Officials with Metairie Cemetery, one of the most well-known “Cities of the Dead” in New Orleans, announced today the community will be closing “until further notice” and quarantining its residents in an abundance of caution over the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus.)
The gated community will close its fences and maintain strict social distancing to protect its residents.
“We are responsible for the perpetual care of our residents,” said Metairie Cemetery spokesman Jorge Romero. “We feel this is the best way to protect them until this epidemic is done and buried.”
One local is not buying into the announcement. Old Jefferson resident Harold Conrad, who has a number of ancestors buried in Metairie Cemetery, thinks this announcement highlights the recent amount of over-reaction going on about the virus.
“This is part of the mass hysteria the media is creating to scare everyone and try to derail the Trump train,” said Conrad. “I visit my Nanna there every week and she has not once mentioned anything that would give me a cause for concern. In fact, none of her neighbors have given any indication of anything either. I think the cemetery is just doing it because everyone else is.”
According to Romero, no cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the community but he feels it is the cemetery’s responsibility to take pro-active measures that will protect its residents.
“Our residents depend on us to keep things running in a stiff and orderly fashion. We will continue to provide the greatest care we always do, and that includes making decisions that protect the community as a whole. Not doing so would be a grave mistake of monumental proportions.”
While many are making responsible decisions like those of the cemetery, Conrad believes COVID-19 is being used as an excuse for many companies to gain publicity.
“I got an email from my software anti-virus provider about Coronavirus, which really just launched into this long message about how their employees are making sure they wash their keyboards so my computer is protected. What?”