The Good Creator must love deadheads because He certainly created an awful lot of them.

The latest example of mindless government health policy is not allowing Massachusetts funeral home workers to be added to Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

Common sense dictates that these souls provide a very essential public service, coming in direct contact with the deceased in hospitals and nursing homes, where COVID is threatening. Why shouldn't this group of high-priority staff be one of the first to be given the COVID vaccination? In terms of indispensable personnel, I say the funeral employees have a critical role to play in our communities, over, say, inmates in our prisons.

This shouldn't be a boxing match over who gets the shot first, but sound judgment should come out on top. Lawmakers, or whoever makes the rules here, should be duty-bound and bump up the only COVID-facing employees in the state not included in Phase 1. There's already a shortage of funeral home workers because a lot of people feel mortified and shy away from entering this required occupation. Currently, these jobholders won't get inoculated until sometime in March, and with the delays we've been having, that will probably be pushed back even further. This is both unreasonable and unacceptable.

The funeral home workers face life and death situations often because they are physically handling someone who passed away from COVID-19, and that means these people are exposed to the same killer plague that the decedent was. The Commonwealth must place these workers in the same category for vaccination as other healthcare personnel.

Safeguarding this exceptional profession is a necessary undertaking. Whoever decided to exclude funeral directors and staff from the Phase 1 rollout was dead wrong.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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