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As with the majority of humans across our globe, the mere mention of the words COVID, virus, and 2020 causes me true emotional discomfort. Those fortunate enough to still be at liberty within society throughout this trying pandemic have endured similar strife and hardships as those of us in prison. 

I believe most can relate to losing loved ones, neighbors or maybe just the person we’ve all known and regularly crossed paths with but failed to interact or speak with. The losses within the confines of these fences up here in Michigan have been significant and the general consensus amongst my peers is that many lives were lost due to blatant, deliberate indifference in care. This experience has without any doubt reshaped our individual perspectives and realigned our collective sight with what truly matters to each of us most.

When the virus initially reached the United States, I found myself somewhat transfixed by the exponential rate at which the media was reporting deaths. I was bewildered at the speed at which this virus launched into every geographic nook and cranny throughout our beautiful nation. When I realized that my mood was growing darker with each reported fatality, I resolved to distract myself deliberately and embark on a deep spiritual quest. 

With a vaccine becoming reality as we close out this deplorable year, I am convinced that COVID, virus and 2020 are all words that will be eternal reminders of the importance of time as well as my loved ones. I share your losses yet implore you to recognize what each of us has truly gained within our hearts. With great respect and heart-filled adoration. May everyone lost rest peacefully.

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.

Brandon Resch is a writer incarcerated in Michigan.