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.
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.
There are 16 full pages of death notices in today's paper Globe. Last week, there were 12. Before that, I don't think I'd ever seen more than 4 or 5. Please continue to #stayhome if you can. #StayHomeSaveLives— Joyce Linehan (@ashmont) April 19, 2020
15 pages of death notices in today’s @BostonGlobe. I’ve never seen that before. pic.twitter.com/Gu4KNIQbDz— Delia (@DeliaCabe) April 19, 2020
I can't stress enough how abnormal this is. The Globe Deaths section is usually 2 facing pages. A portion of it is for the by-city/town list, and the rest of the pages are filled with regular notices.— 🗽Cindy McLennan (@cindymclennan) April 19, 2020
besides the feature stories. the Globe's death notices are also much longer than usual in terms of sharing more about each person, they are touching to read— Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) April 19, 2020
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 death notices of today's Sunday @BostonGlobe are 11 pages long. #COVID19 #Massachusetts pic.twitter.com/dxLobUKSwh— Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) April 12, 2020
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JaclynReiss