Zoom turns into live funeral, memorial service platform

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San Francisco: While the controversial video meet app Zoom is busy serving the living – helping millions participate in video conferencing calls worldwide – the platform has also become a live funeral and memorial services for many to connect with families and friends during the mourning hours.

Several social media users have revealed how they participated in last rites and memorial services of their near and dear ones on Zoom in social distancing times amid lockdowns when all kind of gatherings are banned.

Joanne B. Freeman, a US historian and tenured Professor of History and Maerican Studies at Yale university tweeted: “My friend’s brother died from COVID-19. I’m putting this here because it’s easy to get lost in numbers, generalizations, dates, & (false) dismissals of this virus & its costs. This is close. And it’s real. We’re having a Zoom memorial tonite. What a sentence to have to write”.

The Kennedy family recently held a virtual memorial service for Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter and her 8-year-old son, who drowned in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, on the video meeting platform.

The virtual service was a concession to social distancing requirements amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports People magazine.

In this time of isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, three funeral homes — Skylawn Memorial Park in San Mateo and Chapel of the Chimes funeral homes in Hayward and Oakland — in San Francisco Bay Area are offering offering interactive, collaborative virtual funeral and memorial services.

The platform relies on Zoom and allows up to 500 guests to virtually attend funerals, burials, wakes and memorials.

According to reports, in the Zoom funeral, you can have many family members actually interacting within the service again.

Jennifer Schuessler, a culture reporter with the New York Times, tweeted: “So sorry! Went to Zoom memorial yesterday for an 89-yr-old friend who died at home, likely Covid. Strange thing to type indeed, esp since she was so old-school she didn’t have an Internet connxn, & spent the past 6 mos happily burning thru stockpiled Ellery Queen paperbacks”.

At McDermott-Crockett Mortuary in Santa Barbara, California, they have joined the ranks of private business and schools and are offering services through Zoom.

“We are utilizing Zoom technology to either video document the service or provide a platform where people can participate wherever they are,” Jennifer Parks, general manager, funeral arrangement counselor, was quoted as saying.

The mortuary utilized the technology at a recent service, which 57 people attended remotely.

One good thing about holding a memorial service on Zoom could be that hackers may leave you in the times of mourning.

Video meet app Zoom that has gained immense popularity among the enterprises, SMBs and schools in India and elsewhere to connect remotely, has also become a treasure trove for hackers who have zeroed in on the video conferencing app to find privacy and security bugs and make money.

(Agencies)