This is a photo that Bud sent me via text, with the caption that said, “Verrazano Bridge – not in Kansas anymore.” He took this on his way to Coney Island on Wednesday.
Navigating the City was nothing like usual. This photo was taken during “rush hour” but the normal rush was nonexistent. It appears that the situation held a similar surreal quality such as when Dorothy found herself in the Land of Oz.
The purpose of this trip to Coney Island is to answer a call for assistance with the many death cases occurring in the area. In September, 2001 there was a call for funeral directors in New York City. At that time, Bud did not feel that he was in a position to help.
Once again, there is a call for funeral directors. The providers there are overwhelmed with the number of cases and need help with transporting the deceased, embalming or cremation prep, and many other tasks. Bud has been thinking of going for a couple of weeks, as this time he feels he should be there.
One of the funeral homes he contacted had, at the time of his initial contact with them, 109 cases to work through, with more calls coming. For comparison, funeral homes that are members of the National Funeral Director’s Association handle, on average, 113 cases per year. This one facility is working to serve one hundred and nine families, and their call rate is currently about 30 new calls per day.
On his first partial day, Bud has simply been transporting decedents from the morgue at Mount Sinai Hospital to the funeral home. The photo below was captioned: Ramp to temporary morgue, Trailer 2. (The temporary morgue is not the house in the background, rather it is the white trailer.)
In my reading, I’ve learned that most hospitals in the area have morgue capacity for about 12, but there are some that can handle up to 25. This has resulted in the installation of the temporary morgues.
As you consider the situation in New York City, whatever you may think of the entire Covid-19 scenario, please remember that grief is running rampant there. Vast numbers are managing grief every day and their pain is deep and real. Please pray for those families and friends who are navigating the valley of the shadow of death.
Please pray for Bud. It may be that he will be the most help by transporting, but whatever his assigned task, it will be challenging simply because of the sheer numbers involved.