Memorial Day in America probably means something different to most Americans than it does to those who hate US for whatever reasons. And should one wonder if the capital “US” is a mistake, no, it is meant to be inclusive, for I am an American and am proud to call myself one, even if not proud of everything that has been done by Americans.
For me, though, Memorial Day is not just about America, even though it is an American holiday. I remain conscious of all who have died from the effect of war or who have died fighting for the lives of others; whether Americans or not, whether for the “right” or “wrong” reasons, human lives are lost, mostly innocent lives lost in the crosshairs of another’s agenda.
Search “Memorial Day” on this site to see other blogs I’ve written on the topic, including some controversial ones where I speak out against the twisting of historical facts and attempts to erase America’s not-so-favorable history.
In the end, though, everything worked out the way it should for whatever reason. I am not in control, and nor I am responsible for what others have done in the name of God or America, but I am proud to be an American and honor those who have died protecting our shores.
Today, I honor those on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19, here in American and all across the world. WE are all in this together, like it or not!
When I posted the original version of this blog, I used statistics from May 7, 2020, for the COVID-19 cases in the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and May 8, 2020, for Henry County, Georgia. Numbers from both groups changed, but those from the BOP soared, especially Inmate Deaths. In Part II, I am including updated numbers and dates in bold and in parenthesis behind the original numbers.
In this post, I include correspondence from one inmate, who gave me permission to use because he wants the public to be made aware of the conditions inside that particular institution, which I feel certain is an accurate representation of many institutions inside the BOP because other subscribers have mimicked his statements and concerns.
PART II, COVID-19 Numbers Grow
Numbers used in statistics often do not mean much without other numbers to compare to or may even otherwise be used to distort reality. In this case, the severity of COVID-19 in the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) does not seem as severe when looked at in isolation (confined to the statistical data of the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons). A comparison to the Henry County, Georgia COVID-19 statistics highlights the severity of the infection rate in the BOP.
In Georgia, the Henry County COVID-19 numbers rank as number Eleven for confirmed cases.
COVID-19 IN THE UNITED STATES FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS
“05/07/2020 (05/16/2020) – The BOP has 140,369 (138,363) federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 11,161 (11,674) in community-based facilities. The BOP staff complement is approximately 36,000. There are 2,646 (2,280) federal inmates and 244 (283) BOP staff who have confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 nationwide. Currently, 591 (1,091) inmates and 278 (287) staff have recovered. There have been 44 (56) federal inmate deaths and 0 BOP staff member deaths attributed to COVID-19 disease.”
[UPDATE: Here are the statistics for the BOP for May 8, 2020, which shows substantial growth in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases:
“05/08/2020 – The BOP has 140,119 (138,363) federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 11,331 (11,674) in community-based facilities. The BOP staff complement is approximately 36,000. There are 3,082 (2,280) federal inmates and 248 (283) BOP staff who have confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 nationwide. Currently, 619 (1,091) inmates and 279 (287) staff have recovered. There have been 45 (56) federal inmate deaths and 0 BOP staff member deaths attributed to COVID-19 disease.”]
The reduction in confirmed COVID-19 positive cases may be due to the lack of testing and inmates being kept in private prisons. Private Prison representatives often refuse to provide requested information to journalists and others.
From bop.gov/coronavirus, the BOP reports the following:
“Due to the rapidly evolving nature of this public health crisis, the BOP will update the open COVID-19 confirmed positive test numbers, recoveries, and the number of COVID-19 related deaths daily at 3:00 p.m. The positive test numbers are based on the most recently available confirmed lab results involving open cases from across the agency as reported by the BOP’s Office of Occupational Health and Safety at 11:00 a.m. each day. BOP field sites may report additional updates throughout the day. Data is subject to change based on additional reporting.
“The BOP has begun additional testing of asymptomatic inmates to assist in slowing transmissions within a correctional setting. As such, our data reflects an increase in the number of COVID-19 positive tests reflected in the table below [see the table at bop.gov/coronavirus]. The BOP is able to better utilize this information for the management of an outbreak at the relevant, affected facility.
“The inmate totals listed do not include inmates participating in the Federal Location Monitoring program or being held in privately managed prisons. Additionally, the reference to the FCI Butner Low below refers to an isolation unit that is physically separated from the rest of the LSCI.”
