A lot has happened this week. On Monday, all of us were issued homemade facemasks per directive from the director requiring facemasks to be worn at all times. A week ago supplies were purchased, and thousands of masks were made here by us inmates. By coincidence, at my facility the first COVID-19 case amongst staff was confirmed on Wednesday. The staffer in question was one of the outside contractors.
It was my third summer of incarceration, and I’d spent it outside working out and running the Hamster Wheel as much as possible. I was a short distance sprinter in high school, and I was accustomed to outrunning most everyone. However, if you could make it 400 yards without me catching you, you had a good chance of getting away. That summer I’d told myself I was going to change that, and I set my sights running the mile. I remember watching a woman on television from Kenya shred everyone in the mile. She established a steady quick pace, and then sprinted the last 1/3 of the mile. Wow. That’s 1760 feet of balls to the wall fury. Absolutely inspirational. I told myself if she could do that in just under 4 minutes, then I sure as hell could run a 5:00 mile. It was something I’d never done in my life, and something most people can’t do. I was determined to prove to myself I could do it.
In a strange way this week I discovered what it must be like to live in that one walled in commune in a post-apocalyptic world that you see in the movies. While the world out there is succumbing evermore to coronavirus, strangely the 1,200 person community I live in behind these razor wire fences is like an oasis. The only thing missing are zombies wandering outside the perimeter.