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April 1, 2020 03:00 pm

Grief support systems have been wrecked by COVID-19

Undertakers Offer Livestreaming For Funerals Following Coronavirus Restrictions

Undertakers rehearse an online funeral in Vienna, Austria. | Photo by Thomas Kronsteiner / Getty Images

Funerals are for the living. They’re an occasion for a community to recognize a loss and gather support for those who remain. But the novel coronavirus pandemic has disrupted these much-needed mourning rituals. To slow the spread of COVID-19, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discourages events of more than 10 people — a guideline that extends from the Irish wake to the Jewish shiva. It’s also created thousands of new mourners, many of whom are grieving alone.

In times of crisis, “it’s even more important to connect,” says Justin Thongsavanh, operations and partnerships manager for The Dinner Party, which has sorted 8,000 grieving 20- and 30-somethings into peer-led support groups around the world. To show people they’re...

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