Many men incarcerated across the nation inside the confines of the BOP have complained about the lack of testing for COVID-19, and some staff’s failure to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); e.g., face masks and gloves.
Straight From the Pen of the Incarcerated
The information below comes from an inmate at one of the federal prisons in Butner, North Carolina, where other inmates in the complex have reported the same situation (lack of testing, CDC recommendations not followed (social distancing and failure to wear PPE), as have inmates in Terre Haute, Indiana, and U.S.P. Victorville in California.
(I’ve reorganized paragraphs for ease of reading. The provided information is posted as provided, other than minor spelling and punctuation corrections. Additional information is included in brackets. Some content isn’t intelligible but is irrelevant for this post. The inmate often uses “jail” instead of “prison” when he is referring to the institution.)
5/14/2020: If I write a blog later in relation to the lack of testing, not following safety protocols, etc., do you want me to post this?
[Inmate Name Removed to Protect Privacy] May 15, 2020:
“Yes, it needs to be known what Butner is doing to the inmates and how they aren’t doing anything to fight the infections. Most of the guards don’t even wear mask. The guards are bringing it [COVID-19] in the jail and it seems like a norm to them its two blocks left that has no infection. Out of 8 blocks 6 blocks have been infected and the numbers are going up five more just was quarantined today.”
[Inmate Name Removed to Protect Privacy] 5/14/2020:
“Granville a is quarantined and the just had an inmate on Vance [?] a test positive don’t know how many he affected the took him out of here this jail isn’t doing anything for our safety the have me working in the kitchen for 11 hours a day fixing the meals for the rest of the jail there is no social distancing we are all working don’t know who is infected and who ain’t they only check your temperature there has not been one single test administered on this compound and the virus is spreading at a rapid pace and all they do is put you in the shu [Segregated Housing Unit] for 14 days don’t test you and after the 14 days they put you right back in population there is no structure for fighting this virus they are not follow no guidelines and this is sad there is so many people they are deliberately placing in harm’s way and they don’t even care and that’s why is so sad.”
Friday, May 15, 2020: RE: RE: 05/12-13/2020 (Numbers keep growing)
[Inmate Name Removed to Protect Privacy]
“This is all lies there is a total of 58 that are quarantined in the shu as we speak I know because I make the trays for the shu and the still have us working together in the kitchen not social distancing and [UNICOR, Federal Prison Industries, Inc.] is still working without social distancing. This place just doesn’t care.
“There is no 40 that has recovered they are only keeping them in the shu for 14 days and sending them right back to the block to infect other people this jail has no compassion it just doesn’t matter to them we have been locked down since march we are trapped on a block with no ventilation the same air is just blowing the same infected air throughout the jail.”
All you can do is follow the recommendations, and especially about washing your hands before touching your face after being on the computer or phone, which should be done at any time. Here’s what was on the bop.gov website yesterday for Butner institutions (Butner Low has 22 confirmed cases, and 40 who have recovered):
[In the above examples, the BOP still does not acknowledge the death of Ms. Robin Grubbs as being due to COVID-19. In the referenced article about her death reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the inmate stated what mirrors the statements of many inmates who expressed concerns to me through correspondence (staff not wearing personal protective equipment because it isn’t available or otherwise does not wear any).]
The B.O.P. only has a total of 151,530 (150,037) individuals held captive in the prison system (numbers include inmates in Residential Reentry Centers), along with 36,000 staff who work for the BOP, for a total of 187,530 (186,037) people, but the BOP had 44 (56) inmate deaths, and a total of 2,890 (2,280) confirmed COVID-19 cases on May 7, 2020; however, if the number of confirmed cases and those who have recovered are included, the total COVID-19 cases that were in the BOP is 4,800.
As mentioned above, Henry County ranks 11 in Georgia for the COVID-19 case, with Henry County’s 225,508 people, only 559 (700) confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 14 (18) deaths, as reported on May 8, 2020 (May 17, 2020). In the BOP with far fewer people, the death rate is much higher (56/18). The difference in infection rates enormous (4,800/700).
The point being that the BOP COVID-19 pandemic within the system is serious and demands attention, as does the handling of the COVID-19 crisis in all of the many other prison systems across the United States and other parts of the world, many of the latter which are likely worse than the situation in the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons.
