations, we are likely to see any gatherings including smaller scale events like church services and funerals to be impacted should the virus take a more aggressive grip in the coming weeks and months.
Should funerals no longer be able to take place in their traditional gatherings, webcasting has become a viable option according to the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD). The organisation is working on early interventions and options with the associated authorities to ensure that dignified funerals can still be achieved without causing further spread of the virus.
“The exact steps we would take would be determined by the severity of the outbreak and whether funerals would need to be adapted in the event of a ban on public gatherings and other changes,” NAFD said. “This is all part of our normal planning process.”
The number of deaths predicted to happen in the UK has increased to a death rate of 2-4% of the population, which will see increasing pressure on funeral directors and other relevant organisations as the death toll predictions amass over 1 million people.
As well as a likely pressure to deal with the influx in fatalities, funeral directors will be expected to provide options to families of the deceased and support their needs to adhere to the expectations of the further steps and restrictions that will be set out by the UK government over the next few weeks ahead.
Webcasting funerals is likely to be one of the most responsible ways to deliver dignified and respectful services to the deceased in the coming weeks, and funeral directors should be prepared for this likelihood as the virus is still yet to be contained, with no vaccine ready to be administered with cases reaching over 110,000 worldwide.