This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Soledad.
While I was in my cell, I wouldn’t talk to nobody for two to three days at a time. I struggled with my thoughts. I noticed that I felt lonely. I also noticed that I was having irrational thoughts, regarding my criminality. I realized what I was doing and contacted a friend of mine in my wing that was able to help me work through my problems.
I was able to go back to work within three weeks. In the first week of November, there was a massive outbreak. There were 80 cases the first week. By week two, it was well over 300 positive cases. Up until this time I felt comfortable with my health. Overnight, I started to panic. We went back to no movement.
I did not leave my cell unless it was for a shower. I did not accept a food tray. In the beginning of the outbreak, the same food trays were being used for the positive and negative population.
Prior to the outbreaks, I thought the preventable measures were good. But the staff became reckless. One layered mask became normal. Wearing the same gloves and touching everything became normal. At times, I felt like staff blamed us for this outbreak. While, I believe staff became reckless, we had nowhere to go, we couldn’t social distance.
I relied on the tools that I have been gathering for the last nine years. I started to workout more. I turned to reading. Most importantly, I began to pay attention to my thoughts and I began to write about them. I would vent on paper.
I write my family and vent. I created a journal so I can have an outlet. I have also relied on my bible. Daily studying has help ground me in peace.