With the substantial increase in BOP COVID-19 deaths and the number of confirmed cases that were within the system (4,800 total), it reveals a more significant issue than the numbers viewed in isolation, buried within the walls, bars, and fences of the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The inactions and failure of prison officials to implement processes and to comply with CDC recommendations have killed 56 federal inmates, and most likely, hundreds more in State prisons.
Many other deaths and COVID-19 cases are probably hidden within the privately managed prisons across the United States.
Will the day come when legislatures enact laws to hold prison administrators accountable for actions or inactions when it leads to the deaths of other humans? Unlikely.
[Note: The focus of this blog is not about private prison officials’ refusal to provide information to journalists, so I won’t expound on the topic, but do know that it has always been an issue that is hidden inside BOP contracts with private prison representatives.]
A 39-year old young lady who worked for the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), died due to contracting the Coronavirus; however, to date, the BOP still does not acknowledge her death as an employee, as is shown in the following quotation taken from the BOP website on April 23, 2020:
The BOP has 143,136 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 10,331 in community-based facilities. The BOP staff complement is approximately 36,000. As of 04/23/2020, there are 620 federal inmates and 357 BOP staff who have confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 nationwide. Currently, 302 inmates and 53 staff have recovered. There have been 24 federal inmate deaths and 0 BOP staff member deaths attributed to COVID-19 disease.
Those numbers are updated each day; however, since Ms. Robin Grubbs died earlier this month, who was a case manager at the United States Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, died from COVID-19, the BOP website continues to not report her death on their website.
Clients of WonderfulThingsDone and StraightFromthePen.com include incarcerated individuals who receive periodic updates to help them understand why the BOP elected to keep them locked down or otherwise managed under tighter security protocols than normal.
The message posted below was rejected by at least one institution; however, several other institutions do have competent staff who are capable of comprehending legal requirements and have complied with the law and chose not to violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution that guarantees the Freedom of the Press.
At least two inmates were denied their right to read publicly available information about the world in which they live, which I conclude because I received two of the notifications shown below that will conclude this blog post.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 4/21/2020 7:51:14 AM Subject: Return To Sender: BOP Silenced Death of BOP Employee
Message: This message informs you that your below electronic message to the above-named Federal prisoner is REJECTED and will not be delivered for the following reason(s): * The content of your message jeopardizes the safety, security, or orderly operation of the correctional facility, or the protection of the public.The prisoner to whom you sent this message is NOT being informed of this rejection.You may appeal this rejection within 15 days of the date of this message by submitting a written request to the warden of the prison where the prisoner is located. You should include a copy of this rejection, an explanation of your appeal request, and any additional documents or information you wish to be considered. See Below for Spanish/Ver abajo para leer en espa?ol
Este mensaje le informa que su mensaje electr?nico al preso federal susodicho FUE RECHAZADO y no ser? entregado por la siguiente raz?n(es):* El contenido de su mensaje compromete la seguridad, o la operaci?n ordenada de la facilidad correccional, o de la protecci?n del p?blico.El preso a quien usted envi? este mensaje NO ser? informado de este mensaje rechazado.Usted puede apelar este rechazo dentro del plazo de 15 d?as de la fecha de este mensaje enviando una petici?n por escrito al guardia de la prisi?n donde se localiza el preso. Usted debe incluir una copia de este rechazo, una explicaci?n de su apelacion, y de documentos o informaci?n adicionales que usted desee ser considerada.
Date: 4/20/2020 9:17:35 PM From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: BOP Silenced Death of BOP Employee
The United States Federal Bureau of Prisons does not report the death of this beautiful young lady who died working for them. Robin Grubbs was a case manager but the following BOP Report and all of those issued since Ms. Grubbs death from Coronavirus, do not mention or list her as a staff member who died from the Coronavirus.
“The BOP has 143,705 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 10,225 in community-based facilities. The BOP staff complement is approximately 36,000. As of 04/20/2020, there are 497 federal inmates and 319 BOP staff who have confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 nationwide. Currently, 205 inmates and 33 staff have recovered. There have been 22 federal inmate deaths and 0 BOP staff member deaths attributed to COVID-19 disease.”
