Funeral homes in Norway sound the alarm as they struggle to store all the dead people as a result of Norway’s skyrocketing excess mortality rate.
The number of people needing funeral services in Trondheim City, Central Norway, has risen dramatically, according to the local newspaper Dagbladet Trondheim.
Lars Svanholm, the fourth-generation general manager of Trondheim’s largest funeral home, Svanholm & Vigdal Gravferd, has said that the funeral home’s century-long history has never seen anything like the current number of deaths.
“It is a marked increase, and we have not experienced anything like it in four generations,” Lars Svanholm told Dagbladet.
Svanholm believes that the funeral home has seen a 30 percent increase in deaths this year compared to last year.
“We have not had such an increase since the company started in 1922,” said Svanholm to local tv.
In order to deal with the increasing number of dead, they have opened a cool emergency room in a garage.
Capacity constraints forced families to wait more than two weeks to bury their loved ones.
Norwegian doctors are now sounding the alarm about a mysterious increase in patients and deaths.
Countries all over Europe are seeing sky-high excess deaths. And they say it’s not related to covid.
WHAT IS GOING ON?🤔
— PeterSweden (@PeterSweden7) November 2, 2022
“Garages like this are used as stretcher rooms when demand is high. Then the cars are driven out, and cooling systems are installed,” said TV2.
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The constantly high demand has had unusual consequences for Svanholm and the agency’s 26 employees.
“For us, it has created enormous challenges with everything from refrigerator capacity to access to ceremony rooms, so there has been some waiting time for survivors,” says Svanholm.
At times there has been such a high demand that they have had to use garages and other backup solutions such as cold rooms. This has previously only been common in acute crises.
“We have a crisis preparedness if there are large numbers of deaths in a short time. In plane crashes and other major accidents, it is used, but now we have had to use it also with ordinary deaths,” says Svanholm.
“I don’t think the peak has been reached.”
According to Svanholm, survivors risk waiting 15-20 days between death and burial, because churches and other ceremony rooms are busy.
“The grieving process can be characterized by the bereaved having to wait longer than normal. Some people are disappointed when they may have to wait an extra week to have a funeral, but they understand the problem,” says Svanholm.
Although there are busy days, he does not think the peak has been reached.
“We are a little nervous about the upcoming flu season, and hope people understand that they may have to wait a little. When they are in the middle of a death, this is not the kind of message they want to receive.”