SOCIAL DISTANCING: A Prison Fairy Tale

As a prisoner at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, NY, John J. Lennon has written about everything from mental health in the prison system, to fashion trends among inmates.

In his most recent story, published last month in Esquire, Lennon writes about the day the coronavirus arrived in Sing Sing. In it, Lennon described the “primitive” preventative health steps that inmates started taking — including sock-covered phones and nasal-spray bottles filled with bleach and water — after the prison registered its first confirmed coronavirus case.

State officials say measures like social distancing seem to be slowing the spread of COVID-19. But in prison, where social distancing is largely impossible, people are getting sick.

Earlier this month, state prison officials confirmed the first coronavirus-related death at Sing Sing. In an interview with Morning Edition, Lennon said it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the inmates contract the virus.

“We’re not at our so-called apex or crescendo here, because we’re wrapped in a 30-foot wall,” he said. “It took a while to get in. But now it’s in.”

CLICK