jPay Message #207

It was only a matter of time, but I finally tested positive for corona (along with 75% of the compound, including the staff). I only experienced symptoms for–literally–a day and a half before fully recovering. All I had was a pretty painful headache, like my sinuses were pressurized, and a fever, which were both largely alleviated by 3 tylenols. 

Not to diminish those who have suffered and even died in the pandemic, but I was little underwhelmed by the experience, to be honest, especially after months of media fear mongering; I’ve had hangovers worse than covid.

I get it: I’m young and don’t belong to any at-risk population. But that’s the case for the majority of the population. Out of the 1600 or so inmates at this joint who got corona, there’s been fewer than a dozen hospitalizations, all old, diabetic motherfuckers.

One guy from my old unit did die (fat, diabetic, old as shit) but he’d probably still be alive if he hasn’t been so concerned with selling the cigarettes he got jus as he started feeling sick. Instead of alerting the staff, who would’ve placed him under medical supervision at the prisoner hospital across the street, he decided to stay and try to make some “money” (aka gas station food) selling roll-ups. By the end of the weekend, he was in such bad shape he struggled to get out of bed, and when he finally got medical attention, it was too late.

I try to keep up with the news and stuff, and it’s crazy how politicized this disease has gotten. By now, we know who’s most at risk, and what drugs and supplements (vitamin d3 + zinc) are most efficacious once infected. There’s even a vaccine! 

However, have you noticed how every state experiences the same seasonal spikes in positive cases? And how these upward curves quickly start to decline, regardless of lock downs or mask mandates? These tyrannical measures are futile in “stopping the spread.”

Furthermore, have you noticed how small businesses and the working class disproportionately suffer from lock downs while the rich are insulated from the downsides? In fact, they’ve flourished in the pandemic. The most powerful and richest corporations have accrued new (obscene) levels of wealth and influence during this past year.

Okay, enough politics. All I’m saying is that if I wasn’t already locked up, I’d be pretty upset if all of society was locked down. 

Of course, the one way corona virus could possibly affect my life positively is nowhere near materializing in the penal colony that’s also known as Michigan. 

While most states have emptied their prisons and made accomodations for their inmates’ health, the MDOC has yet to relax any of its draconian policies, except for letting a select group of parole violators take their board-mandated classes in the world.

Worse still, after a judge ruled that “good time” couldn’t be struck from the ballot for not meeting the signature threshold, the governor or the AG appealed in court to get the referendum taken off the ballot, where they succeeded on a technicality (a pledge of 20k signatures isn’t the same legally as physically having the 20k signatures, which the petitioners did secure, after the deadline).

This leaves me conflicted: on the one hand, I hate to see lives destroyed thru (ineffectual) policies meant to control a disease whose lethality is vastly overblown. On the other, I’d like to get outta prison soon, and hysteria in:re covid works to that end. While it wasn’t/won’t be a death sentence for me, covid has and will be for many. The sardine-can living conditions of prison guarantee that the virus, once in the facility, will infect every inmate.

Considering how understaffed the prisons are, and their exorbitant drain on resources, hopefully this latest public outcry will bolster the case to convince state authorities to let up on the gas pedal of punishment a bit, and amend the law to reinstate ‘good time’ like how every other state DOC operates.

Then, if they were feeling sane and a dash compassionate, they’d consider offering more rehabilitative options for drug users instead of strictly punitive ones. (Drugs are directly responsible for half the prison population, and indirectly, for three-quarters.)

In the meantime, while you wait for the pandemic to end, I know you have the time to google the petition to bring back ‘good time’ in Michigan, and then sign it. (Wait, I’m fifty percent sure Google is evil nowadays so you may have to switch to Bing.) That’d be dope. Thanks.

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