“She was promoted a month before her death. Coworkers say she was never moved into her new role, away from sick inmates
“By Cassidy McDonald April 20, 2020 / 6:17 PM / CBS News
“After a 39-year-old federal prison employee died and later tested positive for the new coronavirus, employees are speaking up about what they said are unsafe conditions at the facility where she worked.
“The Bureau of Prisons on Friday confirmed its first staff death potentially due to COVID-19. Robin Grubbs, a caseworker at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, was found dead in her home Tuesday and posthumously tested positive for the virus, a BOP spokesperson said.
“CBS News spoke with four correctional officers at USP Atlanta who complained of insufficient access to protective equipment and inconsistent communication about how many staff and inmates were infected at any given time.
“‘Already, it’s a stressful job. Already, you don’t ever know what you’re walking into, but to add this on, this pandemic, where it could jump on you and just take your life away like that, it’s mind-boggling. It’s terrifying,” said one correctional officer who was a close friend of Grubbs.
“Grubbs’s office, employees said, was located in the “Baker 3” unit, a previously empty area where the facility had begun to house inmates who were sick or exposed to the coronavirus. One friend said Grubbs had talked about not being provided with equipment to stay safe and that she was trying to get out of the unit.
“Grubbs was most recently a case manager and employees remembered her as a hard worker who just last month had scored a promotion to a job helping released inmates transition back into society. The position would have landed her an office in a different building. As the illness spread, she told friends she repeatedly asked to assume her new position and move to her new office but was never able to start her new job.
“Taneka Miller, Grubbs’s colleague and executive secretary of the union representing USP Atlanta employees, said she spoke to Grubbs last week. “She was like, ‘Girl. Oh my God, they won’t let me go for whatever reason. I’m so ready to go. I’m so ready to go,” Miller said.
“Jacquetta Rosemond, union treasurer and paint worker supervisor at USP Atlanta, was surprised that Grubbs hadn’t moved to a different floor. As a case manager for the Baker unit, Grubbs would have been assigned to work with inmates on the first two floors of the building, but not with the sick and isolated inmates in Baker 3, Rosemond said.
“‘She didn’t even get to go to her new job,” Rosemond said. “There was really no reason for her to stay on that unit Those particular inmates in that unit were not on her caseload.”
“‘Everything was on backorder”
“A former colleague said that when the illness first hit the federal prison system, Grubbs tried to purchase her own mask. “All she kept telling me was that she didn’t want to catch the COVID-19. So she personally bought some masks, but, you know, everything was on backorder,” the colleague said.
“Miller said even surgical masks weren’t readily available until last week when the prison began providing them weekly to each staff member. Three employees who ran into Grubbs in other units in the facility the week before she died said they saw her wearing either no mask or a surgical mask, and none said they had seen her with an N-95 mask.
“Employees said that each USP Atlanta staff member would have had access to at least one N-95 mask starting around the end of March, but they needed to be fit-tested first. But Rosemond and Miller said that some officers weren’t tested until April, while others were unwilling to reuse their single N-95 mask day after day..
“When asked about the availability of masks, claims of inconsistent communication and when Grubbs was scheduled to assume her new role, a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson on Sunday sent the following statement: “We can acknowledge the death of an employee at USP Atlanta, however, there is no information or evidence relating to a cause of death.” The agency declined to comment on the specific concerns raised by staff.
“Rosemond and Miller told CBS News in March that Atlanta employees many of whom are charged with patting down hundreds of inmates per day could not reliably access gloves. Some staff members would purchase and wear their own gloves, Miller said, but many didn’t own their own gloves and would use bare hands to pat-search inmates.
“Rosemond and Miller said management distributed more PPE this month, but access remains inconsistent and many staff wished it had come sooner. “Word of mouth”
“For weeks, Atlanta employees have told CBS News they wished management would notify them more frequently about the number of staff and inmate cases at the facility.
“‘The communication is horrible. It’s late, it’s last minute, and it’s not full information,” Miller said. “It’s like they’re sitting on the information.”
“Miller said 13 days after she was allegedly exposed to the virus on the job, a member of the medical staff contacted her and informed her that she’d been exposed. Because the incubation period was only 14 days and she hadn’t experienced any symptoms, the staff member told her that she should come back to work for her next shift.
