No Prison Visitations

It’s easy to forget the plight of those who are incarcerated during this coronavirus pandemic. They have no masks, no gloves, some may be given bleach or disinfectant for their cells, many not. There are no provisions that I’ve read about at least to protect neither inmates nor their guards although I’ve read that contamination in such a setting could aggravate the public health crisis. Perhaps it is not an exaggeration to say that given the lack of social isolation inmates are like proverbial sitting ducks. There is though one more consequence, the impact on their families and loved ones. As a precaution to not spread the virus or to bring it in, face to face contacts and visitations have been stopped nationwide in state and federal prisons. And since prisons do not have the staff and often the inclination to keep families informed about the welfare or whereabouts of inmates, families are now left wondering what’s going on with their loved ones. In some cases it is not virus related, but whether the cancer treatments were continuing, or whether the COPD of another was being addressed. I have found, as numerous others have too, that the well-being of someone we love can be more important than our own, that the pains of someone we love can be harder to bear than ours. And so in this time of difficulties, when my heart goes out to so many groups such as refugees, detainees, homeless and so many others, I include the anguish of those who have a family member incarcerated.