The surprising intimacy of the Live-Streamed funeral
The rapid spread of the coronavirus was making international travel more uncertain than ever. So many families devised a solution: Host a small funeral and post a live stream for everyone else.
As governments across the globe espouse self-isolation to stem the spread of the coronavirus, funeral homes are facing intense pressure. In Spain, local officials traced over 60 Covid-19 cases to a large funeral held in late February. On March 20, Washington State affirmed that funerals and memorial services were banned indefinitely. In Kentucky, as in much of the United States, funerals are restricted to the “closest of family,” and guidance from the White House to “avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people” has placed firm caps on how many family members can attend.
Funeral homes racing for new ways to help people grieve at a remove have taken up a much-maligned technology: live-streaming. But in the age of social distancing, mourners are finding online funerals to be a surprisingly intimate way to honor loved ones. Even in self-isolation, collective grieving still matters.