“‘I was highly pissed off,” Miller said. “I come home to a 2-year-old every day who does not have the best immune system.”
“After the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner’s Office informed BOP that Grubbs had posthumously tested positive for COVID-19, Woods sent a memo Friday to notify staff.
“A BOP spokesperson said that Grubbs’s official cause of death has not yet been determined, as her autopsy is not yet complete.
“Prior to last week, three staff members told CBS News they were only officially informed of one inmate and two staff cases of COVID-19 at the Atlanta prison. On Thursday, Woods said in an email to staff that the facility had “six staff and 12 inmate positive cases for COVID-19.” On Friday, the BOP publicly reported three staff and eight inmate positive cases.
“Atlanta employees said they were confused by the discrepancy. Other than those two emails, Rosemond said, “everything else was word of mouth.”
“‘I don’t feel safe,” another correctional officer said. “We’re not being informed of how the numbers have changed.”
“When asked about the discrepancy, a BOP spokesperson said, “The positive test numbers are based on the most recently available confirmed lab results involving open cases from across the agency as reported by the BOP’s Office of Occupational Health and Safety. BOP field sites may report additional updates throughout the day. Data on the dashboard is subject to change based on additional reporting by field sites.”
“As of Sunday, the Bureau of Prison said 495 federal inmates and 309 staffers have tested positive for COVID-19 nationwide. A total of 155 inmates and 29 staff have recovered from the disease, while 21 inmates have died. Since Attorney General William Barr encouraged the use of home detention on March 21, a total of 1,280 inmates have been sent to home confinement.
“Rosemond said that as a case manager, Grubbs was at level 11 in the federal service pay scale, which would have put her annual salary somewhere between $67,437 and $87,667.
“Earlier this month, the union that represents prison staff, as well as 700,000 other federal employees, filed a class-action lawsuit against the BOP and other agencies for Hazard Pay, which would increase their hourly wage by up to 25%. The BOP declined to comment on the lawsuit.
“The lawsuit alleges a pattern of employee exposure to COVID-19 due to lax safety standards. The complaint highlights the case of one BOP employee at FCI Oakdale who was given only gloves to wear as personal protective equipment while escorting an inmate to a nearby hospital. The employee later learned the inmate was sick with COVID-19.
“Grubb’s final days “Grubbs’s colleagues described her as someone who savored life. She was a passionate Atlanta Falcons fan and loved trying new restaurants, a work friend said, especially if seafood was involved. She traveled often and was constantly looking forward to her next trip, according to the friend, who said they’d recently fantasized about taking a trip to Belize this fall after the pandemic calmed down.
“Grubbs was an Army veteran and leaves behind her brother, parents, two grandmothers, and her beloved Yorkie named Louie.
“On April 10, she posted a video of her parents after they had dropped off a “Corona Care Package” filled with cough medicine, ginger ale and hand sanitizer. She wrote, “Airhugs because Corona is everywhere at this point… How did I get so lucky?'”
WonderfulThingsDone, doing business as WTD4U, provides limited services to predominantly federal prisoners, those held within the walls, bars, and fences of the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons. One service includes sending periodic blog posts to keep the incarcerated informed about events and activities or topics of concern to the inmate population, such as prison or criminal justice reform.
On April 2, 2020, I sent the following information to many prisoners through Corrlinks.com, a service federal prisoners pay to use for sending and receiving emails:
Coronavirus numbers on the inside and outside continue to grow.
“I hope that each of you is staying safe and sane in the ever-changing situation going on with the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s tough being locked down and feeling helpless over so many aspects of life on the inside and life outside of the prison walls. But we, as humans, will survive and get past this, one day at a time.
“Staff and inmates alike have a significant issue to deal with as the virus continues to spread inside the walls of the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, as well as for those of us in the free society. And even though it may be tough to deal with the conditions of a lockdown, especially if having to eat sack lunches and having limited access to showers, cleaning supplies, telephones, Trulincs/Corrlinks, and recreational activities, I feel most will agree that the lockdown is necessary to minimize the damage caused by this virus ravaging the population of the world at large.
