Covid Adds Complications to Trash Removal…

Covid adds complications to everything in prisons, even food trash removal. There’s a saying that goes, “Don’t shit where you eat.” In prison, you may have to. I live in an 8×11 foot “wet” cell, meaning my toilet, sink and bed all exist is the same small footprint. We’ve been eating all meals in our cells since Covid started in 2020 to ensure limits to transmission. Truthfully, it’s not that bad to operate this way for guys like me, because it feels strangely independent. However, during this particular Covid outbreak lockdown that our prison is currently under, one of the most nerve wracking things is the inability to readily discard trash from those consumed meals. In response to the outbreak, we’ve been isolated to our individual cells for up to 23 hours a day. I, fortunately, worked myslef into a single occupant cell through good behavior. Most cells of this same size have two people in them.

Now, I can cope with eating where I shit (I’ve certainly been in worse predicaments), but what I struggle with is the smell of the food trash the following day. As it stands right now, we’re only allowed out of our cells for one hour a day. Once that hour is done, there’s no more handling day-to-day business, like cell cleaning or trash removal. This leads to trash being accumulated until the next time out… tomorrow. Even in the higher security settings like “the hole”, staff will come to each cell after a meal to make sure there’s no food trash. But in accordance with our Covid protocols, we will not deviate… we get one hour and your door is not to be unlocked for cell hygiene until the next hour out. Waking up in the morning to the smell of last night’s dinner trash is… discouraging.

In reality, if we just get it figured out that we’ve all been vaccinated, staff and inmates alike, and that Covid is endemic and a part of life, we can start to move toward reclaiming normalcy. Until then, we’re stuck with things like outbreak overreaction and the sudden onset of soured overnight smells from soy-based protein patties… Mmmmm….

by Rory Andes

We need to find a path to pre-pandemic life…

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Email via using Rory Andes 367649

Rory Andes 367649
PO Box 888
Monroe, WA 98272