No access to doctor

This story was told by a person incarcerated at Mule Creek.

Caller: Well, on the 14th of December, I was called out of my regular housing unit, and I was told to, that I have, was tested positive for COVID-19 and to go pack my stuff. So, I was moved to another building, and I had questions, you know. And I asked to speak with a doctor, and I asked to be retested for COVID-19 because I haven’t had any symptoms and I feel fine and I think it’s a mistake.

And they said, “Oh, too bad. We don’t retest, and one test is enough.” So, they locked me in another building with a bunch of COVID-positive people, and five days later I started feeling symptoms of COVID. And being HIV-positive, I found myself needing answers: “What do I do to protect myself? Do I need, you know, medication?”

And so I put out a request for medical, and the medical was all denied, stating that it was not medically necessary that I’d be seen. So, they gave me some cough drops. I didn’t have a cough. But it kind of upset me to get cough drops because when I was a small child, my grandmother would take me to church.

And halfway through the sermon, as a little boy I would get restless, and my grandmother would give me bubblegum or a cough drop or something to keep me busy. And that’s what the state went and did. And it’s like, “Really?”

And so after 14 days of being confined with no medical access, I seen a doctor that was going to clear me of COVID-19 no matter what I said. And sure enough, I was cleared of COVID-19 and sent back to a building with COVID-negative people.

And I still have not seen a doctor. So, yeah, it has not been good. I didn’t get a printout or a pamphlet or anything of what to expect, what was gonna happen, what would happen if I got really bad sick, nothing. You know, It was nothing. So, that’s pretty much my experience with COVID in prison.

UCI: Wow, I’m sorry to hear that. And what is troubling you or concerning you at this moment?

Caller: Well, if – with my medical condition, is there – can I get it again?

The HIV, are my numbers – do I need to see my specialist for that? I have questions. I don’t have the symptoms. I still have body aches, but I don’t have – I’m not sneezing or coughing.

Nobody had a temperature. I never had a temperature. So, those are my concerns are, do I need medical attention?