Mass Burials in New York
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April 10, 2020

As the Wuhan Coronavirus Pandemic continues to rage, the city of New York is amongst the places in the US hardest hit.

Media footage from the City's potter's field on Hart Island shows stacked coffins being buried in a mass grave by municipal labourers.

For context, it is worth noting that those being buried here are the usual fare of the potter's field: the unclaimed dead and others whose next of kin cannot fund their burial … not all are coronavirus victims and this is more of an uptick in activity than a full blown crisis: most dead people in NYC are still receiving normal funeral rites.

Also, this is not unique to New York - such burials are likely occurring in major cities globally, only the greater openness of the US has allowed this to become worldwide news.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Were the pandemic to get worse, or lethality to be higher than it is, this sort of burial might be a lot more common - particularly if demand was high enough that the standard funeral business collapsed or deaths were common enough that tracing a next of kin becomes unfeasible.
  • There are much darker rumours of mass cremations in China, but the nature of the Chinese regime makes any useable information much harder to track down…
  • Bear in mind that, this early in the pandemic, the burials would also have included pre-emphative clearing of the dead from public mortuaries who might otherwise have lingered awaiting identification or transfer to next of kin, making space for anticipated demand to come.
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