It was the owner of a funeral home who revealed that his company is equipped to handle around 60 bodies, however, today, 185 bodies were dealt with.
Pat Marmo walked among the nearly 20 corpses located in the basement of your mortuary from Brooklyn, pulling the mask down so his words could be heard.
“All the people there are not a body,” he said. “It is a father, a mother, a grandmother. They are not corpses. They are persons”.
Like many funeral homes in NY and the rest of the world, the Marmo company is in crisis as it tries to meet the growing demand for its services due to the pandemic of the coronavirus which has claimed around 1,400 lives in the city of NY, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University. His two cell phones and his office phone constantly ring. At the start of each conversation, he apologizes for being so brief and pleads with his clients to ask hospitals to hold their loved ones as long as possible,
His company is equipped to handle between 40 and 60 cases at the same time without any problem. Thursday morning he was dealing with 185.
“It is a state of emergency,” he said. “We need help”.
Funeral directors are under siege. On the one hand, by the hospitals that try to get rid of corpses, and on the other, by the fact that cemeteries and crematoriums are reserved for at least a week, and sometimes two.
Marmo gave The Associated Press access to the mortuary David J. Schaefer in the Sunset Park neighborhood of the Brooklyn district on Thursday to show how difficult the situation is.
He’s about 20 bodies embalmed and stored on stretchers on shelves in his basement, and a dozen more in his secondary chapel. Both rooms are cooled with air conditioners.
He calculated that more than 60% died from the coronavirus. In most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, but in some cases, particularly in adults and patients with previous health problems, it can cause more severe, even fatal, conditions.
“It is surreal,” he declared.
The hospitals of NY have been using refrigerated trucks to store the bodies, and Marmo tries to get one. One company presented him with a budget of $ 6,000 a month, and others simply refused because they didn’t want their equipment to be used for corpses.
Even if you get a truck, you have nowhere to put it. He wonders if the police station across the street would allow him to use his entrance.
It also hopes that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will lift regulations that limit the hours crematories can operate. That would help him catch up.
“I need someone to help me,” he declared. “Maybe if they send me refrigeration, or advise me so I can install a refrigerated trailer that I can conserve and monitor.”
Patrick Kearns, a fourth-generation funeral director in Queens, said the industry had never experienced anything like it. His family was prepared for a huge demand for his business after the attacks of September 11, 2001, but many bodies they were lost in the rubble, so there was never such a stir.
Yes now. Kearns’ business in Rego Park is just minutes from Elmhurst Hospital, a site with plenty of cases in a city that has become the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States. In the first 15 days of March, the family’s four funeral homes performed 15 services. In the second half of the month they had 40.