Raj spoke of the world’s growing death rates spiking due to the COVID-19 crisis and is now causing many nations in the world to become overwhelmed. The conflicting cultural, religious, and environmental ideologies for burial practices are something that is now one of the main consequences of the disease to our societies besides the very deaths themselves.
But I believe this crisis is creating a situation that many countries would face eventually in the future: Shrinking space. With the rise of overpopulation and our reproductive acceleration showing no signs of slowing down, we are beginning to face a shortage of land that’s never been witnessed before. With borders and land established, besides at most areas near the poles, there are no longer any “empty” places in the world we could simply set aside for our dead. With the growing population, the only thing certain is the future is an exponential growth in the number of corpses along with it.
COVID-19 has been able to recreate this inevitable future in a small time frame of our lives. While we may not face this threat in our lifetime, our children or grandchildren may have to experience the overbearing weight, both physical and psychological, of death in the world and may not have solution to deal with it. While culture and religion have been dictating a huge portion of our burial techniques, this crisis has been able to show how we will eventually need to compromise our burial practices in order to preserve and protect our Earth. Hopefully, this crisis will further push Phan’s proposal for new burial techniques and can now take its proper seat in the world’s conversation about conservation.