Funeral Directors W Sherry and Sons have never seen anything like this in their 170 year history.
They are dealing with a huge rise in funerals and while they can cope with the numbers it's harder to help mourners cope with their grief.
Usually at this time of year we'd be doing about 100 funerals a month. Today we're doing 20. This is uncharted territory for the funeral industry. It's something that's affected London before the rest of the country. We can't provide the service we'd like to families. Viewing bodies is not recommended now.
Shannon Searing's grandfather died from cancer not coronavirus but the crematorium still limited the guest list to ten and they had to keep their distance.
If you were in the same household you could stand together otherwise stand apart which is obviously difficult at a funeral when you want to be with your family. Not being able to give your nan a hug is difficult in this situation.
Some religious groups are banning all mourners from physically attending funerals but there is no legal cap on numbers.
People are allowed to leave home to attend a funeral if they shared a household with the person who has died. Or, that they are a close relative of the person who has died. We have asked for better definition as to what close family actually means because that is being left to funeral directors. Some people are finding that challenging. Some people do push back on the funeral director and say 'are you absolutely sure that's the case', and so on.
With hospital morgues at capacity pop up morgues around London are taking the strain.
They are filling up quite quickly. It's something people don't really appreciate. The figures the government releases are just for hospital deaths. They don't include people dying at home or nursing homes. The numbers are much bigger and I don't think the public have got to grips with what's really happening.
Neil Sherry expects months more misery and with limited access to protective clothing his team is having to keep a distance from the living so they can take care of the growing number of dead.