Tuesday, May 12, 2020


Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 9:58 a.m.

Tuesday was a quiet, uneventful day. I spent much of my time reading, and thanking God for a wonderful wife who loves me, and seeks to ''watch my back'' in ways to make this quarantine/medical isolation more bearable. Sending me books makes a huge difference.

I look out over this room crowded with bunks at mostly sleeping men, men trying to sleep their time away, and am grateful for the books Libby ordered for me from Bargain Books, an excellent discount bookseller (www.HamiltonBook.com). I am a reader, always have been, and would surely go stir crazy without reading material. Sharing my reading materials with some of my fellow prisoners lightens their burdens, too.

Bearing witness is also important to me. Perhaps one day my observations during this pandemic will mean something to someone.

There are higher levels of stress every day among the men sharing this space with me. We watch the TV news, like everyone else, see bodies being stacked in mass graves, hear the new numbers, 70,000 dead, new highs expected next month, and silently worry about our own fates and the fates of our loved ones. As prisoners, we realize we are far down the society priority list, and are fairly well on our own. Some will live and some will die.

As for myself, each morning when I awake feeling the same, I silently give thanks. Give me one more day, Lord, one more day without symptoms, one more day closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, one more day that my loved ones are spared. Let me be the one to bear this burden and survive it. I'm glad, in a way, to deal with this fairly early in the process, continue to be a survivor.

Now they are reporting that the COVID-19 virus very possibly was in Florida in January, two months earlier than previously believed.

We haven't returned outside to the ''rec'' field since our first foray Monday. Those on Death Row get an hour every day, but we're just hoping to get out into the sunlight three times a week.

We got a pleasant surprise this morning at breakfast. Along with the small cup of generic ''froot loops'' dry cereal, they handed out half pints of Borden's vitamin D whole milk, with a smiling Elsie the cow. Flashbacks to childhood. We haven't had real milk in the chow hall for many years, and this was a welcome treat. They usually provide a cooler of watered-down, chalky, synthetic milk substitute that I dare not drink. I told Libby on our phone call, and she surmised it was because there is no school, no school lunches, and the vendors are backed up with excess inventory. I'm sure she's right. Lucky us.

Not much else to share for now. Count time and lunch are imminent.

All the best to you and yours. May you remain healthy and secure. Please keep in touch.


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