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Family tragedy’s tragic ending

Her route, to cremation, however, was beset with corruption and ill-intent on the part of the funeral home and death insurance firm where they had placed their money on for this time of their grief

Aldrin Cardona

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Crematorium worker checks a furnace that now works 24/7 amid a rise in the number of Covid-19 deaths.

There’s big money in the Covid-19 business and some companies (and crooked individuals) are raking in the big bucks at the expense of the dead, a family found out on Thursday after the death of their matriarch due to the coronavirus.

Adelaida died at 4 p.m. of 14 April after contracting Covid-19. She had diabetes and heart disease. Her death, however, was not the last in her family’s struggles.

There were to be more. At first, they thought her long journey jumping from one hospital to another was the worst she had experienced in the battle she lost.

Her route, towards cremation, however, was beset with corruption and ill-intent on the part of the funeral home and death insurance firm where they had placed their money on for this time of their grief.

Adelaida died in a public hospital in Manila where she was admitted after trying her luck in different private hospitals. They were all full, they said in turning her away.

It did not help that she contracted the virus at the height of the big surge that forced the government to order yet another enhanced community quarantine, the strongest lockdown imposed for two weeks.

She was found positive for the virus on 5 April, the start of the second week of the lockdown. She did not survive the battering her body received from the virus and checked out when her fever got worse and her breathing collapsed.

Her family was ready to accept her death, or so they said, although she was still young at 68.

Their ordeal, however, got extended when they checked her funeral plan and were given the runaround.

The funeral and insurance company claimed Adelaida’s body could not be cremated until Sunday, 18 April. The queue, it said, is just too long — all of them Covid deaths.

A service staff, however, offered what looked like a “shortcut” to the crematorium if the family would waive its claim to Adelaida’s paid plan and pay P43,000 instead.

The staff could rush things, alright. Right?

When the family balked at the offer, the staff offered another choice. The funeral home can “park” the body, in a “freezer” but it would cost the family P7,000 each day until Adelaida gets cremated.

So, what happens to the slot offered in the “shortcut”? Well, it gets sold to the next family of a Covid victim.

Or, the family members could opt to have their mother’s body cremated in another funeral house.

Then what happens to Adelaida’s paid plan?

It can be transferred to another family member in case of another death in the family, they were told.

Wow! Just wow!

 

 

mje

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