"Humans need the ritual of saying goodbye"

In the beginning, the Charlet funeral home did not allow services inside and only held graveside funerals, which they tried to limit to 10 people. But getting mourning family members to follow the rules wasn’t easy.

“Without fail, people just, you know … they did what they wanted to do,” he said. “There was no way for us to keep people away from funerals.”

The funeral home now allows indoor services of 75 people or fewer. Charlet worries about catching the virus from a funeral attendee who may have been in close contact with the deceased before their death.

“It’s rare that we have a funeral service where we don’t know somebody in the family or have some connection to them. It’s a very social atmosphere,” he said. “These days, I let folks in the building and then I go back to my office and I close the door. And I try my hardest not to interact with people as much as I used to.”