Officials with Metairie Cemetery, one of the most well-known “Cities of the Dead” in New Orleans, announced today the community will be closed “until further notice” and quarantining its residents in an abundance of caution over the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
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 pandemic is done and buried.”
One local is not buying into the announcement. Old Metairie resident Harold Conrad, who has a number of relatives calling Metairie Cemetery home, thinks this announcement highlights the recent amount of over-reaction going on about the virus in an ever-continuing pandemic.
“This is part of the mass hysteria the media is creating to scare and control us,” said Conrad who says he nor any of his family in Metairie Cemetery are vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I visit my Nanna and Pawpaw there every week and they have not once mentioned anything that would give me 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. It’s the popular thing for sheep to do.”
According to Romero, no cases of the Omicron variant have been reported in the community but he feels it is the cemetery’s responsibility to take proactive 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 that launched into this long message about how their employees are making sure they wash their keyboards so my computer is protected. What? A bunch of sheep is what.”