People are dying

his story was told by a person incarcerated at Chuckawalla.

UCI: Can you by chance remember how it was – how the response to the virus was being handled month-by-month since the beginning?

Caller: At first in the beginning we didn’t really have any, like, paperwork telling us what was happening, what to do, how to do it, anything like that. None of that happened. Then we finally got face masks. And then they finally started putting paperwork up about what the symptoms were, this and that.

UCI: What month was that?

Caller: I would say – let me see. I would say end of May/June, somewhere in there.

UCI: Okay.

Caller: But at that time, nobody’s really getting tested, the guards weren’t getting tested, the guards weren’t wearing masks. We each had, like, three little cloth masks.

Those are all we still have now is these cloth masks that they – they wouldn’t even let me in the hospital with the cloth mask when I went to go get my colonoscopy. They told me, those things don’t really work anything. I was, like, wow. Okay. And then they gave me an N95 mask. I was, like, all right. But, yeah, it’s been getting better – better little by little. But like I said, they’re still – still transferring people in here, still moving people around, and that causes a lot of, like, reinfection.

UCI: What else would you like people to know about your experience?

Caller: Just that, you know, no matter what, it’s serious. We’re going through it. People are getting sick. People are dying. And a lot of people, staff, inmates, both just aren’t taking it serious.

And it needs to be taken serious because like I said, people are dying in prisons all across California, and they just haven’t learned to do what they need to do yet and they’re not, like I say, following the rules, doing the things they need to do, moving people from prison to prison because just I don’t know how they test before. I don’t know if they test them before they come or they just give them a temperature check, whatever it is, but whatever it is, that’s not working.