Fear of interaction

This story was told by a person incarcerated at Donovan.

Caller: Much like the country, it was split between how many people really took it seriously and how many people were on the verge of overreacting. There were people who were like, well, it won’t get in here, so we don’t have anything to worry about.

But, then, once people started realizing that staff coming in – they still go out and participate in life. So them coming in, there was a fear of interaction. A lot of people were annoyed with having to wear the masks and the program changing.

There was a lady named [unintelligible] who supplied the institution with many, many masks. I think it was 5,500.

So she has been a godsend. I don’t know how many people have been protected because she reacted and her people reacted so quickly.

I wouldn’t even say, “reacted.” They responded so quickly. It was – it could have helped more than we know. But there was a fear that kind of nobody really wanted to talk about. Like what happens if it does spread in here? What happens if it does get in here? If we choose not to talk about it, maybe, it won’t happen. I think there was a large percentage of the population who may not have communicated that.

But that was a feeling – a general feeling. Slowly, the programs started getting shut down. And I mean it was like, within a week, we’re gonna social distance and wear masks to we’re gonna break up yards to we’re going to – they thought one building had an outbreak. And it was quarantined for two weeks, I think.

Give or take. And work stations are broken up by buildings now. So, if you have people from all three buildings working at one place, then, one day, one building would come in. The next day, another building would come in. And it would just be on this rotating basis.

So there’s not communication in between the buildings. And, even in the dayrooms, it’s limited.

UCI: And that’s …

Caller: Does that answer your question?

UCI: Yes, that did. And that’s still what it’s like now – is that you guys are on this higher level of just everyone’s divided up and being kept separate. Correct?

Caller: Yeah. For the most part, yes.

In very limited instances, people see each other like – oddly enough, the clinic is somewhere where all the buildings come together.