Video meet app Zoom has been enabling video conferencing calls across the world as lockdowns in several countries have brought life to a standstill. Now, the platform is facilitating the live relaying of memorial services and funerals in a bid to help people stay connected with dear ones during their time of mourning.
Amid the lockdowns where all mass gatherings have been banned, several social media users have spoken about their participation in the final rites and memorial meetings of near and dear ones.
The Kennedy family holds a virtual memorial service
Joanne B. Freeman, a US historian and tenured Professor of History and Maerican Studies at Yale university tweeted: "My friend's brother died from COVID-19. I'm putting this here because it's easy to get lost in numbers, generalizations, dates, & (false) dismissals of this virus & its costs. This is close. And it's real. We're having a Zoom memorial tonite. What a sentence to have to write".
The Kennedy family recently held a virtual memorial service for Robert F. Kennedy's granddaughter and her 8-year-old son, who drowned in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, on the video meeting platform. The virtual service was a concession to social distancing requirements amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports People magazine.
In this time of isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, three funeral homes — Skylawn Memorial Park in San Mateo and Chapel of the Chimes funeral homes in Hayward and Oakland — in San Francisco Bay Area are offering interactive, collaborative virtual funeral and memorial services. The platform relies on Zoom and allows up to 500 guests to virtually attend funerals, burials, wakes and memorials.
Interaction within the service
According to reports, in the Zoom funeral, you can have many family members actually interacting within the service again.
Jennifer Schuessler, a culture reporter with the New York Times, tweeted: "So sorry! Went to Zoom memorial yesterday for an 89-yr-old friend who died at home, likely Covid. Strange thing to type indeed, esp since she was so old-school she didn't have an Internet connxn, & spent the past 6 mos happily burning thru stockpiled Ellery Queen paperbacks".
At McDermott-Crockett Mortuary in Santa Barbara, California, they have joined the ranks of private business and schools and are offering services through Zoom.
"We are utilizing Zoom technology to either video document the service or provide a platform where people can participate wherever they are," Jennifer Parks, general manager, funeral arrangement counselor, was quoted as saying.
The mortuary utilized the technology at a recent service, which 57 people attended remotely. One good thing about holding a memorial service on Zoom could be that hackers may leave you in the times of mourning.
Video meet app Zoom that has gained immense popularity among the enterprises, SMBs and schools in India and elsewhere to connect remotely, has also become a treasure trove for hackers who have zeroed in on the video conferencing app to find privacy and security bugs and make money.
(With inputs from agencies)