Despite Mayor Bill de Blasio confirming Monday the federal government had sent 600,000 N95 masks to New York City, and that other supplies have been procured, including ventilators — finally enough at least for the near-term immediate needs of besieged hospitals and panicked health workers — city morgues and burial spaces remain overwhelmed.
According to a breaking report by the New York Post, the city council has come up with a ghastly solution as state-wide the death count reaches 4,159, with more than 1,200 deaths coming in the last two days alone: authorities will begin "temporary internment" in local public parks.
The Post cited Councilman Mark Levine as confirming Monday emergency plans to begin burying the city's dead in local parks, though specific park names and locations were not immediately identified.
Levine (D-Manhattan) in a series of tweets detailed the morgue and healthcare system chaos and strain as "the equivalent of an ongoing 9/11" adding that city hospital morgues are "now all full".
"Grieving families report calling as many as half a dozen funeral homes and finding none that can handle their deceased loved ones," he said. "Cemeteries are not able to handle the number of burial requests and are turning most down."
And still the number of bodies continues to increase. The freezers at OCME facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn will soon be full. And then what? 8/— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) April 6, 2020
“Soon we’ll start ‘temporary interment’,” he wrote. “This likely will be done by using a NYC park for burials (yes you read that right). Trenches will be dug for 10 caskets in a line.”
“It will be done in a dignified, orderly–and temporary–manner. But it will be tough for NYers to take,” Levine added. “The goal is to avoid scenes like those in Italy, where the military was forced to collect bodies from churches and even off the streets.”
Soon we'll start “temporary interment”. This likely will be done by using a NYC park for burials (yes you read that right). Trenches will be dug for 10 caskets in a line.— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) April 6, 2020
It will be done in a dignified, orderly--and temporary--manner. But it will be tough for NYers to take. 9/
Mayor de Blasio was questioned at a later press briefing about the extreme contingency. He confirmed, “We may well be dealing with temporary burials, so we can deal with each family later,” according to NY Post.
“I’m not going into details,” de Blasio said. “I don’t think it’s a great thing to be talking about.”
Over the past month the COVID-19 epicenter in Italy, Lombardy, witnessed horrific scenes of town morgues becoming so overwhelmed that military trucks were sent by the national government to evacuate bodies for burial in other regions and cities.