In spite of the many challenges financially and otherwise facing our government, it should not become unaware or callous to the need of dignity for the dead, be they having departed this life from COVID or any other catastrophic natural disaster. Thus, I venture to propose the following for the proper care of those dearly departed souls now accumulating in inordinate numbers at our healthcare facilities.
Fundamentally, remember that these human beings are, even though physically departed, still powerfully aware of what treatment is afforded them via their earthly remains.
It is logically understandable that most of their families are in desperation, themselves, financially, combined with extraordinary fear of handling the remains of loved ones, especially those who have succumbed to the virus.
As far as I am aware, the Public Hospitals Authority has chapel facilities at the hospital. Why, then, cannot our compassionate government make expeditious and timely arrangements for a small and private family ceremony, regularly for sending forth their loved ones in appropriate and dignified form?
Then, too, arrangements can be made for cremation of the remains by the government, and the precious ashes handed to the family for safe and reverent keeping. This can be handled with all due COVID-19 protocols. Families can even be given the right to request their own minister of the gospel to conduct an abbreviated ceremony.
There should be no need for the despicable, long-term storage of so many human remains in the morgue or in refrigerated trailers.
We should recall with heart-wrenching aches the inhumane conditions afforded the many human remains in Abaco post-Dorian. We have to have learned a lesson from that totally unacceptable state of affairs.
As with post-Dorian, this natural disaster, now with COVID, in the midst of family economic desperation and depression, naturally, logically, responsibly and Christly, our government must assume responsibility in this critical and national matter.
This burden should not become the ultimate and sole responsibility of families in mourning and travail.
Remember it’s the people’s time — dead or alive!
— Joseph Darville
Vice president, Rights Bahamas