Andre Dawson’s second career has been greatly affected by coronavirus

Baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson has been doing his part in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic through the operation of his funeral home in Florida.

After his retirement from Major League Baseball in 1996, Dawson purchased a funeral home 12 years later in Richmond Heights, Florida and named it “Paradise Memorial Funeral Home.” It’s now been over a decade since entering the business, but he’s never experienced anything like what COVID-19 has brought.

“We have to do everything different now since COVID-19,” Dawson, 65, told USA Today. “You have to change the way you remove the deceased. You have to magnify your precaution because you can never be too safe.

“We have procedures you have to adhere to. Putting [hazmat] suits on. Constantly sanitizing vehicles. Sanitizing the facility itself. People are dying at home, and they have not been tested.”

Dawson, an eight-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner, said business was slow at the beginning of March before a flood of deaths came in. Four of the deceased were known to be coronavirus victims.

“This has been a game-changer,” Dawson said. “You can’t have a proper burial like you would under normal circumstances. You can’t have the ideal send-off. You can’t have people coming in here and making arrangements. You’re just trying to expedite the process as quickly as possible. You see the sadness of people not even being able to see them in the hospital when they’re sick.

“I can’t even imagine what these people are going through. It’s just awful.”

Dawson played for the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals), Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and the Florida Marlins (now Miami). He won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1977 before getting named the NL MVP in 1987 with the Cubs. A four-time Silver Slugger recipient, Dawson was the NL home run leader and RBI leader in 1987 as well.

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Andre Dawson’s second career has been greatly affected by coronavirus

Baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson has been doing his part in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic through the operation of his funeral home in Florida.

After his retirement from Major League Baseball in 1996, Dawson purchased a funeral home 12 years later in Richmond Heights, Florida and named it “Paradise Memorial Funeral Home.” It’s now been over a decade since entering the business, but he’s never experienced anything like what COVID-19 has brought.

“We have to do everything different now since COVID-19,” Dawson, 65, told USA Today. “You have to change the way you remove the deceased. You have to magnify your precaution because you can never be too safe.

“We have procedures you have to adhere to. Putting [hazmat] suits on. Constantly sanitizing vehicles. Sanitizing the facility itself. People are dying at home, and they have not been tested.”

Dawson, an eight-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner, said business was slow at the beginning of March before a flood of deaths came in. Four of the deceased were known to be coronavirus victims.

“This has been a game-changer,” Dawson said. “You can’t have a proper burial like you would under normal circumstances. You can’t have the ideal send-off. You can’t have people coming in here and making arrangements. You’re just trying to expedite the process as quickly as possible. You see the sadness of people not even being able to see them in the hospital when they’re sick.

“I can’t even imagine what these people are going through. It’s just awful.”

Dawson played for the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals), Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and the Florida Marlins (now Miami). He won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1977 before getting named the NL MVP in 1987 with the Cubs. A four-time Silver Slugger recipient, Dawson was the NL home run leader and RBI leader in 1987 as well.

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