COVID-19 takes toll on Portugal's undertakers

This is Carlos Carneiro’s job – he’s been in the undertaking business for two decades but never has he found it so hard.

Portugal is struggling with a brutal second wave of COVID-19 and hospitals and funeral homes are overwhelmed.

"I have never felt so emotional, with so many consecutive funerals. Now we have to lower our faces, we have to try as much as possible so people don't realise, we try to be as professional as possible, the little details, placing the flowers, having a moment of silence when we arrive so people can think about that person, about the experiences they have shared with them. It's hard on us... we feel it when we get home. I'm even getting emotional now."

Portugal fared better than other countries in Europe in the first wave, but this year has gotten off to a tough start .

Carneiro is busier than ever.

More than 14,700 people have died of the virus in Portugal.

Like other funeral homes they’ve had to put new measures in place to reduce the risk of contagion.

Workers must wear protective gear from head to toe.

Bodies are placed inside white plastic bags and then in a coffin, without embalming or makeup.

Families are rarely able to see the deceased before they are buried or cremated.

Carneiro says he always seeks to honor the lives of the dead, but not being able to give families the full closure they seek is taking a toll on his well-being.

"These are not numbers. People are sitting on their sofas and are worried about the numbers. People only see the numbers, we see real people, families ... we deal with this drama. When it comes to numbers, everyone has their own opinion. But when we actually go through this... we are living difficult days in this sector."