Wednesday, May 13, 2020


Sunday, May 10, 2020, 3:00p.m., Tomoka C.I., Daytona Beach, FL

When I came to prison over forty years ago, an old timer asked me how to tell when a prison guard was lying. Answer--when his lips are moving.

We are in that position now, it appears. In Update #14, I told you about the official who made the little speech, he was trying to get Tallahassee to change our status, everyone was asymptomatic, he would call them Saturday, we would be able to go to the canteen and rec, reduce our status to ''recovery,'' he would keep in touch, we are all in this together.

Saturday came and went. Nothing happened. No canteen, no rec. No changes. Moving lips. We asked the night shift. They knew nothing.

Dr. Westfall never showed Friday, as he'd said he would last Friday--we must see the doctor at least once a week, to check our conditions, and the nurses only checked ''vitals'' on Saturday. We must be all right. As for myself, I feel fine, still, and am cautiously waiting out this virus, praying that I am passed over, that nothing happens.

Some positive notes--my 90-year old mother had successful surgery for a broken hip at Brandon Hospital, east of Tampa, Saturday morning. She also has a broken shoulder (in a sling) and four compressed vertebra. We talked on the phone--she sounded very positive and more concerned with my condition than her own. She told me she was outside shaking out rugs when she felt herself falling. She thought, ''This is the end for me.'' She had her cell phone, called my brother Dan, next door, said ''I fell.'' Before she could say another word Dan dropped his phone and ran to her, called an ambulance. Thank God he is there for her. He is understandably upset that she is not allowed visitors, and must spend Mother's Day alone.

No knowledge of when she can go home. It was a great relief to talk to her and hear her voice.

They continue to feed us well. An apple, orange, or banana with each meal. Sliced raw carrots at lunch, and sliced cucumbers served at supper. Many prisoners won't eat vegetables, so I get extras. Others have no teeth, can't eat apples, so I trade coffee packs for their fruit. I know we are eating better than some families in free society.

Sunday night, 9:42 p.m. It has been an uneventful weekend. I watched the Sunday morning political TV news programs. No comment. I talked to my wonderful wife Libby on the phone, wished her a Happy Mother's Day, and bemoaned not being able to visit another week.

I am including more pandemic news briefs from USA Today:

Westville, Indiana---Dozens of motor vehicles circled the Westville Correctional Facility on Tuesday (April 28) in a protest over the treatment of inmates during a coronavirus outbreak that has reached inside the prison walls. ''I'm here trying to get justice for all the inmates up here.,'' Misty Weikel said from her car after driving from her home in Lafayette. A sign taped to her car read: ''Praying for inmates and guards.'' Other vehicles circling the prison and honking horns also carried signs. Shouting and clapping could be heard from inside the prison during the protests and individuals were visible at several windows, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported. The Westville facility in LaPorte County has far outpaced other Indiana prisons in the number of coronavirus cases. The Indiana Department of Correction reported Tuesday 143 positive tests among inmates and 36 among correctional officers. DOC spokesman Dave Bursten placed the number of vehicles taking part in the protest at more than 70.

Baltimore, Maryland---The state has released about 200 youths from juvenile detention facilities because of concerns about the new coronavirus.

Topeka, Kansas---The state began releasing inmates last week to help check the spread of coronavirus in its prison system, but it stopped when an outbreak created a danger of returning infected inmates to communities, Gov. Laura Kelly said.

Dartmouth, Massachusetts---a group of about 10 federal immigration detainees who refused to be tested for the coronavirus caused extensive damage to the center where they are being held, the sheriff's office said in a release.

Little Rock, Arkansas---The Arkansas Department of Corrections said Sunday that two more state prison inmates who were being treated for the coronavirus have died.Department spokesman Solomon Graves said medical officials would determine the cause of the deaths at the Cummins unit.


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