This letter was written by a person incarcerated at SATF (California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison).
Personally speaking, I am doing fine so far. It could be because of my practical personality, or my strong self-efficacy, or my stoic constitution, but in any case, I am able to deal with the stresses and tribulations of this crisis without much difficulty. I am not saying that I am better than anybody else. What I’m saying is that my life experiences gave me the abilities to deal with the problems produced by the COVID-19 crisis.
In short, I’m wired differently and, therefore, manage the pandemic differently. That said, I mostly deal with things that I can control, and approach things with an opened mind and a positive attitude. For example, the loss of visitation from family and friends is something I cannot control. I also understand that it is for the health and safety of everyone in and out of prison.
The things that I can control are I can call and write home to stay connected with family. Another example is my safety. I watch the news and all the numbers that they reported show less than one percent of the infected people died, and a little more than that have complications. I am healthy and don’t have any underlying problems.
Thus, I feel confident that, even if I did contract the virus, I would most likely recover in no time. So I do what I can control, which are wearing a mask, washing hands, and keeping social distance. To this day, I’ve yet to test positive for coronavirus, so thankfully, haven’t the chance to test my theory.
As far as coping with the pandemic, I stay busy. Yes, I do have time (no pun intended), more than what I know what to do with it. Yet I’ve found myself doing many things to keep me busy. The bulk of the works were the four classes that I took at Bakersfield College last fall. As a matter of fact, college classes have been keeping me busy for the last two years. I was on the verge of graduating with multiple associate degrees this spring, but due to the pandemic, it is now postponed until next spring, or even further.
I can’t control when I can graduate, but I can do my class works and mail them in to be graded. It is precisely my college education that enabled me to write this story, which is at the risk of sounding smarter than a prisoner should sound. Or maybe not, I don’t know. That is something I can’t control. What I can control is writing this story and let the readers judge for themselves.
Ultimately, I hope that the readers keep an open mind and a positive attitude when dealing with the pandemic. I’m not basing my advice on hard science. There is no need to.
Anybody who observe life can see and understand that it is filled with many positive things. Even though those positive things don’t all pay the bills, or restore what was lost, they can help anyone to get though the bad times. More importantly, they give all people the strength to hold on until this crisis is over.