This story was told by a person incarcerated at Pelican Bay.
UCI: Okay and just before we go forward, just letting you know to not mention your name or any other information that could identify you. Okay? Just for your own safety.
UCI: So how has the COVID situation been like at your facility?
Caller: It’s actually been rather smooth over here. We’ve only had, maybe, a few cases, actually. But, other than that, yeah, it’s been pretty smooth over here.
UCI: Okay. And how has the vaccination process gone?
Caller: The vaccination, it’s been actually good right here. We got vaccinated. And ever since we got vaccinated, once a week, we get tested. You know?
And then, anybody that does – that has contracted or tested negative, they have been moved off the yard, quarantined in a different part of the prison. You know?
Caller: So, as far as like vaccines and all that, everything – that went cool. You know? And anybody that they want to get vaccinated and they kind of like separated them from the vaccinated.
And anybody that tested positive, pretty much, they’ve had got it from, maybe, a correctional officer that they were around. And then, once they tested positive, then, they were moved away from everybody else, you know, into like a quarantine area for 14 days. And then, after they no longer test positive, then, they would return back to the housing.
UCI: And –
UCI: I’m sorry. What was that?
Caller: Oh, no. Oh nothing. Go ahead, go ahead. I was just going to tell you a little story. Go ahead.
UCI: Oh, no. Just tell me. Just tell me. It’s okay.
Caller: No. It’s just kind of the only problem that I’ve ever seen is like, maybe, like the phone situation. The phone situation, because all of us that are made to be was basically – we don’t have a job. Right?
So they oppress you. Like, you know, a lot of our families, you know, we’ve lost family members and stuff. And they started like not allowing us to call – like make a call like, maybe, once a week or once every two weeks. You know what I mean?
So that was – that’s the only part that kind of sucked during this epidemic, you know, being able to reach out to our families and stuff, you know? And, you know, not knowing that people have passed away and stuff and, you know, not being able to get to the phone. You know?
Caller: That’s the only issue I had with this – since the epidemic has started. And it’s been pretty much lockdown. You know? But, other than that, everything’s pretty much been the same. You know?
UCI: Wow. I’m really sorry to hear that.
UCI: And how have you been coping with these types of changes caused by the crisis?
Caller: Well, actually, right here, it’s kind of not too much of a difference. We’re pretty much, they were pretty much – we’re pretty much locked down most of the time. We do get yard like two hours a day, you know, when we’re functioning normally.
But it’s – other than that, it’s pretty much the same. They recently started giving us concrete yard for like, maybe, approximately an hour, like every other day or every three days. But, other than that, we just – we’ve basically been just locked down.
Locked down, and canteen has been brought to us and we’ve just been confined to our quarters. You know?
Caller: So, you know, it’s been a lot of cell time. You know? Pretty much, in the cell most of the time.
UCI: Mhmm. And is there anything else about your experience you would like other people to know?
Caller: What was that? Excuse me?
UCI: Is there anything else about anything you’ve experienced that you would want other people to know?
Caller: No. No. That’s kind of [unintelligible] No. Not that I can think of off the top of my head right now.
UCI: All right. Well, thank you very much for participating in PrisonPandemic. I appreciate your call and that you took the time to share what you did today. Please consider telling your friends about us and seeing if they would like to call in as well. Okay?
Caller: Okay. I will.
UCI: Okay. Well, have a great rest of your day. Bye-bye.
Caller: All right. Thank you.