Well, it looks as if we are on ANOTHER two week extension to our COVID lockdown. This week marks week #5. One of the unit managers tested positive for COVID-19 two days ago. It’s a bit frightening because the unit managers interact with us within the housing units daily. Rumor is that both of our nurse practitioners tested positive too, which if true would be bad as they see inmates every day in a small office like room. Don’t know yet, but will write about it when I do. I’m more and more convinced that it’ll be a miracle if COVID-19 doesn’t eventually rip through here.
So went week 3 of our COVID-19 lockdown. Current number of known inmate cases: 0. Somehow our desert island has remained an oasis in a sea of pandemic. Sure, there has been a sick staffer here and there, but so far (SO FAR) this hasn’t become the lit match. Every morning when the sun crests, a nurse is here taking everyone’s temperatures with a hand held laser thermometer. By now guys have fallen into this routine without complaint, and within 20 minutes everyone is back to doing whatever it was they were doing.
So ends week two of our COVID-19 lockdown here. A lot has happened in OH since my last post. Those of you who watch the national news already know about the worst case scenario playing out in one of Ohio’s prisons. This is the fear of every inmate across the country and every family member with a loved one doing time.
At my institution, all the tables were recently pulled from the community dayroom areas. Beds were then slid out of the dorms and into the dayrooms in an effort to create 6′ of distance between each bunk. All of us are thankful that this action was taken. It is making the best of a difficult situation. We have no inmate cases here, and all of us breathe a sigh of relief with each passing day.
Also this week, I posted the first essay by a female inmate: J. Fetty. She writes about a topic that weighs heavily on those that must gain release via parole board decision. Her arguments have validity and foundation.
Her essay is the first of several female inmate writers to come. Their stories and thoughts offer a glimpse into what it’s like to be a female prisoner. If you missed Monday’s post The Lives of Women Behind Bars and her essay “How Is 40 Years Not Enough?” you must read them. Women are a suffering minority in This World, but without their voice you cannot ever know the true impact of incarceration.
*Rarely do you ever hear the voices of incarcerated women. But here and now, that shall end. Please share The Lives of Women Behind Bars containing J. Fetty’s essay with others.
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.
Today returning guest writer James P. Keihl, II asks the question: Why aren’t inmates allowed to donate blood? Astonishingly this is true, yet there are millions of inmates nationwide that could be a valued source of life saving blood. If only 10% of those incarcerated donated a pint of blood once a month, it would equate to many tens of thousands of additional pints monthly, and hundreds of thousands of pints of life saving blood per year.