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Cremated Remains

Ashes in the Mail — Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One has Changed in the COVID Era

Ashes in the Mail — Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One has Changed in the COVID Era

Jason Oszczakiewicz, a Pennsylvania funeral home director known as “Oz,” has become accustomed to delivering the ashes of recently deceased persons as it has begun to occur about 9 or 10 times a month.

Oz stated, “I seem to be mailing a lot to Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, New York.”

The pandemic has  not only changed how things are done during life, but also in death.

Memorial services have been postponed, eulogies delivered over zoom, and many people are moving towards cremation in order to skip the process of burying bodies. Since out-of-state relatives have been unable to travel and pick up remains, the U.S. Postal Service has become the middle man in delivering ashes to doorsteps.

In order to safeguard the remains, you must send them Priority Express Mail, and they require a signature.

This process has become so popular that the USPS is having a hard time keeping up with their bright orange sticker that reads “CREMATED REMAINS.”

The USPS is struggling to keep up with the demand for its Label 139, a bright orange sticker it requires on these packages that reads “CREMATED REMAINS.” The Postal Service also offers a kit for human ashes that comes with a sealable plastic bag, bubble wrap and cardboard box. The USPS website warns of delays “due to high order volume.”

See Mary Jordan, Ashes in the mail: Dealing with the loss of a loved one has changed in the covid era,
T
he Washington Post, March 3, 2021.

Read more related articles at: 

Cremate and wait: How COVID-19 is changing the way funeral homes do the business of life and death

Shipping Cremated Remains and Ashes USPS

Also Read one of our Previous blogs at:

What If Grandma Didn’t Have a Will and Died from COVID-19?

Click here to check out our On Demand Video about Estate Planning.

Covid kids

Now that Seniors are vaccinated will Covid be more prevalent in Youth?

Now that Seniors are vaccinated will Covid be more prevalent in Youth?

This is a question to be given some thought. Initially the COVID vaccine is available to first responder’s and people in the healthcare fields and then it goes by age ranging from highest to lowest. It is also available for those who are considered high risk. But where does that leave the rest of the population? Covid knows know age limit and has been pretty indiscriminate about who it affects. Although the prior categories are more susceptible, there is concern that those left unvaccinated will continue to carry or obtain the virus, thus not completely ending the pandemic. While vaccinating who we are able to brings hope and promise to a possible end to the pandemic, there is still concern about how long the pandemic will endure until vaccinations are available to everyone. Some pose arguments that the young should be vaccinated first, vaccinate the young to protect the old. They reference past flu viruses and how they were handled as a valid point. Some say healthy young people might not be able to get the coronavirus vaccine until 2022. Other’s stick to the original theories of vaccinating the most susceptible and working our way down to the youth. They argue we must take care of the immediate danger and then begin the prevention cycle.

Read more related articles at:

COVID-19 vaccine: vaccinate the young to protect the old?

Healthy young people might not be able to get the coronavirus vaccine until 2022, WHO says

Tipsters, tech-savvy kids, pharmacy hopping: How Americans are landing coronavirus vaccines

Also, Read one of our Previous blogs at:

What are the Issues with COVID Vaccinations Sign-ups for Seniors?

Click here to check out our On Demand Video about Estate Planning.

VA Caregiver Program

Some Veteran Caregivers Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine through VA

Some Veteran Caregivers Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine through VA

The move is the result of a coalition of veterans groups that lobbied for the caregivers to be sent to the top of the vaccine list, arguing that they deserved to be included in the first wave of medical professionals being protected against the deadly illness, says Military Times’ recent article entitled “Tens of thousands of veteran caregivers now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine through VA.”

Dr. Richard Stone, executive in charge of the VA, released a memo stating that those registered with the department’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers can be given the vaccine “in a coordinated manner with the veterans for whom they provide care.”

More than 6,700 VA patients have died from COVID complications in the last 10 months. Stone’s memo states that decisions will be made “in balance with site-specific resources, needs, vaccine availability, hesitancy to accept the vaccine and status of the pandemic locally.”

In an interview with Military Times, Stone commented that he is shifting many of those vaccination decisions to local officials to give coverage to more individuals.

“We need to leave it up to people at the bedsides, to make sure they are making the best decisions for veterans,” he said. “When someone brings a veteran in to give them the vaccine, they can easily identify what the other needs are.”

Roughly 20,000 veterans are registered in the caregiver program at the Department of Veterans Affairs. This program provides monthly stipends and other support to individuals providing regular medical assistance to infirm veterans.

The data shows that the majority of this group are family members of post-9/11 veterans. The caregiver assistance program was expanded last fall to veterans who served before May 1975.

And recently, a coalition of veteran groups, including The Independence Fund, Military Order of the Purple Heart and the Non-Commissioned Officers Association sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency officials asking them to authorize the VA to administer the caregiver vaccines, under its role as the lead coordinator of federal response to the pandemic.

Dr. Stone said as of January 13, VA officials had administered the first dose of the two-part vaccine to more than 332,000 department health care employees and veterans at high-risk of contracting coronavirus. Another 45,000 individuals have already received their second dose. The vaccine has been sent to nearly 200 department facilities. However, officials have warned that it could be months before they can administer the more than 7 million vaccines they expect to be requested by veterans and staff.

Reference: Military Times (Jan. 14, 2021) “Tens of thousands of veteran caregivers now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine through VA”

Read more related articles here:

Veteran caregivers can receive COVID-19 testing, vaccinations

VA to provide COVID-19 testing and vaccinations to caregivers of Veterans in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers

VA to vaccinate veteran caregivers after policy change

Also read one of our previous blogs at:

What are the Issues with COVID Vaccinations Sign-ups for Seniors?

Click here to check out our On Demand Video about Estate Planning.

 

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