Cremation
Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash

The continuous spread of Covid-19 goes inescapable for individuals. They may potentially be among the recorded number of fatalities- all of which requires cremation.

Cremation is the disposal method recommended by hospitals and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). Cremating bodies provide closure in avoiding risk of the COVID-19 from spreading and they are booming. This is evident with the continuous rising of Covid-19 deaths alongside other causes of deaths.

In Pasay City Cemetery and Crematorium, they received around 6 bodies per day. This is more than the usual 3-4 bodies they get before the outbreak.

“Ngayon mga medyo lumobo nang kaunti. Ang mga dinadala rito sa isang araw mga anim (na bangkay),” said among the embalmers, Romy Elevazo. He added that the cremation process lasts around 30 minutes to 2 hours.

The Baesa Crematorium in Quezon City, which leads numerous Covid-19 cases and deaths in Metro Manila, recorded 169 cremations as of this writing. About 8 bodies are being cremated a day since the business has been operating non-stop by March 24.

Quezon City had mandated health centers to comply with the national government’s standards, requiring hospitals to cremate the body of Covid-19 patients within 12 hours after death issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

This evident rise of cremating cadavers due to inflating Covid-19 deaths posed risks subsequently. It paves to the long-term environmental issue behind such multiple cremation process.

Basically, cremating a dead body turns into air pollution and barren ash. Studies of emissions shows that cremation turns a cadaver into at least 46 different pollutants, including nitrous oxides and heavy metals, that will remain in the air for up to 100 years causing ozone depletion and acid rain.

Take note that it takes around 30 minutes to 2 hours to incinerate the body as aforementioned, with crematorium furnaces combust at very high temperatures in about 1590-1797 degrees Fahrenheit  or  870 – 980 degrees Celsius, all of which requires a lot of needed energy and materials, as per Calgary Co-operative Memorial Society.

As explained in an article published in the National Geographic, cremation – as all setting things into fire go – needs a lot of fuel and it also ends up emitting millions of tons of carbon dioxide a year.

Cremations are less harmful than traditional burials, but there are still some environmental factors to consider.

The day when the dreary pandemic draws to a close seems so far away. For the past few months the coronavirus had claimed lives of about 204K worldwide, with Philippines contributing 501 of them.

The dire situation of the pandemic opened up to the environmental factors that comes with it. As unfortunate as it goes, the necessity to make some compromise renders it an inevitable need to do so.

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