Aug 16, 2020
New Submittal - Side Effects of COVID 19 Crisis at CMC West
A bona fide COVID-19 outbreak crisis has now emerged at CMC West and its sister facility CMC-East. Over 200 cases are now active, including prisoners and staff. Associate Warden K. McQuaid admitted last week to the Mens Advisory Committee Reps that the virus is entering the facility via staff – a predictable outcome of CMC’s flawed mitigation strategy. Last week an officer working at R&R tested positive and all prisoners working there were sent to quarantine, but no other officers. The chow hall lead officer also tested positive recently, and all prisoners working in the chow hall were also sent to quarantine, but no officers.
In the midst of all this, two weeks ago I began experiencing severe pain in my neck and shoulder. I turned in a request for medical services and saw the triage nurses who gave me an ointment that proved to be ineffective and a doctor’s appointment. In the next week 3 different medical appointments were cancelled because the COVID-19 outbreak is absorbing all the medical personnel of the facility and no one at all is receiving any medical care short of a life threatening emergency.
So I, because of unrelenting pain, was forced to go “man down” in hopes of getting some medical attention to control my severe pain. Twice the arriving nurses heard my story and brushed me off with no attempt at a solution.
Finally on my third “man down” they took me by ambulance to the CMC East Clinic. My neck was X-rayed and I was determined to have degenerated vertebrae in my neck, probably due to age – I am 64 years old. I was given a prescription for a muscle relaxant, which does little good. I was told that no one could prescribe pain relief for me other than my primary care physician. I was told that I would see my doctor in five days.
So I am still suffering after 2 ½ weeks. The indifference of medical personnel to my pain would be shocking if I had not seen it as a constant pattern in other prisoners’ cases.
But before the COVID-19 outbreak reached CMC, I would have seen my doctor within a day or two. The pandemic has shut down all chronic or even acute care here, except for life threatening emergencies but the flawed mitigation measures employed by the prison to keep out the virus keep on failing and yielding more cases and more quarantines. Dorm II on Fox Yard was emptied completely last week and all inmates sent to quarantine/treatment. Who knows what will be the next location of COVID-19 at CMC.
I just pray that I will get a doctor’s appointment and some relief on Wednesday. I am almost at the limits of my endurance.
If you are working on an APWA-related project, please let us know how you plan to utilize the Archive. We hope to share information about your work with our readers and, whenever possible, with relevant APWA authors.
APWA is an open access archive. We encourage use of the writings for research, course planning, and projects engaged in examination of the criminal legal system. Reproduction of essays in their entirety infringes on author copyright without their explicit consent from the writers. Please contact us if you plan to reproduce entire essays; we will do our best to put you in contact with the authors for consent, and their compensation for any project that is profit making.