Alfredo Gosálvez: “The sector's response has been exceptional and courageous”.

Funermostra interview with Alfredo Gosálvez, PANASEF general secretary three months after the Covid-19 health crisis began. In her, Gosalvez reflects on the response of the funeral sector and the changes it will undergo as a result of this crisis.

How would you summarize in a few words the response that the sector has given to the health crisis of covid-19?

I would choose two words to define the sector response: exceptional and brave. Exceptional and unprecedented has been the situation, with as tragic as exponential increases in the numbers of deaths, and also the answer. As the last link in the health chain, we have had the difficult task of managing the crisis and it has been done very effectively given the circumstances we all know.

Some The media and the rest of the healthcare sectors have defined correctly the situation as "of war". And this leads us to the responsible response and brave of all professionals and companies that make up the funeral sector. They have all been in first line against the virus, fulfilling an essential service, inescapable and frequently invisible, and it is fair to value their work.

Do you think that the media have reported fairly on the sector? Do you think that society has done justice to all professionals?

The the media in general have been respectful of the funeral sector and with the work that its workers have done. There is always some way stays with the anecdote, who seeks only confrontation, but in general they have maintained an attitude of respect and understanding towards our work.

Not let's forget that this sector is part of the health chain. Applause from the balconies for the toilets also include the funeral parlors, although it is true that sometimes not even society itself realizes.

What three conclusions would you draw from the situation experienced during the Covid-19 crisis in the sector?

In first place, the importance of mourning. This is, maybe, the most learned lesson painful. The necessary social distancing brought about the closure of the public of funeral facilities where we traditionally said goodbye of our loved ones. We lost the places and the moments where we honor and remember, always accompanied. The most painful feature of this illness has been that, in addition to taking so many loved ones, has us deprived of the possibility of firing them as they deserve. Also of those who have died of no fault of the disease. This disease has recalled the importance of our sector and its role.

For another side, would highlight the importance of coordination with administrations public. In this crisis we have had to work side by side with actors municipal external, autonomic, national, the UME ... and I am one of those who think that these communication and coordination processes must be reviewed and improved. In occasions we have not always felt listened to or involved, when this is our field, our experience.

Por último, communication to society, better convey our essential role in it. This paper remains evidenced in a situation like that of this pandemic, but it's just as vital in a context of normality. Sometimes we seem like an invisible sector, very silent, but we are much more than a physical place or a burial service or incineration. We are the sector that manages the last stage of the life of the people and farewell to loved ones to family and friends. Accompany families during their grieving process, make it easy, is the raison d'être of our funeral services companies across the country and workers that integrate them.

What do you think will change in the sector after all you have experienced??

Face to the sector, we will have a time in the medium term of adaptation, with new measurements, security protocols, more rigorous hygiene and prevention, etc. The main is to ensure the return of relatives to funeral homes and funeral homes to guarantee your right to mourning. Let them know that all operators funeral homes are taking the necessary steps to get them to return tribute to loved ones with maximum security. In fact, we just approve a new UNE Specification available for the entire sector, with the final purpose to generate that security and trust. In the long term these measures will last some time, together with the healthy precaution of society, even when we already have a vaccine and the virus seems to go away.

For another side, we will have to work more on communication for society, and do better. Explain our role, that we are here to accompany the families and fire the deceased with them. That we will also be here when there are difficult situations, as we have been in these circumstances. Por otro lado, we hope that public administrations improve your coordination with us.

Do you think the memorials will return? How will they be?

The possibility of saying goodbye to our loved ones is key to proper grief management after death. It is a time of psychological transition, necessary to assume the farewell, and what happened accompanied by relatives, friends and close friends. We do not imagine a world without they. We are a social being, and this is even more evident with the need to be accompanied during the farewell of our loved ones.

Panasef: accompany, help, honor…