Los Angeles Confronts Heartbreaking Toll of COVID Pandemic, Holds Solemn Burial for Unclaimed Bodies


On Thursday, the bodies of almost 2,000 people who died during the first year of the COVID outbreak but whose bodies were never claimed were buried in Los Angeles.

The ashes were buried in a communal grave during a rite that was watched by religious and political leaders as well as several dozen regular people.

“It is sad that 1,937 residents died in 2020 without a next of kin coming forward to claim their bodies.” “Those lives are the ones we honor today,” said Hilda Solis, supervisor for LA County.

“We are aware of the terrible effects COVID-19 had on our weakest communities.”

“In the county, the life of every resident… is very important to us, regardless of who [they] were, where they came from, where they lived, who they loved, and how they passed.”

According to Johns Hopkins University, Los Angeles was one of the worst places in the US for the pandemic. There were about 3.7 million cases there in the three years leading up to March 2023.

The university’s statistics show that during that time, more than 35,000 people died in the county.

The US Office of Decedent Affairs was in charge of Thursday’s ceremony. The office says it “manages cremation and burial for indigent/unclaimed individuals who die within the County of Los Angeles jurisdiction.”

“These people may not have a place to live or a family member to call. “Family members can claim cremated remains three years after the year of death and before the burial,” it said.

At the service for the 2019 deaths, which happened before the pandemic, the bodies of more than 1,600 people were buried.

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