Mishandling of COVID-19 at Eastham Plantation

 

When originally published by mongoosedistro.com, this story was illustrated with a drawing of a white Jesus in handcuffs and leg irons with a ball and chain. For the Bay View National Black Newspaper, editor Malik Washington chose this painting instead. Over a million Black prisoners are caged in the U.S. The Bible, in Hebrews 13:3, quotes Jesus as saying, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them” and, in Matthew 25:36, “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Psalm 146:7 says, “The Lord sets the prisoners free.”

by Steve McCain

Chronology of events

Dec. 30, 2020: Random COVID testing was conducted.

Jan. 3, 2021: A resident in my dorm was confirmed COVID-positive. The dorm, therefore, was placed on quarantine lockdown.

Jan. 19, 2021: Medical quarantine was terminated.

Jan. 26, 2021: A COVID-positive resident collapsed. The dorm was placed back on lockdown.

Jan. 29, 2021: Another dorm resident was hospitalized, coughing up blood, COVID-positive. Quarantine was extended to Feb. 14.

Feb. 4, 2021: A unit-wide lockdown for shakedown was initiated

This is where we stand today. I have this morning watched as the residents of two other dorms were paraded out of their housing units wearing only their boxer shorts and marched to the north chapel, where they were held while their personal belongings were molested by the very same individuals who are bringing coronavirus into this facility.

In just the past 10 days, my dorm has lost two of its residents to coronavirus. Now, granted, that does not sound like a lot, at least until it is viewed as a percentage of the whole. Two residents of 80 constitute 2.5 percent of the dorm’s population. Imagine that as the same percentage of the U.S. population: something more than 8,000,000 people.

The concern

It has been manifestly demonstrated that this virus, oftentimes, is carried and transmitted by individuals who are asymptomatic, not knowing even that they were infected. What could the prison administration possibly be thinking here? 

In just the past 10 days, my dorm has lost two of its residents to coronavirus. Now, granted, that does not sound like a lot, at least until it is viewed as a percentage of the whole. Two residents of 80 constitute 2.5 percent of the dorm’s population. Imagine that as the same percentage of the U.S. population: something more than 8,000,000 people.

Unit-wide proactive (i.e. lacking a disciplinary basis) shakedowns, at least until this virus is reined in, are dangerous propositions. They are a gamble whereby the prisoners’ lives, without their consent, are being wagered.

Send our brother some love and light: Steven McCain, 2096064, Eastham Plantation, 2665 Prison Road 1, Lovelady, TX 75851.