COVID-19 deaths: Funeral home “running out of granite for headstones”

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • Monday, the number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the US reached half a million people.
  • One funeral director said that traffic to their business has grown so much that their concern now is that they’re “running out of granite for headstones.”
  • Dr. Fauci encourages people to keep up with the use of face masks and other protective measures, even if recent numbers of COVID-19 cases have been decreasing.

Monday, the US reached a gruesome milestone- half a million people lost their lives to COVID-19. That translates to around one in 670 Americans dying of the virus since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.

Just 10 months into the pandemic, the number of fatalities reached 300,000. The other 200,000 deaths piled on just since mid-December.

Dr. Fauci called this a “horrible landmark” on CBS This Morning Monday. The actual number could even be much higher.

Los Angeles County was an area that was among the hardest-hit, having had more cases than any other county in the country. With many hospitals out of space, the county coroner’s office has taken in 1,100 bodies on their behalf.

David Begnaud of CBS News spoke to a funeral director in Long Beach, California- Ken McKenzie of McKenzie Mortuary. McKenzie said they are busier now than at any other point during the pandemic. “We’re concerned because we’re running out of granite for headstones.”

Business at his funeral service has grown exponentially, even to the point where families need a reservation code just to be seen.

Previously, people would still interview McKenzie before deciding if they want to use his services. Now though, the funeral director says the first thing they ask is if he’s taking any cases at all.

Though the numbers of cases and hospitalizations due to the virus across the US have gone down, it’s not a time to “celebrate.” Dr. Fauci still urges Americans to continue using protective measures, to not give up, and “just keep going.”

Source: CBS News

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