Friday, May 15, 2020


Thursday, May 14, 2020. 3:51 p.m. Tomoka C. I., Daytona Beach, FL

With Jpay delaying my email updates several days, I've taken a break for a few days, to give Libby a chance to catch up with sending out these updates. The email I sent Wednesday night about the phone calls to my mother got to Libby quickly, for once. I asked her to send that message now.

Let me play catch-up:

We never got to go to the canteen this past weekend.

Monday morning, May 11, 13 inmates from E-Dorm, on the south end of the compound, were moved into Dorm K-1. They had been in isolation, like we were, showed no symptoms, and were moved to recovery status, too. We now have 51 men in recovery. I heard earlier than one or more prisoners in Dorm K-2, supposedly ''clean,'' where I came from, exhibited virus symptoms, pushing them back into quarantine.

The recovery status started on Monday, May 11th. 14 days runs until Sunday, May 24th. We don't know what will happen then.

On Monday afternoon we finally got to go to the canteen.

The warden came in to talk about recovery. Tomoka apparently is recovering better than other prisons. His goal is to return to ''normal operations'' as soon as possible, education classes, chapel, wellness programs--my creative writing workshop was scheduled to begin the day they shut down the compound.

I'll give this new warden credit. He spoke openly, and patiently responded to everyone in the ''q- and -a'' session. I asked about our visits. When Tallahassee tells them, they will phase in limited visits, 50 people max in the visiting park, those whose prison numbers end in ''even,'' (me) will visit Saturdays, in two limited sessions, 9:00 a.m.--noon, and 1:00 --4:00 p.m. Odd prison numbers will visit Sundays. That will continue until they can implement normal visiting hours, Saturday and Sunday.

The peace and quiet we've enjoyed the past few weeks came to a swift halt with the new people brought in Monday. We have about four real champions with incredibly loud mouths who argue incessantly about obscure sports facts for hours every day, including at eleven o'clock last night. And they are continually wrong! They don't know what they're talking about, and delight when someone else tells them they are wrong. They get louder and louder--in prison the loudest one wins.

This morning on CBS news, they showed video from the L.A. County jail of around thirty male inmates trying to intentionally infect each other with the coronavirus, the theory being that if infected, the jail would release them. About 21 tested positive. The sheriff adamantly denounced their actions, saying they were not getting out.

As for myself, I still feel fine, and the men in here with me appear asymptomatic, too. God willing, we will get through this pandemic alive.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.


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