COVID-19 has changed everything about life in prison.
The DOC is scrambling to figure out how to institute social distancing in a setting designed to force people into close confined spaces. Some of their efforts are working. Others are not.
Pill line is now run one wing at a time, thus there is only five or six people in line and all of us are able to space ourselves out.
Weight decks are closed, the equipment being one giant high touch surface and there not being enough bleach to go around to make it safe.
On the other hand…
Meals are ran 10 people at a time and take two hours to feed everyone. They have us sit one to a table in the chow hall which spaces us out a lot. However, there isn’t enough physical space to spread out while in line, forcing us to clump together. They need to deliver food to the the units, let us pick up our trays in the day room then eat in our cells.
The big yard is (thankfully) still open and people are spreading out on their own once out there. However, when movement is opened to go to yard it’s one giant herd of people. They need to run it 25 people at a time so we can spread out while walking.
The c/o’s are still calling everyone out to the day room each afternoon for mail call. They need to deliver the mail to cell front, or divide mail call in half (A-K, L-Z or something similar) so we can spread out in the day room.
The things I mentioned before are still happening.
Bleaching high touch surfaces multiple times a day.
All volunteer programs are still canceled, as are all educational programs.
Visiting room is closed. To compensate for the lack of visiting, there are now more video visit time slots and we are getting 2 free 5 minute phone calls per week.
Essentially, everything is slowed down and it is debatable how effective these counter measures will be.