“The Role of Digital in Death Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic”
The coronavirus pandemic that is currently sweeping the world has affected us all in several areas of our way of life. Millions of people across all continents have had to say goodbye to loved ones due to this deadly disease, many of which have been restricted to virtual communication. Due to the worldwide effort in combating this virus, many countries have enforced strict regulations about what the public can and cannot do. This means that families and friends of a dying hospital patient are unable to say their goodbyes in person, even if the patient does not have the virus. Other gatherings in this sector have also been affected, such as funerals where loved ones are told not to attend. The virus is significantly changing how we deal with death and grief.
Fatal Accident Claims is a specialist solicitor firm that helps to support families who have lost a loved one due to the unlawful or negligent act of another person. In this article they will describe some of the ways in which the COVID-19 virus has pushed the funeral sector towards greater use of digital technology.
Saying the Last Goodbyes
Saying goodbye to someone you know who is dying is always a traumatic experience. In the current climate, this can make the experience of death that bit more painful. In many hospitals at this moment of time, there are strict measures in place to limit visitors. To help protect the most vulnerable in our society, people are being urged to remain at home unless necessary. Hospitals in particular can be a very dangerous environment at present. As part of the measures to stop the spread of the disease, family members and friends are unable to see loved ones in hospital as normal. Instead, restrictions can include anything from no access at all, only one visitor allowed and limits on items that can be brought in. Hospital visits are now only where possible and the reality is, most loved ones will be unable to enjoy one last physical embrace in the presence of their terminally ill relative or friend.
While there is negativity and gloom surrounding the virus, there’s also plenty of positivity and hope than we can take from this experience. The influx of social distancing measures we now must endure means that there has been a rise in digital communication. In this example of saying goodbye to loved ones, many family and friends are taking to methods such as video chats. While this doesn’t make the process easier, it enables the possibility of something that is no longer capable in person. Technology may also have additional features to make this moment as special as possible, such as recording functionality to cherish the last time together.
How Funerals Are Changing
Social gatherings are now a big no-no, and this is expected to be the case for a good while now. Even with the peak of the virus having seemingly passed in several countries now, until a vaccine or cure is available, strict social distancing measures will be in place for the unforeseeable future. Funerals are always hard but it’s a vital part of the grieving process. This is an opportunity for friends and family to come together, mourn the deceased, and celebrate their life. Now, that is sadly not possible in the way that we know it. Funerals are now limited to very restricted numbers, usually involving only a handful of direct family members. But that doesn’t mean that other family and friends are unable to attend in some way. Many funeral organisers have now invested in live-streaming technology to help deal with mourning during this crisis. With livestreams, family and friends are unable to watch a funeral without having to be there in person. They will typically be able to see the memorial service inside the church as well as the burial or cremation process. It is a necessary step in using digital technology to bring people together so that they can grieve the loss of someone they loved and continue to journey through the coping process.