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Daniel J. Enea in front of his business, Mohawk Valley Funerals and Cremations.
by Dave Warner
The coronavirus is affecting businesses, schools, churches, bowling alleys and everything else. But, what’s the impact on local funeral homes?
Daniel J. Enea, with Mohawk Valley Funerals and Cremations, said that the industry had been changing months before the virus hit and that people were looking for a simpler approach and one that involved technology.
As of Monday the 16th, the CDC communicated to funeral homes that they could not host funerals or gatherings for funerals in their facilities for more than 50 people.
Enea said, “We’re looking for ways to go around that and we’ve come up with live webcasting of funerals, which is one way to deal with this.”
He said that they are now offering that to families, but it is really up to them whether this will work for the family or not. “I know that one of our families has planned this for a couple of months down the road, but with cremation, there’s a lot more that you can do with it and you can wait a lot longer to have services.”
“For people that want to have the traditional funeral, it’s getting to be a really sticky situation. You can only have the immediate family involved with the service, so that’s where the live webcast can come in handy for them,” he said.
Enea recommends that if you want to have a traditional funeral, that you put the services on hold.
He says that he has been preparing for this kind of change for a while. “I saw the change coming, but I didn’t see it happening this way or this quickly. However, it’s kind of going hand-in-hand with the way our business was already changing. People are doing things online, they’re keeping services private.”
Enea feels that families are more scattered now, and some don’t want to go through the usual process of calling hours, the funeral the next day and people flying in from all over. He said that they want something quicker, but respectful to highlight the person’s life.
“I didn’t think it would happen because of a virus, but that it would happen on its own,” he said.
“Our business is a personal business. We hug, shake hands and everything, and now we can’t do that. It makes it awkward and impersonal, but we’re going to have to figure out how to make it work.”
Enea feels that some of these changes may not revert, causing a permanent shift in the funeral home business.
In the meantime, he says that they are taking extra precautions to keep everything clean. However, they are now asking every family who calls if there is any possibility that there has been coronavirus exposure.
“This is so that we know, even before we handle the deceased that something is up and that we can be more careful,” he stated. “There are certain additional protocols that the CDC has told us to follow during this virus.”
He says that they have prepared for it, just like any other business. “Just being a small business, it’s a time to be at our best and do what’s best for our community,” he stated.
If you want to find out more about how these changes are affecting his business, you can call him at 315-508-5250 or visit his website at https://www.mohawkvalleyfunerals.com/