“Here are the numbers listed today (April 2, 2020) for the B.O.P. The numbers increased from 57-inmates yesterday to 75 today, and from 37-staff yesterday to 39 today. https://www.bop.gov/coronavirus/index.jsp
COVID-19 Tested Positive Cases
“(Inmate) 4/02/2020 – USP Atlanta (5); FMC Butner (10); USP Canaan; FCI Danbury (15); FCI Elkton (2); FCC Forrest City (2); FCC Lompoc (12); MCC New York (4); FCC Oakdale (12); FCI Otisville; FCC Yazoo City (4); RRC Brooklyn, NY (4); RRC Janesville, WI; RRC Phoenix, AZ; FLM Guam
“(Staff) 4/02/2020 – Atlanta, GA (3); Brooklyn, NY (4); Butner, NC; Chicago, IL (3); Danbury, CT (4); Leavenworth, KS (no inmate contact); Lompoc, CA; Milan, MI; New York, NY (5); Oakdale, LA (4); Otisville, NY; Ray Brook, NY (2); Talladega, AL (2); Tucson, AZ; Yazoo, MS (3); Central Office, Washington, DC; Grand Prairie, TX; Southeast Regional Office, Atlanta, GA
“Here are some numbers that show the magnitude of the worldwide effect. The April 2, 2020, updated report issued at 2:35 pm EST, on the spread of the Coronavirus is as follows:
“Total Confirmed Cases: 981,221
“Active cases: 726,386
“Fatal cases: 50,230
“Sample of Select Countries Affected: United States: 235,787; Italy: 115,242; Spain: 110,238; Germany: 84,264; China (mainland): 81,589; France: 56,989; Iran: 50,468; United Kingdom: 33,718; Switzerland: 18,267; Turkey: 18,135; Belgium: 15,348; Netherlands: 14,697; Canada: 11,060; Austria: 10,967; South Korea: 9,976; Portugal: 9,034; Brazil: 7,011; Israel: 6,211; Sweden: 5,568; Australia: 5,136.
“Every day I watch the data grow on reported cases of the Coronavirus, especially in the State of Georgia and local counties therein. The good thing is that most people who contract the coronavirus will survive and live to fight another day, but that doesn’t negate the seriousness of this social problem affecting almost everyone in some way. Each one of us can only control our impact and contribution towards the resolution of the pandemic by doing what we can to minimize the spread of the virus, where possible.
“In the prison setting where needed supplies are limited or prohibited, and disinformation runs rampant about what’s being done to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, each person can only do what is within their control:
“1) Limit close contact with others where possible (impossible when locked in a cell with another person who may not have sanitary habits).
“2) If you cough, cough inside your elbow rather than your hand, since coughing in your hand and touching objects spreads germs.
“3) Take precautions by wash hands frequently, and especially before touching the eyes, nose, or mouth, after having touched a surface or other person.
“4) And what works for me, take additional vitamin C to help the immune system stay strong, and for throat irritation from a cold or allergy or other illness, use a Lemon Squeeze to add one teaspoon of lemon juice into one cup of water as warm as you can stand it to gargle with, two-three times per day.
“5) do regular deep-breathing exercises to increase the oxygen level inside the body (viruses and diseases thrive in low oxygenated environments, including our bodies).
“(If interested in breathing exercises that help reduce stress and improves our health, according to Dr. Andrew Weil, MD, send email to email@example.com to request more info.)
“I hope some of the above information provides something you can use to stay safe and to help live with better health. Let me know if you wish to be excluded from this type of email.”
COVID-19 CONTINUES ITS RAMPAGE ACROSS AMERICA
Within a matter of hours after posting the numbers from the COVID-19 TRACKER, by 2:25 am, Eastern Standard Time, the number of those infected topped one million, 245,175 cases in the United States.
Globally, a total of 53,069 known people have died from COVID-19 since health official began tracking the current rampage.
When the United States Bureau of Prisons updates their website at 3:00 pm today (April 3, 2020), I expect those numbers to have also grown.
Statistics cannot show all who have been infected with or died from the Coronavirus, because there is not a way for anyone to know about the devastating effects of a virus that may lay inside a person’s body, undiscovered, infecting those who come near enough to inhale droplets from a cough or sneeze, or who touch an item or surface where the germs cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Information concerning the coronavirus fills the media all throughout the day and night so I won’t waste words explaining what it is or what it does. To learn more about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and what you can do to prevent contracting it, please visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which contains volumes of information on COVID-19 and its status in America and abroad. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Prisons
Many Prison administrators across America have taken action to avoid the spread of the coronavirus inside the prisons, and for good reason: it kills and most prison systems do not have the best medical care available. The effect of the virus in such a closed environment would be devastating to staff and inmates (prisoners).
