Phaneuf Funeral Home served the community through the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic. Today, we are making daily adjustments to the way we conduct business and support local families during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s a frightening reality for all of us, though it is heartening to see residents in New Hampshire, Vermont and neighboring states take it very seriously and stay at home as much as possible, to help control the virus’ spread.
Last week, we wrote about funerals during social distancing. Now, we look to sustainability.
Healthcare supplies are in high demand and many institutions are running low on items such as protective gloves, masks and body bags – items also used regularly in the funeral industry. We inventoried our supplies in our locations and supplies we can access immediately to determine how long we can continue serving customers without compromising our existing safety procedures. (The global supply chain disruption means we may not be able to order/restock some items quickly.)
We take information from the Centers for Disease Control very seriously. If infections stay at a minimum in our service area, we’re confident we can provide uninterrupted operation. If deaths related to the virus dramatically increase in New Hampshire (considering the state’s high proportion of elderly population), we can operate with our current supplies for up to four months.
The funeral industry includes many mom-and-pop businesses smaller than Phaneuf. If their normal operating team is fewer than five people, and if some of those are out to tend to family or are self-quarantined, their capacity to assist families drops quickly.
Phaneuf has provided backup at other funeral homes where needed and when requested by sending our team members into the field, while still maintaining our own staffing and safety/cleanliness procedures.
None of us knows exactly when life will return to “normal,” but we will keep adjusting where it makes sense to best serve our communities, and will continue to use our blog for updates related to the pandemic. As always, please contact me with any questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 603-625-5777.