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Sep 16, 2021

Live Streaming: A New Feature of Funeral Services

In tonight’s episode of our weekly COVID Chronicles, we look at the rise in live streaming and other services provided by various funeral homes across the country.  We also look at how one of those companies is dealing with the tragic loss of a loved one who made a reputable name for herself in the business.  The pandemic has pushed Paulino’s and Coye’s funeral homes to step up their game, especially since memorial services are limited to only ten mourners.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

COVID-19 has prompted businesses across the country to innovate.  With the advent of the pandemic in 2020, there was a marked increase in the number of online platforms that offer a range of services, including live streaming.  Arguably the first to introduce real-time video and audio coverage of a memorial service locally, over the internet, was Paulino’s Funeral Home.  The company has become synonymous with live streaming, as well as the full-on pageantry that comes along with burying the dead.

They’ve dealt with numerous COVID-related funerals since the arrival of this highly infectious disease, but the past two weeks have been exceptionally challenging for everyone involved with the parlor.  Having to bury one of their own, who passed away while expecting, is heartrending.  To know that she died of the dreaded virus is all the more difficult.


Amanda Baptist

Amanda Baptist, Sister of Deceased

“My emotions deh all ova di place but, you know, I have to be strong fi my ma and my pa because ah lost Nicole, lost my next bredda.  Only two ah we left, so somebody haftu be the next bigga person.”


Nicole Baptist had an important role to play in the funeral business.  As the face of Paulino’s, she interacted with grieving families, helping them choose from a variety of options. But Nicole’s death meant her family had to use the same services they usually provided to others. In a tragic twist, her sendoff became the ultimate advertisement for the company.

Across town, the competition has been around much longer, but it has also been forced to put its best foot forward during these unprecedented times.  Over at Coye’s Funeral Home, a crematorium sits next door to a small chapel.  It is ideal for a gathering of no more than ten mourners.


David Coye

David Coye, Coye’s Funeral Home

“We have an indoor cremation machine and everything is digitized and computerized and right beside the cremation machine we have a chapel and what we have done is that since ten persons, ten family members are allowed, once a person hasn’t died of COVID, we would have a small viewing of the deceased with the family members where it would still be something similar to a normal funeral process.”


In Nicole’s case, she was interred at Eternal Gardens.  Her father, like many of her loved ones, is still having a hard time coming to terms with what has happened.


Father of Deceased

“This is my daughter, Nicole Baptist, she is the second… She is the second child for me for my wife, also she went to Grace Primary School and from there to Wesley College and from there she went to sixth form and then to San Pedro to do, by the medical school out deh noh.”


Live streaming has become the primary medium through which friends and family can virtually attend a memorial service during the pandemic.  Because of strict regulations, the number of attendants has been limited considerably.


Nicole Baptist

David Coye

“In some ways, that is the only way people who wish to show their respect to the family can do that.  We try to put obituaries on our Facebook page and have the family members share that with friends and families because most of the time because of the changes, there would be a situation where someone had passed and that person wouldn’t have known because everything is happening so fast.”


Milton Paulino is the owner of Paulino’s Funeral Home.  The deaths of his fiancé and unborn child are a test of his strength as a man.  Yet he has been able to maintain his composure, despite the insurmountable odds stacked against him.


Milton Paulino

Milton Paulino, Fiance of Deceased

“I am not here to complain or to be sad, but instead I am here to give thanks and praise to the forces that govern life that made me cross paths with such a powerful force like that of Nicole’s.  I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity of experiencing true love and for that I will forever be grateful.  The love that we share will be the perpetual fuel that will drive me through the passage of time.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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