First, I’d like to apologize for my absence from posting my chronicles, but I am sure that by now it is understood that we are living in some very unusual times; more apparent should be that prisoners are not immune to the affects of unusual times that society itself has met challenges adapting to. Part of the affects of these unusual times for me, is living in conditions that prison officials have created in an attempt to curve the pervasive reach of Covid-19 within that Federal prison system – illogical policies that remain futile and ineffective.
Initially, here, at the United States Penitentiary, in Beaumont, Texas, I was being allowed out of this cell one hour daily (minus the weekend). Belatedly, once testing was done and medical staff here was forthcoming that there were, in fact
positive cases – my time allowed out of the cell was reduced by forty minutes; allowing me twenty minutes out daily (minus the weekend).
Its puzzling to me who could have actually rationalized that forty minutes less out of the cell would lessen that changes of one
contracting Covid-19 if they have limited access to other prisoners and not staff, who obviously, are the primary source of any exposure to the virus, more so when the prison has been on a lock down for nearly six months. My ability to access both email and phone has been immensely hampered by these illogical and ineffective policies that do not seem to construct the barrier between a healthy environment and exposure to Covid.
It would be rather illusive of me to represent that the faces around me don’t look tired; don’t look stressed; don’t look worried… But I must say with certainty, that the men that I walk with and have shared the last 16 years of my strength and tenacious spirit with, are neither defeated nor abandoning their hope that better days are as sure to come as the sun rising in the east. Hope is the substance that carries every man and woman behind these walls beyond the merits expected of them by the designer of this unjust system. I can say for me, what has helped me the most besides hope is my ability to interpret this reality as a cocoon where I maintain sole authority over my thoughts.
Just to make my point… I write this as hurricane Laura passes by my window; disruptive as it may be; with its 120 mph winds, I find peace. In knowing that when this storm passes by, rebuilding better and stronger will come.