By Leader Contributor Jessie Rigney

As we continue to push through the summer months, it appears the pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon. Here’s a look at how leaders across the industry are reacting to the latest developments within our industry, including funeral directors, cemeterians, and government agencies.

Even though the role of funeral directors is considered to be essential, many find themselves unable to find the supplies they need to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19. This story explains how some Missouri funeral homes are dealing with this issue.

Because of the pandemic, some Jewish funeral homes in Washington have decided against allowing certain religious rituals to take place. This article explains the reasoning behind their decisions.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced that the process to remove headstones with swastikas and other related markings will begin this month. They plan to keep the headstones in the National Cemetery Administration History Collection.

According to statistics, members of Black communities are more likely to die of COVID-19. This funeral director in Harlem has been forced to turn families away due to a lack of space.

Although our society was already being pushed toward the virtual age, COVID-19 may be accelerating this movement at a much faster pace than anticipated. This article discusses how funeral industry guidelines could soon be impacted by these changes.

Countless funeral directors in New York are simply unable to meet the demands of COVID-19. Read this article about one such funeral director who is working tirelessly as the deaths continue.

While the number of deaths from COVID-19 has been alarming, one funeral director is speaking out about the emotional toll it’s taking on his staff and the families he serves.

Sao Paulo’s municipal funeral service has a plan to dig up old bones and replace those empty graves with COVID-19 victims. The remains must be at least three years old and will be temporarily placed in large metal containers.

The way we cope with death is changing rapidly. Funeral directors and families dealing with grief are now realizing that they’re responsible for their own grieving process because the former socially acceptable ways to console someone are no longer customary.

The owner of one of Winston-Salem’s oldest Black-owned funeral homes, known as “a master embalmer,” has died at the age of 81. According to this article, Clark S. Brown Jr.’s death was unexpected and was not related to COVID-19.

The VA in Indianapolis is looking for the suspects who tarnished several Confederate graves with tar and feathers recently. Click here for the story.

As life begins to return to a form of normalcy, some funeral directors are reminding the public that the pandemic isn’t over. Click here for one Illinois funeral director’s story about how his workload is just now starting to slow down.

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