Once, most of us grieved at funerals. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic restricting people from attending public events, people are increasingly mourning their losses — and measuring the epidemic’s toll — in the obituary pages.
‘A Haunting Reminder’
For many, the growing volume of obituaries serves as a sobering testament to the epidemic’s growing impact.
- “A stark reality: Sunday’s Boston Globe runs 16 pages of death notices.” (The Boston Globe, April 19)
- “Pages of obituaries haunting reminder of COVID-19’s toll.” (WCVB Boston, April 24)
- “Newspapers around the country are running more and more death notices as the coronavirus spreads.” (CNN, April 20)
- “Canadian newspapers are publishing more death notices.” (CTV News, May 14)
‘A Humanized Crisis’
For others, the individual life stories told in each obituary are providing the personal context needed to understand the pandemic’s scope.
- “Remembering the Dead: Obituary Writers Restore Humanity to Covid-19 Crisis.” (AdWeek, May 23)
- “‘A deluge of death’: how reading obituaries can humanise a crisis.” (The Guardian, May 2)
- “What You Learn When You Read Obituaries.” (BuzzFeed, May 13)
‘Obituary Pages Are Where We Mourn’
Finally, many have noted how the limits of social-distancing have shifted the way we mourn, with obituaries — and those who write them — assuming an important role in that process.
- “As the Pandemic Forces Us to Abandon Rituals of Grief, Obituary Pages Are Where We Mourn.” (The Washington Post, May 13)
- “Obituarists are busier than ever as pandemic takes its toll.” (Jewish Insider, May 6)
- “How will we grieve once the coronavirus pandemic is over?” (The Los Angeles Times, April 20)
- “Telling the Stories of the Dead Is Essential Work.” (The New Yorker, May 14)
To learn more about how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the way we remember those we’ve lost, explore our library of epidemic coverage.