This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Donovan.
April 18, 2021
What’s cracalakin PrisonPandemic,
I gotta say, it was somewhat a pleasant surprise receiving mail. I’ve been trying to get someone to put my hook up on a list like the one you mentioned (CDCR list)? I’ve tried to get hooked up in the past—I’ve been down 12 and it gets hard sometimes.
OK your project, the hardest part of this whole pandemic thing was trying to get my 84 year old mother to get the vaccine. She just got it. In March, last month some volunteers finally went to her senior living building. You see she doesn’t have internet or any transportation—not to mention, no patience to stand around in line for hours.
At her age, I don’t blame her. But you might imagine a whole year of fearing that any day that virus might infect her. She’s all I got left so yeah, that was without a doubt frustrating to say the least. I would call her almost every day.
Luckily, our phone company only charged like 50 cents every 15 minutes so she would put $25.00 and I could call at every other day or at least once a week.
This prison was virus free for the first eight months and then all of a sudden everyone started getting sick. I believe when we had a food sale (pizza and cake) from Costco. Some people say that it was then? Some say it was staff that recklessly did not care.
I think the latter cause I seen this one particular CO would not cover his mouth, he would wear it around his throat. And, when you would mention it he would snap on you “I ain’t fucking sick.”
I believe it was in November that in my building four cells had a yellow quarantine paper, a day later 20 people on the yard, a day or two after it was 30 to 40 cells out of the 100 cells in the building. They came in and tested everyone and one after another yellow papers were being taped everywhere. I didn’t know what to do or think really.
Wash hands? Don’t touch your face? Six feet?
People dying left and right. We were on modified program. No yard, No dayroom, stuff least once a week. And I tell you all these poor souls that passed and I just could not see my mom in that position—dying with a respirator—practically a bubble on your head while your lungs are being eaten alive!
So I would plead with her and ask every time I called home. She would say “I’m too old to stand in line and besides I don’t know where.”
And I’d say around November I personally felt the wrath of that virus, my roommate was—to me it seemed like a bad hangover. I got up one morning to clean my room and as I was picking up everything off the floor I could not breathe correctly. And I walked to the pill line to get my daily meds. I walked slowly and labored.
I honestly thought that I might not survive it? Yeah, after five days I felt better. But all I could think was that my mom probably could not handle the virus.
I thought how come till February of 21 it took volunteers to come to the old folks home. The whole building, I’d say at least 100 occupants live there and every single one senior citizens. Man, I can’t even imagine if this virus would have made it into that building.
Just now March of 21 my mom and everyone in the building has had one J&J shot. Then I heard that the J&J were giving women blood clots? Anyway mom says she’s fine—but I still wonder when the booster dose might get there if at all?
Anyway, that is my short story of this crazy pandemic. I just couldn’t believe how Trump (Never Trumper) handled the crisis—although he isn’t experienced. But then again common sense is all you need—you know?
OK buddy hopes that helps in your project.
I’m 54 years old in good shape. Maybe you can load my name up on a pen pal list?