A time for mourning and remembering your loved one, family member, or friend. Taken away due to the pandemic the world finds itself in.
This harsh reality is rearing its head more and more as limitations at funerals are put into place across the country. With some establishments limiting the amount of mourners to as little as five.
The hard truth that it’s needed, won’t comfort those who will never be able to see their family member or friend put to rest, amid a global pandemic. Every limitation brings with it more grief and hardship during an already arduous time.
Many who face strict orders to quarantine or isolation due to either symptoms or possible contact with the disease itself, will have no choice but to miss a chance at some closure in the cruelest stages of grief. Unfortunately, they will have to find alternative methods to find peace within such a brutal time.
For those not under quarantine or similar, families larger than five for instance, will now have to decide who gets to attend the funeral and who does not. Although it may be necessary this sort of decision is unimaginable adding to the pain of the grief itself.
These stories of heartache and torture to people are the exact consequences of others not taking a pandemic seriously enough and the seriousness of Covid-19. Within the last week, measures and control methods have escalated gradually and recently a sudden enforcement from the government for what is, for all intents and purposes, a lockdown of the country.
Boris Johnson’s announcement last night made it clear about the nature of what is expected from the people of the UK. There will be no public gatherings of more than two people (unless it’s within your household), you should only go out if absolutely essential; like necessary grocery shopping or getting medication. The list distributed is clear enough and if you are doing anything outside of this, like visiting different houses to visit family or friends, then it is knowingly putting others at risk and against what can be enforced by the police as Boris mentioned last night.
The Prime Minister also referenced that funerals were in fact one of the few exceptions to the gathering limit of two people. Businesses and establishments that provide funerals are not given a number to limit funerals to, meaning the limitations can vary from place to place.
The stark reality though, that is progressively becoming better known, is that people are missing funerals they desperately want to go to. In times of a pandemic it’s difficult to realise what different people are facing, and even though limitations are a must along with self-isolation, quarantining and social distancing it’s a pain that is unimaginable.
You may look or think back to funerals you’ve been to or seen. The usual scenes of people comforting one another are a distant memory to the vastly different funerals of today. You won’t see hugging relatives and friends, or comforting those mourning, instead as social distancing is in effect we are seeing a very unfamiliar way of coping with loss.
As of the last official count, the death toll in the UK stood at 335, which sees the second biggest jump within a single day. Indications early on have suggested that the UK are on a similar trajectory to Italy who now have the most confirmed Coronavirus deaths of any country.
Worryingly, Italy implemented stricter lockdowns to entire cities and towns earlier than the UK when facing similar amounts of cases in late February. On 8th March Italy started imposing an even larger lockdown of much of Northern Italy. However, it was when the death toll stood at 233 that they implemented a severe lockdown, less deaths than the UK at the time of Boris making his announcement last night at 8.30pm on BBC1. Despite the word ‘lockdown’ not used, the measures currently in place indicate otherwise, but one that is less harsh than Italy’s.