This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Chowchilla.
Isolating due to our modified program if not straight lockdowns, in our cells crowded with less than six feet between us sitting on our individual beds. We have to turn in the cellblock cleaner/sanitizer every night at seven and go without until 6:30 am the next day. We live in our cells, we breath, eat, shit, and sleep, brush our teeth.
Breathe in this cell, but we can’t keep a disinfectant in our cells overnight.
The bacterial soap ordered for the institution is given to staff in the gallons. Yet inmates get maybe eight fluid ounces to last for 30 plus days between five or more inmates in one room. Yet we must wash our hands constantly. Our body soap is not antimicrobial or bacterial soap, it is perfumed and beautifying.
The staff do not practice six feet social distance. They hug each other with masks off. One staff was overheard saying “If I caught COVID, I would rather bring it in here and give it to inmates than taking it back home to my kids.”
Scary, terrifying, isolating, lonely, powerless. I do not feel safe. I feel trapped and doomed to die. I have been trying to fight off depression along with several others.
Because we can only exercise in the shower, in our cells, or maybe half an hour outside every four days. Maybe. If the staff are training.
I don’t even get that. The staff treat us as the contagion, yet we could not have COVID if not for them. We are a deserted island, surrounded by electric fence and brick walls. It is scary, lonely, isolating, and depressing especially during COVID.
Inmate during pandemic.