The team has a new article out in The Conversation discussing the transformation of death rites in the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The coronavirus is not only affecting the way we live, it’s also dramatically affecting the way we die.

In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that funerals would be limited to a maximum of ten people to limit the spread of COVID-19. However, the states may have some leeway in permitting an extra one or two.

Funeral directors say they are concerned about the availability of crucial health supplies such as masks, hand sanitiser and body bags.

In Italy, people with COVID-19 reportedly “face death alone”, with palliative care services stretched to the limit, morgues inundated, funeral services suspended, and many dead unburied and uncremated.

In Iran, satellite photography shows trenches being excavated for mass burials.

As Australia’s coronavirus response moves into a critical period, these examples remind us that how we care for the dead must be part of our pandemic plan.

Read the full article here

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