'Housewives' alum sees COVID-19 impact firsthand at mortuary business: 'It's not a joke'

Phaedra Parks, a former "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star, is a licensed funeral director and a mortician.
/ Source: TODAY

Phaedra Parks has a perspective on the coronavirus pandemic that few others have.

The former "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star is a licensed funeral director and a mortician whose business, sadly, has been busier than ever because of deaths from COVID-19. "We are booming. Unfortunately. We have been jam-packed since the pandemic started," Parks revealed in Wednesday's episode of "We Hear," a Page Six podcast.

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Former "Real Housewives of Atlanta' star Phaedra Parks got candid about how her mortuary business has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, telling an interviewer, "We are booming. Unfortunately."Paras Griffin / Getty Images

After seeing the deadly effects of COVID-19 firsthand, Parks has been warning others to take the disease seriously.

"I tell people when they say, ‘Oh, you know, it’s a joke, it’s not that big of a deal,’ well, let me put it to you in real terms: I’m getting 17 calls a day for pickups and that’s at one location. Last week, all of the people were under 59 ... those numbers are so low, it makes it extremely frightening."

Since COVID-19 can spread in close proximity, Parks recalled the disease's impact on families. "The pandemic really wreaks havoc on families. So we've buried 3-4 people in one immediate family which is really sad. It definitely takes a toll on you emotionally."

She added, "This pandemic is really serious and people should really realize that, because it’s not a joke."

The mom of two — Parks shares two children, sons Ayden, 10, and Dylan, 7, with her ex Apollo Nida — has had her love life affected by the coronavirus, too. She and her boyfriend, Los-Angeles-based actor Medina Islam, have been forced to remain in a long-distance relationship because of the virus's outbreak.

The couple joined the current season of the WE TV reality series "Marriage Boot Camp" after dating for only six months — and without having had intimate relations.

"I wanted to make sure that the passion didn’t cloud my judgment," Parks explained. "Because when you entangle, sometimes the entangling can be so good you can’t really (think) outside the entanglement."