This letter was written by a person incarcerated at San Quentin.
I have a bit of sad news. My father died from COVID pneumonia on Friday, January 15, 2021. He was 83 years of age.
He and mom lived alone and they had taken every possible precaution to avoid COVID-19 (masks, face shields, gloves, hand-washing, hand sanitizer, social distancing, etc.) and stayed COVID-free all year long until Christmas.
A brief gathering on Christmas exposed him and mom to COVID-19. Within days, they had a fever, cough, and body aches. On Thursday, December 31, 2020 (New Year’s Eve) they dialed 911 and were taken to the hospital.
Many feared my mother, 74, would perish because of her severe health problems and her compromised immune system. But after a week of treatment, she started to feel better and was discharged. It would not go as well for dad.
The virus had alone completely destroyed his lungs. He died afraid, in severe pain, and worst of all, alone. His last words were please to see my mom, his wife and companion of over 54 years.
His death has caused me intense emotional pain. This is the absolute worst pain in my life. I cried for days and didn’t know what to do. Fortunately, I had access to mental health staff and the custody officers in North Block, along with sergeant and captain, have been very understanding and supportive.
I still have a duty, as president, to oversee multiple special elections in all of the housing units this month, but staff has encouraged me to take all the time I need to grieve.