SOLVANG, Calif. - It was challenging, but important and necessary work. Dan Flynn answered the call to be part of the mass fatality team put together by the federal government in New York.
The funeral director recently returned to Solvang after spending roughly three weeks working with the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, where the Coronavirus death toll reached 1,200 per day.
Flynn is the owner of Simply Remembered Cremation Care. He is also a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Flynn likens it to being in the National Guard, but for mortuary services. They are involved with burial preparation, identifying, tracking, and returning remains to families during times of crisis. The team is deployed when an event overwhelms a local jurisdiction.
Flynn also helped with autopsies at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
After coming back home following his time working in the coronavirus hotspot of the United States, Flynn became concerned others may not be taking it seriously enough. Seeing groups of people gather at a Santa Barbara beach while not staying at least six feet apart he says he wanted to stand up on a rock and yell, "What are you all thinking,?"
While local communities begin to allow more business to open up, the funeral director who saw the worst of what the virus has done in the U.S. warns, "This isn't over yet."