SAN ANGELO, Texas – It is not shocking that due to the ongoing pandemic, funerals and funeral related services are experiencing a morbid boom right now. One fact that might be surprising, is that due to fear of worst case scenarios, some families are buying entire plots ahead of time.
“Within the last, I guess since the pandemic started, we’ve experienced a lot of families coming in and they’re wanting to take care of their final arrangements,” said Jeremy Walker, Supervisor of Fairmount Cemetery in San Angelo. “Instead of families paying for one or two spaces, they’re paying for four or five at a time.”
Funeral homes and other end of life services have also taken note, trying to handle the uptick in traffic while giving space for proper distancing procedures. “[We’re] just trying to limit each funeral and each viewing to one at a time,” explained Rusty Tapp, Owner of Robert Massie Funeral Home.”[To] where we don’t have two people, two families, viewing at the same time just to try to keep them separated due to the COVID-19. Just trying to keep these families, loved and cared for and through a hard time with the loss of their loved one due to COVID.”
Since the pandemic began, over 500,000 deaths in the United States have been attributed to COVID. Over 40,000 of those deaths have been in Texas, with roughly 200 occurring right here in Tom Green County. Over the past two years, purchases of burial plots in Fairmount Cemetery have risen roughly 30% while burials have nearly tripled.