The dead may be buried in New York parks, Mayor de Blasio suggests

New York took a heavy hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing more than 123,160 cases across New York. This ghastly number resulted in 4,159 deaths, according to John Hopkins University’s data. Even though the morgues still have holding ability, contingency plans are underway. A distressing suggestion for burying the dead in New York’s parks, made by Mayor de Blasio, had New Yorkers flinching.

Hart Island Image via New York Post

“We may well be dealing with temporary burials so we can deal with each family later,” said Mayor de Blasio in a press briefing at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. “Obviously the place we have used historically is Hart Island.” Hart Island, an archipelago located to the west of Long Island and East of Bronx, is a spit of land 1 mile long and 0.33 mile wide. Hart Island is home to many rehabilitation centers, a prison camp, a psychiatric institution, a correctional institution, and a tuberculosis sanatorium. More than 1 million were buried in this island, which constitutes many unmarked graves, and an umpteen number of people who were rejected from their families because of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s.

“Soon we’ll start ‘temporary internment.’ This likely will be done by using an NYC park for burials (yes, you read that right),” the Manhattan Democrat tweeted.

“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.” Later, it was confirmed that the contingency plans weren’t going to be put to action for now, according to the New York Post. It’s a preparatory scheme for when things get out of control. “We are NOT currently planning to use local parks as burial grounds,” tweeted mayoral rep Freddi Goldstein. “We are exploring using Hart Island for temporary burials if the need grows.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided the United States with 85 refrigerators, to serve as temporary morgues.

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