Part VII: Remember the Insiders who also help
SHAUN 4/24 (Federal Medical Center, Rochester, MN)
As many of you may or may not know, the COVID-19 virus has hit BOP, with, as of this date, over 40 facilities* (that is a third) being infected. There are also multiple state and private facilities that have also been infected, and in a lot of cases death has occurred. Here is what a lot of people tend to forget. It is not just the staff that takes care of the inmates; other inmates take care of them also. I am a hospital housekeeper/attendant here at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, MN. Fortunately, we have not had any cases yet**, but in other medical facilities and other regular facilities, they have.
Unfortunately, being in such a closed and cramped environment, once the virus enters, it will spread like wildfire, and with this national lock-down that the BOP is doing, time will only tell what will happen. For those of us that are on the front line of this, people need to know that we just don’t clean bathrooms and rooms. We also sanitize halls, clean the isolation and quarantine rooms, and we also will sit and be with the patients as Health Care Companions.
Many of you may have loved ones that are in a facility somewhere and are worried about their safety, as which you should. It should be comforting to know that there are a group of people in every facility whose jobs are to contain and try to rid the facility of the virus or keep the virus out.
Here is my wish to all of you that are reading this: Pass this on and remember not only the front-line workers out there, but remember those that are on the inside. They are putting themselves at risk to make sure that others are safe and cared for. Remember, even though they are in prison or jail, they also have families, kids, wives, brothers or sisters. It is important to remember that this is not a “who can do better” or “who cares, they are in prison” situation. We all need to work together and put our conflicts aside. Currently, BOP is offering FREE phone calls during this time, so write to your loved ones and have them call you. Now is a time to make a change; now is the time to become one nation.
*Editor’s addendum: As of today, 5/4, Covid-19 has been confirmed in 51 facilities, resulting in 38 inmate deaths.
** Rochester FMC as of today has one staff member who has tested positive.