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Death, Funerals and Mourning on the Croatian Islands During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ana Perinić Lewis orcid id ; Institute for Anthropological Research, Ljudevita Gaja 32, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Petra Rajić Šikanjić orcid id ; 1Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia
Maja Miloš orcid id ; Andrija Štampar Teaching Institute of Public Health, Zagreb, Croatia
Branko Kolarić ; Andrija Štampar Teaching Institute of Public Health, Zagreb, Croatia

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 294 Kb

str. 229-235

preuzimanja: 205



On islands and in island communities, especially smaller and more isolated ones, epidemics were often of greater intensity and left more significant consequences than on the mainland. The unique characteristics of an island (size, remoteness, isolation, small population size, and several manageable access points) affect the transmission of mainland epidemics and their frequency. The current global COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to investigate how the infection and epidemiological measures affected the life and death of island communities. The pandemic has brought mass death into our daily lives and altered the way people grieve, commemorate and remember their deceased. This paper presents the experiences and feelings of people during the COVID-19 pandemic on Croatian islands, with a focus on death, funerals, mourning, and the loss of family members. Due to the impossibility of carrying out the usual practices related to the funeral because of COVID-19 restrictions, the process of mourning and dealing with the loss of loved ones was difficult. Island communities accepted the new rules and adapted to the new circumstances but indicated that island-specific and more flexible crisis management should be applied during this health crisis. Some epidemiological measures, such as social distancing, internal island travel restrictions, and reduced gatherings, were highlighted by islanders as challenging and sometimes unnecessarily strict for some islands and their specific situations. For family members of those who died from COVID-19, additional factors and challenges have complicated their loss. Digital and social media were used to connect people and helped in coping with mourning in solitude and isolation. In this global pandemic, island communities responded to the impact of pandemic crises and adapted to new circumstances of the “new normal”.

Ključne riječi

COVID-19 pandemic, epidemiological measures, island-specific crisis management, Croatian islands, funerals, mourning, medical anthropology

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