Though I did not at first find any message posted on the national website (www.bop.gov), I discovered what I knew by clicking on the links for various institutions spread across America: the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons suspended visitation privileges for its inmate population. (The link to the federal bureau of prisons contains the plan for dealing with COVID-19.) https://www.bop.gov/resources/news/20200313_covid-19.jsp
Other sources reported that the administration is taking other precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus inside the prison system, such as restricting the access of other individuals into the living units and theoretically, checking staff members for symptoms of the virus who come into the prisons.
Some prisons are on Lockdown Status, which means that prisoners are confined to their cells or immediate living areas. One institution is feeding its inmates cellblock-by-cellblock, and then supposedly sanitizing the food service area before allowing another cellblock to enter, in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If a prisoner in one cellblock has the virus, then the virus cannot spread to another living area via the dining hall; however, that is only if the dining areas are actually being sanitized and no worker carries the virus.
Prisons often have policies and procedures on paper that are not adhered to in practice.
All prisons do not have cellblocks and use dormitory-types of living quarters to house its prisoners and that would make controlling an outbreak of COVID-19 more troublesome.
The above ends this blog post in relation to prison, per se. The following comes from my experience and strictly based on my unprofessional opinion.
I walked through the grocery aisles of a Walmart in McDonough, Georgia on March 14, 2020, and was surprised to see so many shelves emptied, even though I had viewed another person’s post on FaceBook that showed the same in another grocery department. Panic in America, I thought.
Not that the Coronavirus isn’t serious and the threat of contracting the virus should be ignored: It is real and kills people. Everyone should take precautions to avoid contracting it, if at all possible.
After corresponding with a friend about going out into society in light of the coronavirus-threat, I mentioned a home remedy I knew worked to help eradicate viruses from the throat. Then I decided to do a post on Facebook to share the information with others with the hope of it helping someone to avoid coming down with the coronavirus or other respiratory illnesses.
This roots from that Facebook post and also contains religious beliefs/views. If you find that offensive, please don’t read any further. Thanks for reading my writings.
(This is not intended to be taken as medical advice: I am not a doctor or health professional. I am an opinionated writer and blogger.)
Based upon all I’ve read on the coronavirus, it is my opinion and nothing more, that I don’t believe everyone should hide in a cave and hope the threat goes away. Use common sense.
I do take the same precautionary measures as I do to avoid or minimize the effects of the flu, common cold, or any other health issue due to the spread of germs (wash my hands after contact with surfaces or possible contaminants before touching my nose, eyes or mouth with unclean hands; take extra vitamin C to keep my immune system strong).
Of most importance, at the first sign of a sore throat, since the coronavirus supposedly starts in our sinuses or mouths to migrate into the lungs through our throats, then I’d do what I KNOW kills any virus in the throat by creating an environment too hostile for the bugs to survive due to acidity:
Gargle with one teaspoonful of lemon juice in a cup of water as hot as you can stand it, two to three times per day to kill the virus before it multiplies and migrates into the lungs.
I learned about that home remedy from a Reader’s Digest book on Home Remedies that Work, and doing as suggested has proven effective EVERY TIME I used it at the onset of throat irritation. The same is true for many others who used that remedy after I shared it with them.
For me on a personal level, I believe that if it is meant for me to contract an illness or to experience an accident or misfortune, then that is in the will of my higher power, whom I chose to call God, and that it will happen regardless of what I do or do not do.
If something like that is not in His will, no need for me to worry. I KNOW and faithfully believe that God has my back and has for a whole lot of years. If not, I’d have died decades ago: I survived many incidents without serious damage that science would claim to be impossible.
For those who read or have read the Bible, doesn’t is say that with God all things are possible? I also think it says something along the lines of a believer not being harmed if bitten by a poisonous snake.
I was the snake bitten by itself but I am here to tell about it.
Anyways, it is wise to use precaution and to avoid high-risk situations. Just don’t worry yourself sick. This too shall pass!