Friday, May 1, 2020


Tuesday, April 28, 2020, 4:54 p.m., Tomoka C. I., Daytona Beach, FL

Correction: Sunday, in Update #5, I listed incorrect positive test numbers. It should have been 84 inmates tested positive, not 94. Monday, five more inmates tested positive, resulting in a new total of 89 inmates.

The radio and local TV news programs had brief stories about Tomoka, saying that this prison had the highest virus infection totals in Florida, followed by Blackwater C. I., a private prison in the Panhandle, and Sumter C.I., near Bushnell. Florida has almost 33,000 citizens tested positive, with over 1,100 deaths, but our numbers are much better than several other states. Volusia County, where Daytona Beach is located, listed 445 positives. We don't know whether that includes the 89 prisoners and ten prison staff.

The authorities are doing a good job here, so far, with the nurses conducting temperature checks twice a day, and isolating anyone exhibiting symptoms. They've improved the food, including fresh fruit, which helps with attitudes. The officers have slowed down on enforcing some petty rules, taking life more seriously, realizing that any of us could be struck down by this virus at any time. Most everyone is well-behaved, which helps.

Monday afternoon we finally got outside for ''rec,'' first time in weeks, for an hour-and-a-half. It was beautiful weather, clear, sunny, in the mid-seventies. All we could do was walk around the old north end basketball/tennis court, enjoy the sunshine, and watch a few jets landing at the nearby airport, but that opportunity was much-appreciated.

Still waiting on a book order to be distributed. The lack of reading material is getting crucial. Last week I got a National Geographic ''History'' magazine, which is slowly making its way through the building, from reader to reader.

Libby and I had another disappointing attempt to complete a JPAY ''video visitation,'' Monday evening, on the kiosk. The authorities, in a popular attempt to soothe tensions, offered a free movie this week to everyone with a JPAY tablet. The movie, ''Sharknado,'' didn't win any academy awards, but, as several said, it's free. Those with tablets shared with those less fortunate.

Most in here are maintaining positive attitudes. I pray that this pandemic will burn itself out soon, and spare the world any more misery and fear. Be safe, wear your masks, and maintain social distance.

More later...


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