According to data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 17,500 people have died in the state of New York since the beginning of the crisis and more than 56,000 have died in the whole of the US from Covid-19.
FUNERAL homes in the New York districts have felt the hardest hit from the coronavirus crisis, for example in Queens, they are intensifying the use of cardboard caskets for cremations these days due to the high number of deaths they receive as a result of the pandemic. This material is both faster to burn via incineration and more affordable.
The New York City funeral and cemetery directors are struggling to meet the demand for burials at the epicentre of the US coronavirus crisis, as more than 17,500 people have died in the Big Apple and an additional 56,000 have died in the country as a whole due to Covid-19.
This high number of deaths is pushing funeral homes and their services to the limit. Federal and local agencies have had to ship around 130 refrigerated lorries to New York to serve as temporary morgues to hospitals across the state as they literally have no space for the deceased.
The tension brought on by the crisis is most evident in the New York City crematoriums, which have to cater for a population of more than eight million people and now they find themselves needing to operate approximately 10 hours a day.
For example, according to The Wall Street Journal, at All Souls Crematory in the St Michael’s Cemetery in Queens, up to 24 cremations are now scheduled every day, compared to about eight a day just three weeks ago.
In the Elmhurst neighbourhood, also in Queens, New York funeral homes have been overwhelmed by a massive increase in the number of victims as a result of the coronavirus and, in order to attend to all bodies in a timely fashion, crematoriums have often had to resort to cardboard coffins, a material that is simultaneously cheaper and faster to burn than wood.