The phone rings all the time at funeral homes as COVID surges

When Robert Zakar arrived at the mortuary his family owns in El Cajon, it was not yet 8 a.m. Four bodies in caskets ready for morning burials were lined up in the chapel. Two more were being prepared for afternoon services.

It was going to be a busy day. They’re all busy days now.

COVID-19, which claimed almost 600 lives in San Diego County in December — a one-month surge of more than 50 percent in the local death toll — has altered the cadence of final farewells.

That’s meant a steady…

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