I can't even begin to imagine the kind of grief that so many families in Louisiana have experienced as a result of the recent surge in COVID cases in the state. Every day the number of cases seems to be rising by the thousands. Unfortunately, so does Louisiana's death toll from the disease.

While the strain on the state and the nation's healthcare system has been documented many times over the increase in deaths has produced a strain on another one of the state's industries. That would be the funeral industry. Unfortunately, those involved in the final rights and services of our loved ones say their business is booming and they'd actually like it to slow down.

One funeral director who spoke to the Louisiana Radio Network said that before the pandemic their facility was providing services for an average of nine to eleven families per week. That funeral director told LRN that nine to eleven services are now common for a weekend in the state.

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Zondra Wright, who was quoted by LRN explained the difference in the funerals they were performing in the early days of the pandemic compared to services they've been asked to perform over recent weeks. Wright explained that in the beginning most of the deceased were elderly or nursing home patients. Today's COVID victims are much younger. Wright says they're doing more services for those in their forties and fifties as compared to the seventies or eighties.

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While the COVID surge has been an economic blessing for the funeral industry, Wright suggested that most funeral homes and funeral directors don't see that as a good thing. Wright's comments to LRN summed up those feelings quite nicely,

Because at the rate we’re going it’s going to be a very, very, very empty Thanksgiving and an even more tragic Christmas 2021

Zondra Wright is a Funeral Director with Charbonnet Funeral Home in New Orleans. 

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