This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Pleasant Valley.
Around January, 2020, the news had finally reached the institution concerning the COVID-19 virus. Many people didn’t take it seriously but after people started realizing it was real, people started being more cautious.
I realized the severity of the pandemic right away because I had valley fever. In 2014 I coughed up blood because of it and I was hospitalized for three weeks and a half. And for this reason I was well aware of the danger.
The protocols in place were so bad that we went from no cases, to nearly two-thirds of the population being infected. The people in charge decided to isolate anyone who came in contact with someone who’d been positive for COVID. And it sounded good but they failed to follow through with their own policies. For instance, contact tracing was flawed because if someone had contact with a staff that tested positive, they would move the individual to a so called, “COVID block” but leave his celly.
Then some people ended up not having the virus and were forced to move in with someone that did, and they ended up getting it. It was a complete failure all the way around.
Another example is, someone had tested positive in the morning but they still let him out and ran yard, dayroom, business as usual and then the next day, they locked us down because that person was positive. It made no sense at all. Before you knew it, they started moving people around to and from the COVID blocks and that’s when it got out of control. It became clear to me and everyone, that they wanted to achieve herd immunity.
We couldn’t believe what was going on.
Finally, the majority of the people were infected. There were about 30 to 40 people in my block that didn’t get sick. But for the most part it was everywhere.
Luckily for me and my celly, we didn’t get it. I took extra precautions and quarantined myself. And I did that because I knew the prison had no clue how to deal with the pandemic.
If they would’ve listened to us when we expressed concern about moving people around, it wouldn’t have been out of control. If you were to investigate this prison and pay attention to all the moves that they did, it’ll show you that it was at that precise moment the virus spread.