COVID-19 impacts major milestones

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – For many folks, weddings mark a major milestone, and a time to celebrate with friends and family.

But since COVID-19 started spreading in Siouxland, the way folks usually hold weddings will have to wait.

“This place is so quiet and sad right now. Every day something new comes up, so, as of now, we can’t do anything until that’s over,” Kathy Ellison with Country Celebrations said.

The pandemic has forced many Siouxlanders to postpone their big day, which has led to less business for folks in the bridal industry.

“We’ve certainly seen a couple of cancellations. That’s $1,000 a pop, basically,” Brad Peterson, owner of Big Dog Entertainment said.

Wedding photographer Shane Monahan says despite canceled events, he’s actually one of the lucky ones.

“It’s still the slow season for weddings, so I haven’t had to worry about too much yet. We’re obviously being sensitive to our clients’ needs and things like that, but our main goal is we’re going to work with them–whatever we got to do to make sure we’re going to work with them, and not have to cancel,” Monahan said.

Funerals also bring families together in large numbers, and although they offer a completely different setting, many funeral homes now face the same dilemma.

“We’ve not had an in-chapel service since everything started. What we’ve done before, and what we’re planning on doing again, is if you have an iPad, they can Skype the services going on,” Roger Waterbury, Funeral Director of Waterbury Funeral Services said.

Waterbury says while the affected families he’s worked with have been understanding, the necessary changes have caused them additional pain.

“The families–they have to kind of learn how to re-grieve not having the close support of their friends around,” Waterbury said.

The financial impact on the funeral home is the least of his concerns.

“What happens to the building here is not as important. It’s about taking care of the family and their needs,” Waterbury said.

Two important days–days of joy, remembrance, and most importantly coming together, have been changed for now.

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