I just manned up

This story was told by a person incarcerated at Chuckawalla.

UCI: They took away your visitation?

Caller: Yeah, took everything. I was expecting a family visit, as a matter of fact, with my two daughters and my wife, and we weren’t allowed to get it because of the pandemic.

UCI: That’s – and how has your family been coping with that? Are you still allowed – I mean, are you still allowed phone calls on a regular basis? Kind of –

Caller: Oh, yeah.

UCI: – describe that.

Caller: I – I call them every day, but, I mean, they have their meltdowns. They’re coping with it best they can. Knock on wood, none of my family members have gotten sick from it. My wife and my mother-in-law, my – my nieces, my nephews, the grandkids, they’re all taking precautions now to get it and I’ve been really blessed. None of them have got it. Just me. But they – they have had their meltdowns because they haven’t seen me. So it – it’s stressful for the kids, too. Like my grandkids, I haven’t been able to enjoy them or bond with them or see them. And my – my kids have not missed a weekend since I’ve been incarcerated. This is the longest period they’ve been without seeing me. Even my wife. So it’s taken a big toll.

UCI: Yeah. And you said in the beginning that you don’t tell your family what’s going on inside the facility; right?

Caller: Well, when I got sick I didn’t want to worry my wife. And she noticed it, like, what was wrong, and I didn’t tell her. I told her I felt tired and I was taking, like, two or three naps a day and finally I – I lost my tastebuds and she goes, are you sure you’re all right? I said, yeah. Once I got my tastebuds back and we tested, she’s, like, you’re going to end up testing. I go, I know, I’m going to be negative. She said what? And that’s when she panicked. So I had to tell her and my mom –

UCI: Hmm.

Caller: – going on. I just didn’t want them worrying because people are dying and I – I didn’t need them having an added stress to worry about me being sick or where it was going to go.

UCI: Absolutely.

Caller: Of course, like everybody else I just manned up and didn’t go, but it was

UCI: Yeah.

Caller: – horrible experience. Like, it was bad.