February 12, 2021
Eastham conducted three unit-wide Covid tests, and turned up positive results at each. Then, they went to random tests for which they chose a random sampling from each housing unit. I believe there was eleven in my dorm chosen in this test, myself included. This naturally drew fewer positive tests because the testing pool was smaller (11 vs. 80 in my dorm). One tested positive and two that had not been included in the test were found positive soon after. Now, they have went one step further. They have made the tests voluntary. To the person not familiar with the prison environment this would not seem like a problem, but a problem it is, and a big problem indeed. We have been on lockdown because of Covid on and off since April of 2020, and it really does get old and wearisome. But what is happening, because of the voluntary participation in the Covid tests, is that the potential volunteers, mostly older prisoners, are being bullied into non-participation by younger, stronger prisoners who are tired of the lockdown condition, and want it to end. This is putting older prisoners at risk, not only of contracting this virus, but also of missing its detection if contracted.
Exacerbating this situation, we are under a shakedown lockdown now, unit wide, whereby all of the housing units and all of the prisoners’ property is being scoured by the very individuals who are responsible for introducing the virus into the prison facility. It only gets worse. According to the cover article in this month’s Prison Legal News (page 14, para. 1) Texas is “one of 10 states that did not include incarcerated people in its (coronavirus vaccine) roll out plan, which was announced in October. Guards were also left out”.
My dorm comes off quarantine on the 16th. We will probably go through shakedown then. Could this be their plan to reduce the prison population? Kill them off? This is what I postulated early on in the pandemic.
2665 Prison Road 1
Lovelady, Texas 75851