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A stark reality: Sunday’s Boston Globe runs 16 pages of death notices

Three of the 16 pages of death notices in the Boston Sunday Globe.
Three of the 16 pages of death notices in the Boston Sunday Globe.The Boston Globe

With coronavirus cases surging in Massachusetts, the Boston Sunday Globe offered a stark reminder of the death toll that COVID-19 is taking on the state, with the paper running 16 pages worth of death notices in the print edition.

For comparison, on the same Sunday last year — April 21, 2019 — the Globe ran seven pages of death notices, according to an archive of the paper.

The death notices, which ran from pages A-13 to A-28, included the names of people from all over Massachusetts, as well as Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. Overseas deaths in Austria, Greece, Ireland, and Italy were also noted, as well as Canada.

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Although there was no immediate way to determine how many of the deceased were coronavirus victims, several of the death notices mentioned a battle with COVID-19.

The grim reminder of the death toll the coronavirus is taking comes as Massachusetts finds itself in a surge of cases amid the pandemic.

“We’re right in the middle of the surge now,” Governor Charlie Baker said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday morning. (On Thursday, Baker said at a press conference that officials expect to see a peak in coronavirus cases “sometime later this month.”)

The state on Sunday reported 146 new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the total fatalities in Massachusetts to 1,706. The state also reported 1,705 new cases, bringing the total to 38,077.

Some readers noticed the sharp increase in death notices amid the Globe’s pages on Sunday.

The number of death notices also climbed from the previous Sunday, in which the Globe ran 11 pages of such tributes, as one reader noted.

The April 5 Sunday Globe included nine pages of death notices. Many notices run during the week as well but far fewer than on Sunday. On Thursday, March 26, the Globe ran fewer than two pages of death notices.

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At the Globe, death notices are submitted through a funeral home or the friends or family of the deceased, while obituaries are written by Globe staff members. Anyone seeking to place a death notice can use the self-service application, or a copy can be e-mailed to deathnotices@globe.com, according to the Globe’s customer service website.

Travis Andersen and Andy Rosen of the Globe staff contributed to this report.


Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JaclynReiss