We came across an interesting article the other day. It is from The Monitor of McAllen, Texas, and relates to the health care workers and funeral directors affected by the ever growing number of COVID-19 deaths in the Rio Grande Valley. You can read the article here.
According to the article, Lee Castro, a funeral director at Legacy Chapels in Edinburg is having trouble finding space for the deceased victims. He says, ‘We’re not at breaking point yet, but if we keep getting four or five calls a day, we’re going to be in trouble.”
And Hidalgo County Emergency Management Coordinator Ricard Saldana made this comment, “The number of deaths that are occurring, whether they are COVID-19 or natural causes, or through accidents, is becoming a concern for us.
The article also mentioned Juan Lopez who is the director of Elite Transportation in the area. His removal service is used to picking up two or three bodies per day. He says maybe 10 bodies per week. At today’s pace, however, he is picking up to 10 bodies per day.
So, if you watch the news, you know that some areas of the country are realizing this pressure on death care personnel at this time. Thinking of Mr. Lopez made me think of those involved doing trade call work within our industry. My guess is that they are incredibly stressed at this time.
It also occurs to me that more and more funeral homes have went to outside service providers, or trade call representatives, for after hour removals. That reminded me of this article that I had done some time back wondering if trade call services might be the fastest growing segment, by revenue percentage, in the death care industry at this time.
Trade call providers play a very important role in the American death care industry. From serving after hours to serving when death occurs a distance from home, I’ve found them to be an invaluable, but many times invisible to the public, arm of the profession. Let’s all make sure that we give them the respect that they are due as they serve during these times of severe stress.
More from the world of Death Care:
- Online funeral set for Seoul mayor over virus concerns. Federal News Network (South Korea)
- Being a funeral director during COVID-19. Video and article. WENY News. (NY)
- Tulare Cemetery resumes office operations Monday. Valley Voice (CA)
- All veterans in Tiverton’s historic Hillside Cemetery have been identified. The Herald News (MA)