New York City is quiet, most activities stall. Particularly, those who care for the dead race against time with many funerals that they cannot keep up.
New York City is in a very good season this time, but the devastating Covid-19 epidemic has left about 15,000 people dead here as of April 22. This is five times the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.
When the rabbi Shmuel Plafker arrived at the cemetery, he found the scene in a noisy, rushed place.
It was the rush of cars carrying corpses, and the soil was thrown up when the workers dug the graves. The row of white signs on the ground marks the cells that are about to be laid down, reported by the AP .
In the photo, cleric Plafker has just removed his protective gear after a day of many funerals on April 6. Amid the world at home, the New York epidemic suffered more than 10,000 deaths, funeral staff, cemetery workers and those responsible for bringing the dead to their resting places. .
Mr. Plafker, who specializes in performing ceremonies at Mount Richmond Cemetery in Staten Island, New York City, is holding a long list of burials. The note column indicates the cause of death: “Covid”, “Covid”, “Covid”.
New York City is beautiful at this time of year, when cherry blossoms, magnolia, daffodils bloom, grass grow green. But Rabbi Plafker feels that this spring vitality contrasts with the death around him. “Spring has arrived. Everything is racing and people are dying. ”
Jason Boxer burst into tears when he witnessed the funeral of his father, Allen Boxer, from the car on April 12. “He was kind, friendly and the most generous of the people I know,” Boxer told his father, a veteran of the US Army . “I’m miserable, miserable,” he said about not being able to stand by and take his father to his resting place.
“Feeling deeply sad,” Rabbi Plafker told AP . “If not for this epidemic, they are still alive, maybe healthy or ill, but they are still alive.” Many funerals are not accompanied by escort, because the family has to isolate themselves, or because of travel restrictions. Those who arrived could not stand by the grave, but had to listen to Mr. Plafker’s word by phone, from the car parked at a distance of 20 meters.
“Sad, very sad, I feel sad for them because they want to witness it directly, but they cannot. They have to be in the car, can’t be around and cry like normal, ”grave digger Thomas Cortez (left) told AP.
The graveyard is managed by the Jewish Free Burial Association, which organizes burial for the deceased Jews without relatives. A century ago, this organization used to bury their dead because the 1918 pandemic, and then the Jews used to escape the genocide of the German Nazis. And now, those who died from Covid-19.
Many burial officers continued to go to the cemetery, washing their hands in strict accordance with Jewish rules. They once buried an average person a day, 5 days busy day. But just now, one day they buried 11 people. Everyone was tired, answering dozens of simultaneous calls, or texting each other about death certificates at 2am.
Judaism requires burial of the dead as soon as possible, but these days, it is a challenge. Companies transporting bodies were overloaded, the result of “chain” overload at funeral homes and hospitals.
“The coffin company doesn’t have enough coffins,” James Donofrio (pictured, blue shirt), funeral director for funerals at Mount Richmond Cemetery, told AP .
Before the outbreak of the disease, the Free Jewish burial organization prepared coffins, protective gear, and extra body storage, enough room for four more bodies. They thought it was enough, but now, they had to move to a refrigerated car with a capacity of 20 bodies. In the photo, grave digger Thomas Cortez standing in front of a refrigerated truck was transported until April 7 to “catch up” with soaring bodies, most of whom were Covid-19 victims.
Michael Tokar is looking from the car to see off his father who died at 92 because of Covid-19, David Tokar. His father developed symptoms of cough and fever, and died just two days after being admitted to the hospital.
Michael Tokar (holding a picture) had been to the cemetery the day before, but the body of his father (who was in the photo frame) had not been brought to the cemetery because of a hospital delay. Now, Mr. Tokar is in the car waiting for Priest Plafker to call when the ceremony begins. Finally, Mr. Tokar’s phone rang, and it was Mr. Plafker.
Prayer had begun, and he described each step to Mr. Tokar. “I am going to help some people take the bodies down … we are going to cover the bodies,” Mr. Plafker said, then asked if Mr. Tokar wanted to say anything about his father. Pictured is the house of Michael Tokar.
