Freezers are in demand in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as there are more bodies to be stored prior to burial or cremation. Millions of Covid-19 vaccines also have to be kept at very low temperature during shipping and distribution so they don’t spoil and become useless.
As morgues are flooded with remains, food freezers reportedly had to be used last month at an abandoned building in Cebu City that was converted into a mortuary. In the United States, refrigerated trucks were tapped to temporarily hold cadavers.
Although refrigerated trucks for perishable goods are still in service, one such vehicle was found carrying a different kind of cargo when police inspected it at a virus checkpoint in Vietnam on 12 September.
The truck came from the southern Dong Nai province, where more than 35,000 Covid cases with 320 deaths had been reported. The province has been on total lockdown since early July, and makeshift hospitals have been set up to treat tens of thousands of infected patients.
When the truck reached the checkpoint in Binh Thuan province in central Vietnam en route to Ho Chi Minh City, police got suspicious as all public road and air transport links from the south were suspended to contain the outbreak.
Police opened the door at the back of the truck and were surprised to see 15 people inside, sweating and short of breath. The passengers admitted they were headed to the north to go home and avoid getting infected with coronavirus. They were carrying certifications indicating they had tested negative for the virus.
One of the passengers accompanied by his seven-year-old son told police they asked the driver to turn off the refrigeration system as they were all freezing. The temperature, however, reversed and the compartment became hot. Either way, they could have died from extreme cold or heat had they not been discovered.
In Oklahoma City, USA, a mother had a more shocking experience with a supermarket freezer last week.
Shirley Wright-Johnson was with her children buying grocery at Crest Foods when she tried to get a bag of pizza rolls in the frozen food section.
Wright-Johnson was about to pick up one bag from a freezer when she felt something strange under the packaging. Pulling her hand, she saw the gooey thing on her fingers and became hysterical.
The customer reported the disgusting waste on her hand and inside the freezer to store employees. Police were called in and officers from Moore Police Department confirmed the woman indeed touched human waste. Upon checking the store’s CCTV camera, a male customer in a hoodie was seen defecating in the freezer.
Police are hunting the suspect. As to Wright-Johnson, she had to bleach her hands to eliminate the icky odor from her fingers.