Virus pandemic impacting essence of funerals

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it, but it’s also altered what happens at the end of someone’s life.

Mark Scheidt, owner of Fairhaven Funeral Home in Fort Wayne, said COVID-19 has disrupted the core essence of a funeral’s purpose.

“It activates a support system,” Scheidt said of funerals. “It says to the world around us that we’ve had a death, we’re hurting and we would like you to come close to us. And the people that love them or love him or her the most, we need you. And what COVID has done is said no to that.”

Fairhaven Funeral Home is adjusting its business model in accordance with directives from local and state authorities. That includes limiting the number of family members and guests who can be present for a visitation to 25.

“Twenty-five people is a very small number,” said Scheidt. “Anyone who has been to a visitation knows that is so limiting.”

To offer the service to more loved ones, Fairhaven uses technology to present remote broadcasts of services and online memorial pages.

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