ATLANTA - Ty Crockett calls himself a "last responder" and has been on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic for weeks.
Crockett is a removal specialist with the Gregory B Levett and Sons Funeral Home. He transports the deceased from their homes, nursing homes or hospitals to funeral homes.
He has been in the business for 10 years but Crockett says he hasn't seen anything quite like this pandemic.
"This is actually real. People are passing in droves. It's crazy as far as how many people are coming in here and how many families we're having to work with," Crockett said.
He says the works has been nonstop for the funeral home, which has four locations across the state.
It's physically taxing, but it's emotionally taxing as well.
Crockett has seen firsthand just how powerful the virus is and the toll it takes on grieving loved ones.
"When you come here, you're already dealing with a hard time. And to throw this on top of it and the fact that you can't have more than 10 family members and you have to practice social distancing at services and things like that it's a little difficult, but we're there every step of the way, making sure it's as easy as possible," Crockett said.
Crockett says safety is their priority at the moment.
"We're trying to make sure we stay vigilant, wearing out protective practices and wearing our protective gear," He said.
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Crockett has a family of his own, so staying vigilant has extended into his home life as well.
"I have a makeshift, disinfectant shower in my garage to where I can take off my contaminated clothes and disinfect and put on clean clothes before I even walk in the house," Crocket said
He's working to keep his wife and 2-year-old daughter out of harm’s way.
The Crockett's are expecting a new son any day now, so they'll have to take even more precautions.
"Our main concern is as I go out daily and pick up deceased loved ones, make sure I don't bring anything home," Crockett said.
Best prevention measures:
• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
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