Funeral homes adapt to social distancing amid pandemic

Funeral homes adapt to social distancing

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - The pandemic is being felt in every industry, even funeral services, which still have to enforce social distancing.

Brian Wilson has been running Wilson & Associates Funeral Service for 12 years, so he knows the in’s and out’s of a traditional service. In this time of social distancing, however, “traditional” is anything but that.

“This is my first experience with something of this magnitude,” he said.

He said one of the changes in his funeral home has been limiting the number of people attending to 10 or less.

“We’re stepping out of our box, looking at other options such as live streaming," he added.

The funeral home itself doesn't have cameras installed, but rather they encourage family members to broadcast through their phones.

Wilson’s company has also started what he calls “walk-through viewings” to discourage lingering inside the parlor.

“View their loved one, sign the guest book, view the video tribute, and just keep moving,” he described the new procedure.

Obviously, it sounds a bit cold during a very sensitive time, and Wilson says it didn’t come without pushback from some families.

“At first it wasn’t embraced very well, but I can honestly say now that because I think families are looking at the fact that they’re actually looking out for their health now - as well as our health - it has really improved.”

He adds that the whole industry is starting to shift to this new phase of conducting business.

“It’s caused all of us to step out of the box a little bit. Think outside of the box. For the longest time, funeral services have been kind of limited in terms of thinking, but we need to progress, and I actually welcome it," he said.

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