Coronavirus News: NYC funeral homes, cemeteries overwhelmed by COVID-19 pandemic

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Friday, April 10, 2020
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Funeral homes are feeling the weight of the coronavirus outbreak as families struggle to find final resting places for their loved ones.

PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- One of the grim realities of the coronavirus pandemic is that hospital morgues are overflowing with victims.

Funeral homes are also feeling the weight of the outbreak as families struggle to find final resting places for their loved ones.

In a cramped and crowded office at the Jurek Funeral Home in Park Slope, Doris Amen said she can't keep up.

She said they are backlogged and it is heartbreaking for her to deal with.

"You cannot be focused with 30 funerals going on at the same time," Amen said. "My heart breaks. I wish I could help them, but we can't."

And as overwhelming as it is for her, for the families who has lost loved ones, it is so much worse.

Latina Ruffin said she has gone from funeral home to funeral home to see who can hold a proper burial because everyone is so booked.

Her mom, Aida Lago, died last weekend and she still has not found a funeral home for her.

"You can't have a decent service, you have to do Zoom, there's no human connection," Ruffin said.

The situation is even worse at cemeteries. Many are booking weeks in advance.

Ruffin was told she would have to wait until May by one funeral home.

"I don't know if we'd even be able to find her body if we waited that long," she said.

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