The first death of a COVID-19 patient in Bengal on Monday afternoon raised serious questions about the handling of the dead body as nobody from the deceased's family turned up at the hospital to sign the documents required for the death certificate and discharge of body. Relatives of the 57-year-old deceased man refused to come to the hospital fearing they would also get infected with the virus. The man’s wife could not make it as she is currently admitted in the isolation ward of the same hospital. The locals at the cremation ground also refused the entry of the body in the area and it was finally cremated in an electric crematorium after a 10-hour delay.
And this is not the only case. Around the world similar instances have been reported.
Unimaginable times are upon us as a result of COVID-19 outbreak. Those times we longed for of calm and quiet on the streets, those times we longed for to work from home and spend time with family, those times of no queues at ticket counters, those times of less or no traffic have all been forced by nature or enforced on us by authorities in the fight against a monstrous pandemic. Movement has been curtailed.
Amidst the anxious atmosphere arise woeful questions of how should family members visit their near and dear ones on their death bed with travel being brought to a halt? What happens to the bodies and last rites of those who have died of coronavirus. So what if grocery and medial stores are open, how does one get to the store to buy the essentials with strict curbs being imposed?
It is a time to reflect and examine our next moves. Who will perform last rites of those who die of COVID-19?
How are we going to continue with a life we never anticipated or prepared for? Will you be willing to to pay your last respects with the threat of coronavirus looming over?
Share your comments and stories below.