10 Safety Precautions To Take When A Loved One Dies From Coronavirus. It goes with out saying that Covid-19, has changed the way we hold gatherings dramatically. Funerals in particular have been affected, more so if the deceased passed away from Covid-19 related symptoms. This is all done to avoid the spread of the virus between those attending funerals.
1. Do Not Touch The Body
If someone dies of Covid-19 at home, you are not to touch the body at all. Bathing and dressing up a deceased loved one are integral parts of grieving around South Africa. Unfortunately this has to stop as to limit the spread of the virus from the deceased to the mourners.
2. Be Careful With The Deceased’s Belongings
The belongings of the deceased person can only be touched by someone wearing gloves and then the garments must be disinfected with a substance containing 70% alcohol.
3. Ensure That The Mourners Are Safe
Make sure that people do not come to the funeral, when they are sick. They should all wear protective clothing like masks and face shields. Social distance must be a priority both at home and at the cemetery. The casket of the deceased should be covered with plastic.
4. Go The Extra Mile
As much as you are going through grief, it is sadly upon you to make sure people are safe.Make sure that you provide hand sanitizers or hand-washing stations. Keep a register of mourners. This will enable health authorities to trace them should someone develop Covid-19.
5. Be Careful With The Corpse
People may catch coronavirus from your loved one’s body, so we have to be extra careful. There are regulations to prevent coronavirus from spreading and these may not allow you to see your loved one’s body. If you are able to view the body, avoid touching or kissing your loved one’s body. Sanitize afterwards.
6. Consider Live-Streaming
When it comes to funerals, there should be a maximum of 50 people in attendance. Sadly not everyone is going to get the opportunity to bid the deceased farewell. However, we can still watch the funeral at our homes through online platforms like Zoom. This is ideal for people over 55 years or with chronic conditions.
7. Keep The Funeral Short
Funerals have been singled out as super spreader events, so do not keep people for longer periods of time. The funeral ceremony should last less than 30 minutes. If there are no delays with family members traveling or home affairs, try to hold the funeral within three days of your loved one’s passing.
8. Avoid Gatherings After The Funeral
We are used to gatherings after the funeral which are normally referred to as After Tears. In some cases, families remain behind to hold meeting, sadly this can put a lot of people in danger. Do not hold any sort of gathering after the funeral. Mourners should leave straight after the ceremony.
9. Get Clarity
Hanging on to conspiracy theories, will only delay your process of finding closure. Understanding what happened to your loved one may help you cope. Speak to the health workers who cared for your loved one or any other person who knows about Covid-19.
10. Take Care of Yourself
The death of a loved one can ever be easy. Talk to someone if you need to. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) is a non-profit organization that can give support for various challenges. They offer support groups as well as free telephonic counselling daily. Call them toll free on 0800 12 13 14 or send an SMS to 32312.