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I know what I mean but I can’t find strong enough words to express the bravery of our Lakeland Correctional Facility nurses, entering our facility under the danger of hidden respiratory predators. 

Our nurses had so much courage, wearing white uniforms, pushing medical equipment and supplies across the prison yard under the hot sun, and facing tug-of-wars with death armed with only a mask, a temperature gauge and hand washing skills. 

All day long I saw nurses walking from unit to unit with bad boys in wheelchairs, darkness hanging over their heads, their heads bowed down in repentance.

I watch our unit barber take his last ride out.

I kept imagining fighting for my life, feeling the cold hands of death choking me and throwing me into the fires of hell, hearing the loud screams of my wife and her lover being tormented, and knowing there are no second chances.

I came out of my imaginary thoughts shivering, when I smelled perfume and I heard a sweet voice saying, “Next.”

When the nurse was taking my vitals, I thought about humanitarianism, and wondered why would a nurse risk putting her husband and children in harm’s way for us.

The nurses made COVID-19 tap out by placing it into locks of submission with masks, social distancing, quarantine and hospitalizing. Out of 1,300 prisoners all now tested negative and Lakeland Correctional Facility nurses should be an excellent world role model for their tug-of-war with COVID-19.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Gene Favors is a writer incarcerated in Michigan. Favors' pieces are submitted through the American Prison Writing Archive, a partner of the Prison Journalism Project.