Article content continued
Scott MacCoubrey, president of the Ontario Funeral Service Association, said few funeral homes in Ontario are under the pressure that those in Windsor-Essex are facing.
“There are a couple of hot spots in the province and Windsor is one of them,” he said. “I’ve been talking to funeral directors in Windsor. They’re seeing an increase, that’s for sure. But they are very well organized. The funeral directors that I’ve talked to are very professional and have been able to deal with the increase in volume with really not missing a step.”
Before the pandemic, Parent said Families First arranged about 90 funerals a month. Since Dec. 15, they’ve had services for 162 people. They’re seeing several COVID deaths a day.
Scott Lockwood, CEO of Windsor Chapel, said his funeral homes handled 60 to 70 deaths a month before the pandemic. As of Friday, halfway through the month, they had served 52 families in January. Lockwood said 25 of those were deaths related to COVID-19.
“There’s no question about it, we are definitely and clearly in a second wave of the pandemic,” he said. “We certainly have seen some more COVID-related deaths happen this wave as opposed to the first wave. That is certainly a reality.”
In the midst of the climbing death toll a tragic new phenomenon is taking shape, with spouses dying within days of each other.
“Both COVID-related,” said Parent. “That just doesn’t happen.”
“But I think we’ve had three situations in the area, maybe four, where the husbands and wives are gone within a week of each other.”