Coronavirus Spikes Virtual Attendance at Funerals



For over nine years, tech company OneRoom has been livestreaming funeral and memorial services to friends and loved ones who are unable to attend in person.

Given the world is now facing the coronavirus pandemic, which has not only triggered restrictions on travel but also public gatherings, it is going to make it more difficult than ever for friends and loved ones to potentially attend these services in person.

In response to this, OneRoom has seen online attendance at funerals increase over 60% in the last week alone. We want to ensure that people are aware of our services and can continue to share in the important moments in each other’s lives.

To date, the coronavirus has infected over 160,000 people worldwide and has caused over 6,500 deaths. Many events have been canceled, and in Italy, funerals have been banned altogether.

OneRoom’s CEO Dave Lutterman admits he is as confused as anyone by the coronavirus and its effect on people and business.

“We’ve been aware there are times where people struggle to make it to funerals of loved ones. From the beginning, we thought about the issues of people being too far away or being too sick to attend, but a pandemic fits the same solution we have developed. In these uncertain times, we will continue to bring comfort to as many people as we can via OneRoom’s services,” Lutterman said.

By recording the event, which can be watched live or later, friends and family can view the ceremony from the safety and comfort of their own home.

OneRoom’s services are not on a public channel like YouTube or Facebook. Any device that can connect to the Internet and play video and audio will work. The ceremony is privately stored indefinitely on behalf of the family and is accessible to view for three months after the service.

“As well as people who watch remotely, we also receive a lot of feedback from people who have sat through the actual event but have missed so many important things. Due to uncontrollable grief, they just don’t hear it. These family members can watch the service again, away from the emotions of the day,”  Lutterman said. “If the service goes unrecorded, you lose an important piece of history. The recording becomes an emotional asset and part of the healing process. If you make the decision not to do it, it’s too late, that piece of family history is lost, and memory begins to fade almost immediately. A recording assures you that no matter where people are, they’ll be able to connect with their loved ones. In these times, even if the very worst happens and someone is in self-isolation, they can still be a part of the service, enabling them to capture one of life’s most important moments.”

About OneRoom: OneRoom captures and archives a funeral or memorial via a secure private broadcast that can be accessed from anywhere, by those who cannot pay their respects in person.

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