Funerals Could Be Live-Streamed If Coronavirus Becomes a Pandemic

The U.K.'s National Association of Funeral Directors is preparing for different options.
Fabienne Lang

As coronavirus cases keep swelling internationally, more precautions have to be taken worldwide. One such precaution could lead to funerals being streamed live online

The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) in the U.K. has stated that should the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, become a pandemic, funerals may be forced to be live-streamed. 


Memorial services held online

The death of a loved one during a pandemic brings new levels of grief, as well as logistical worries.

Some families or people are afraid of catching the infection from being in such close proximity to a group of people, and even if they weren't afraid of catching the coronavirus, some governments have already banned public gatherings of certain sizes.

Regardless of whether or not you may currently feel uncomfortable in a grouping of people, or whether your government simply won't allow it, mourning the loss of a loved one is still necessary. 

This is why the NAFD has started looking ahead, to see what alternatives could be presented should the coronavirus be considered a pandemic. 

In a recent interview with Sky News, the NAFD mentioned that it is in "dialogue with the [UK] government and local authorities to seek early guidance on steps funeral directors may need to take in the event of a pandemic."

The options so far include holding separate ceremonies so as to keep the numbers of people in one place low, or the alternative is live streaming the ceremony online from a crematory facility.

Moreover, the nation's Department of Health and Social Care stated "Our action plan sets out measures to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak that are reasonable, proportionate and based on the latest scientific evidence."

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At the moment, the WHO has yet to call the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic: "We could start describing it as a pandemic, but at the moment we are saying it is clusters and outbreaks in some countries."

The ultimate goal of the U.K. government, as it stands, is for "families who lose a loved one during [an outbreak] in finding meaningful ways to say goodbye — even if the funeral they would have preferred isn’t possible."

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