This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Tehachapi.

U.C. Irvine Pandemic Project students,

Greeting with good health through the crisis. Your concern and project are something I appreciate. I am 51 years old (right in the COVID-19 range). I’ve been in prison for 21 years, and with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s history of medical failures, the beginning of the crisis had me stressed out a bit. Though it hasn’t been as bad as predicted.

So far here at CCI Tehachapi, the hardest hit of infections I’ve witnessed personally, what is a few months ago, 13 out of a compact of 40-bed unit, tested positive. They were all CTC (confined to cell), isolated until the infection passed. Of 13 infected, only one or two had to be moved to a medical isolation unit due to harsher symptoms.

So my experience seems removed from the drastic changes the pandemic’s hat on society. Which can be stressful, because it seems the waiting for the pandemic to hit harder. For those that have had a worse experience, I apologize, but so far, so good. I am keeping my mask on in any group setting.

I would complain about the duration of lockdowns, and program modifications, but this is a max-security facility, meaning the modifications (though much longer in duration) aren’t anything we haven’t experienced before. We definitely miss visits, etc. I am trying to cope. Just like everyone else. Thanks for checking in.

Testing has been regular. I am tired of the swab already.