Coronavirus death notices: Newspapers around the country are running more and more obituaries

Coronavirus death notices: Newspapers around the country are running more and more obituaries

The obituary section of the Sunday print edition is 16 pages long. This time last year, there were seven. This increase is a vivid illustration of the devastating impact of the pandemic on Massachusetts and New England.

“It literally shows in black and white how deadly this virus can be,” said Jaclyn Reiss, digital editor of the Globe, in an interview with CNN.
And although Reiss noted that there was no immediate way to determine how many of the obituaries that filled pages A-13 through A-28 came from coronavirus victims – obituaries don’t always say how the no one died – several mentioned a battle with the virus.

The section “has been growing every Sunday since the coronavirus pandemic was in full swing here in Massachusetts,” said Reiss, adding that the previous Sunday the newspaper had published 11 pages of obituaries.

Reiss explained that in addition to the increase in the number of deaths – 1,706 people died Monday afternoon – the increase in death notices could be due to the fact that families are unable to keep alarm clocks and funeral now. With no time constraint to publish an obituary before a planned memorial service, families could submit their obituaries for publication on Sunday when the newspaper has more readers.

It’s not just the Globe

The Globe, of course, is not the only newspaper to show an increase. Newspapers in other hotspots across the country are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of obituaries and death notices they publish.

In Louisiana, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate released more than eight pages of obituaries on Sunday.

“The same weekend last year, there were about four pages devoted to obituaries,” according to an article by the Lawyer. There were approximately 25,000 cases and 1,328 deaths in the state Monday afternoon.
The Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey, published 109 obituaries on nine pages of its April 12 edition. A year earlier, there were 17 obituaries on a page and a half, according to nj.com. New Jersey has reported more than 85,000 cases and 4,362 deaths, just behind New York.
On Sunday, the Hartford Courant of Connecticut published 12 pages of obituaries. The state has approximately 18,000 cases and 1,127 deaths.

“It’s more than I have ever seen. On a Sunday, you would see at most three, maybe four pages, so it was about triple what we normally do,” said Rick Green. , assistant editor of the Courant.

The new American reality echoes what Italy went through in March.

The Eco di Bergamo, a newspaper in the hard-hit region of Lombardy, normally publishes a page of obituaries. On March 14, 10 pages of obituaries filled the diary.

If you have a family member you want to honor, CNN invites you to share your story here.

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