Testing Positive for COVID (4:52) Taylor Conley

1/20/21
Hello, this is Taylor Conley here, and I'm currently incarcerated in Washington State Prison. I would like to talk a little bit about my experience with COVID. Currently, I have been, uh, tested positive with, with the COVID-19, and I've had it for about a week and a half now. Um, you know, I haven't had a lot of the symptoms and different, um, health effects that a lot of other people have, but at the facility I'm currently at, there has been a COVID outbreak. And the thing is, is it's crazy because I don't think that they really understand how to deal with it. And that's why. Inside of prison, we're so enclosed and everything travels quickly.
 
If somebody gets a cold, everybody gets a cold in the unit eventually without the facilities like people that travels fast. So with this COVID-19, as soon as it hit in here, it was a huge wave. And we've been on lockdown for the last six weeks, like I was locked in my cell for, um, you know, all day I would get to come out for 45 minutes a day.
 
We'd get our out time to take a shower and basically, you know, make a phone call or whatever. And then that was it locked back. And so every week we'd get tested and, you know, I made it for, for five weeks. My first five weeks I got tested, I tested negative. And then. You know, I tested positive and then they move you.
 
They've created these, um, medical sort of makeshift medical units in these different locations throughout the facility to where, uh, if you test positive, you move there for, for two weeks quarantine. And I guess until you test negative, which is where I'm at now, and it's in the gym, you know, I'm in the gym.
 
It's like, imagine if you were in a homeless mission, if you've ever seen something like that, where they have cots just rows of cots all over, laid out. That's what it's like in here. Uh, that's where I'm currently at. And, you know, I don't know what it is, from the last thing that I'd heard there was over a thousand cases here at this prison that I'm located at.
 
And it's, you know, there's been a couple of deaths actually, and that's, it's very sad that the way in which, you know, there's really no way to stop the spread of this thing. And I don't know that the way in which they're doing it makes a difference whether you know you've already, if you test positive, whether you're locked in your cell or they move you out of the unit into a area where there's a whole bunch of other people that got in it.
 
I mean, it just keeps spreading. So there's more and more sober [inaudible]. Last time I heard it was over 50% of the, of the population here. There's like 18 or 1900 people at this particular place where I'm at. And, uh, you know, it's, it's, it's been a crazy, it's been a crazy ride here. Fortunately for me, the only symptoms I've had is, uh, you know, like being a little bit tired.
 
I had like a headache and had maybe, you know, just general, low energy. But other than that, I didn't find myself, but there is a lot of people that, that have had worse effects from it. And I just. You know, hopefully they'll have the virus or the, uh, the vaccine coming through. I keep seeing memos saying that, you know, we may be able to get the vaccine, but at this point, um, you know, I, I think we're all gonna get it by the time that that arrives.
 
So, you know, as soon as I feel that they don't really have an answer for it, so they're just kind of trying to do something, but it's not working. Yeah. Yeah, I just felt, I felt like it would be a good thing too, to talk about it a little bit. It's kind of a crazy time, man. It's like a Twilight Zone for me.
 
I've, I've never experienced anything, you know, anything like it in my life and in all my time in prison, I've never experienced anything like this, this is crazy. Hopefully we'll be off lockdown soon. And if you want, I can come back and give you an update later on. Thank you. This is, this is Taylor Conley. And like I said, if you want to find out anything else about me or what continuous updates, I usually post weekly on my podcast "Life of a Lifer."
 
Thank you very much for the time.
 
These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.