To prevent any further contagion from spreading, Spain has proactively banned the opening of body bags.
Once the body bag is closed it can no longer be opened and the deceased cannot be removed from it. The funeral director places the bagged deceased directly into the coffins. These strict regulations are in place to make sure that the virus does not continue to spread any further. However, this sterile process denies families ability to see their loved one last time.
Jodi Fernández, a Barcelona funeral director, teared up about the current state of funeral services. He is not able to respectfully prepare the body like he normally would, yet he continues to do his utmost best for the deceased, placing a pillow underneath the head to show a form of respect in laying them to rest.
He said: “We face death every day and so we accept it and work with it and see it as usual. But it is true that when you stop to think and realize that inside each coffin there is a person, a family, a story. Well, that is when it hits you and you sink.”
The influx of corona deaths in Barcelona is staggering and Fernández is using a refrigerated garage to temporarily store over 500 coronavirus victims in coffins.
According to the national health authorities of Spain, the virus has killed over 19,000 people so far. Spain is one of the worst hit countries in the world. Funeral directors like Fernández are seeing five times more bodies than normal.