In April of this year, the captain of a cargo ship, 68-year-old Dan Sandu from Romania, passed away.
His crewmates had no other option except to shift his body to the walk-in freezer that was present in the ship, The Wall Street Journal reports. However, it was supposed to be on a temporary basis but the turn of events extended the body’s time there to six months. This was because they went to 13 countries and none of the countries accepted to take care of his dead body.
“All we wanted was to get our father home,” his son Andrei told the newspaper. “How can this happen in 2021?”
The main factor that impeded the body’s movement to the mainland was that he had passed away after being infected with COVID-19. Governments are still cautious and hesitant in taking in the bodies of the people from the ship in case the bodies are still carrying the virus.
According to the WSJ, there are still several bodies of sailors floating around the world in the ships for thousands of miles just because the governments are not accepting them due to the fear of the virus still present.
“The depressing thing about this is that deceased or dead people have no rights whatsoever,” Jason Chuah, a professor of maritime law at London’s City University, told the paper. “It is a huge problem and reflects so poorly on our common humanity.”
Finally, in the end, Sandu’s body was accepted by the government of a small Romanian village after six months where he can rest in peace forever. This shows how the pandemic has affected every aspect of life as we knew it.