“He was born 92 years ago,” Mr. Tokar said by phone, adding a few more details to paint a portrait of his father – a person who likes collecting stamps, loves betting on horse racing, loves his grandchildren. In the photo, Mr. Tokar took his father’s ring, which he received back after the funeral. “My father wears this ring all his life, and I want to keep it. It was the best memory, as part of my father, ”Mr. Tokar said.
The rabbi read the prayers, and said Tokar’s father would continue to live in the hearts of those who loved him, praying that the “terrible epidemic” would eventually pass away. The ceremony ends in 10 minutes. In the photo, Mr. Tokar cleans his father’s apartment. “I miss him, I want to call him, ask what he needs, what he wants.”
Thomas Cortez is signaling to a colleague to stop the coffin truck in position, on April 8. On the coffin is engraved with the star David and the six-pointed star symbol of Judaism. Two of his friends died. He and his synonyms are also concerned about their health. His job is sad work, but needs to continue. Another funeral is about to begin.
|Rabbi Plafker closed the gate after a day of ceremonies for the victims of Covid-19. Outside the cemetery, flowers are still blooming and grass is still green.|
- Every 15 seconds, 1 person dies of Covid-19 in the world
There are nearly 19 million Covid-19 infections worldwide and more than 700,000 deaths as of August 5. According to Reuters, one person dies every 15 seconds from the new strain of coronavirus.
The death of coronavirus infection surpassed 700,000 on August 5, according to Reuters statistics. The United States , Brazil, India and Mexico are countries with rapidly increasing deaths.
On average, nearly 5,900 people die every 24 hours from Covid-19, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the past two weeks.
This equates to 247 deaths every hour, or one person every 15 seconds from the new strain of coronavirus.
US President Donald Trump declared the Covid-19 pandemic to be controlled as far as possible in the US, where more than 155,000 people have died from the coronavirus. The response to the discrete pandemic in this country has not been able to prevent the number of infections from rising.
“They are dying, it’s true,” Trump said in an interview with news site Axios . “Accept this. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t done everything we can yet. The pandemic is under control as much as possible in America. This is a terrible epidemic.”
In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro ignores the severity of the pandemic and opposes restrictions to prevent virus spreading, even if he and some of his cabinet members are already virus-positive.
The pandemic affected Latin America, where about 640 million people live, more slowly than in other parts of the world. However, officials still struggle to control the virus because of the poverty and high population density of the area.
More than 100 million people across Latin America and the Caribbean live in slums, according to the United Nations Human Resources Program . Many worked in the informal economy, had little access to the welfare system, and had to work during the pandemic.
Even in places where the virus seems to have been prevented, the number of new infections has increased in recent times, signaling a long-lasting war.
Australia , Japan , Hong Kong , Bolivia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Uzbekistan and Israel all recorded a record increase in new infections over the past few days.
Australia also reported a record new death toll on August 5, bringing the total coronavirus deaths in the country to 247.
- The US surpass 5 million coronavirus infections
The US has recorded more than 5 million Covid-19 cases as of August 8. The United State also has more than 161,000 people died of coronavirus.
On 8/8, the number of coronavirus infections in the US surpassed the 5 million people, while American politicians are still debating about the pandemic bailout and schools considering whether to continue opening
With 5 million cases of Covid-19, the United States continues to be the country with the most cases in the world. Second is Brazil with about 3 million cases. India ranked third with 2 million positive cases.
In terms of cases per capita, the US ranks eighth in the world.
The number of US cases is reported by the New York Times based on reports of federal, state and local officials. Public health experts have warned that the actual number of people infected with coronavirus in the US is much larger.
The number of infections is on the rise in seven states, as well as in Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands, according to the New York Times. During the past week, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida were the states with the most recent viral infections relative to the population.
The United States recorded its 1 million infection on April 28, more than three months after the first case was discovered in the country. As of June 10, the US exceeded 2 million cases. The US continues to hit the 3 million infection mark on July 7 and the 4 million cases on July 23.
The US is testing about 720,000 people a day, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.
The number of new infections per day in the US peaked on July 16 with 75,697 cases. This number has gradually decreased and the average over the last seven days has been about 54,000 new infections per day.
At least 161,000 people have died since the pandemic started in the US.