This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Valley State.
My life inside of VSP has been a little different since the COVID-19 pandemic! I remember before the COVID-19 pandemic, I attended about 20 self-help groups a week. I’m presently down to five groups per week due to the downsizing of classroom capacity and shortage of staff.
I remember in 2020 when our prison first went on lockdown. It was finally a rumor that we would remain on lockdown until the first of the year when a vaccine became available. Our prison had no positive cases for a while. Every yard in our prison started having positive cases all of a sudden; my yard has very few!
I remember my building went on quarantine twice, for two weeks each time. We had to be cell-fed. The building right next to mine became the quarantine building for the whole prison. I remember one of my ex-cell mates moved to the building next to mine, he tested positive for COVID-19 after he moved out of my cell and the building.
I talked to him one day and he told me that he overcame COVID-19 with no medication or anything, he said that it just went away. After hearing my ex-cell mate say that, I remember I felt a little better!
I suffer from service-connected military PTSD. Before COVID-19, I had a total of almost 20 self-help groups a week, now I’ve about five self-help groups. I really miss the almost 20 groups per week but at least I have some groups.
I had my first vaccine shot on February 13, 2021 and my second shot on March 10, 2021. I am very thankful for that!
We had an additional dose to 90 days taken off our sentence due to COVID-19 last year. We receive free phone calls and we are supposed to be receiving free tablets, on top of the stimulus checks. I mean it helps me out a little, I have about two years left one my nine year sentence!
Visitation is supposed to be opening back up on the weekends. I haven’t received one visit my entire incarceration so it really didn’t affect me one way or the other. Lol! I’m not married, no children, so I don’t put the strain on my family for visits.
I feel a lot better since I had my two vaccine shots, I will feel much better when my family receives vaccine shots!
I think we haven’t had any inmate deaths due to COVID-19! I’m sorry to say I think we’ve had two CO deaths due to COVID-19! We have four sections to our building: A, B, C, D, hello! We each have a chance to come out most days for two hours of day-room each.
Most days our building has a chance to go out for two hours of yard time!
I clean my cell really good, I try to work-out inside my cell everyday! I stay inside my cell mostly but sometimes I might go outside to yard with my headphones and walk a few laps or just sit and listen to music for about an hour!
We get new masks every Monday. We get COVID-19 tests every weekend. I haven’t had to test the last two weekends so I guess that’s good news! I’m thinking it’s because I’ve had both vaccine shots.
Well, that’s all I can think about the COVID-19 part of my incarceration! Thanks for the letter. It’s really nice to receive a letter from someone other than family during this time.
Feel free to write again, I promise to I will write you back! Take care! God bless!