Uncertainty (FEAR/COVID-19)

I know the purpose of this writing prompt was to shine the spotlight on how the incarcerated individual is coping with his fears and the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m sure others will leave you all thoroughly informed on how this virus has been effecting the day to day operations in prison. Therefore, my approach will address a fear the prisoner and the free citizen both share in common. And that is the uncertainty surrounding the job market and our ability to provide for ourselves in the post-Coronavirus world.

The April jobs report shows that 20.5 million jobs have been lost. This has pushed U.S. unemployment to its highest levels since the Great Depression, and it has virtually wiped out all of the jobs recovered since the 2008 Great Recession.

I wonder what will our new normal be when the smoke clears? Will local small businesses recover, and if not then how will this effect the economy in my community? How will corporate America respond? Will they downsize the number of laborers and other minimal skill positions that people like me need? And if so, then what employment opportunities will be available to me when I am released from prison?

I expect that the post-COVID-19 world will look something like this:

When you go to retail stores and fast food restaurants there will be less cashiers and more self-serve/self-checkout lines where patrons can use touch screens and credit cards.

Within factories, manufacturing plants, and warehouses all over America the automated machines will outnumber the people on the floor. And trucking companies and delivery services will replace drivers with autonomous vehicles and drones. Even janitorial positions will be effected by industrial robots that sweep and mop floors.

I fear that any job that can be performed more efficiently and cheaply using artificial intelligence, corporate America will replace even more of their human employees with robots. I know that it is the essential workers in these minimal skills jobs who are the most expendable. I know that it is the essential workers in these minimal skills positions who were the most exposed and some of the most vulnerable. And I know that corporate America is cold blooded enough not to give a damn about whether these minimal skills people can keep food on their table, or pay their rent to keep a roof over their heads. All corporate America cares about is their bottom line.

There are stores and companies that have already invested in this type of technology. Anyone with eyes can see that this is where the future is heading. The only reason this trend hasn’t become a full fledge transition into automation yet, is because the technology is still too expansive. However, as the necessities of the society drives demand and innovation, more technological advancements will be discovered. Today’s time consuming and expensive methods will be replaced by cheaper and quicker methods. It is crisis like this pandemic that drive this sort of entrepreneurial spirit. Thus my fears are inevitable.

In my book, APOTHEOSIS LORD SERIOUS HAKIM ALLAH’S HABEAS CORPUS APPEAL, I suggest that learning the skill of computer coding will provide job security for people like me. This is a skill that is in high demand. Since most companies will be using AI and robots. They all will be in need of humans to secure their networks, run diagnostics on their machines, and perform trouble shooting when glitches occur. Learning the skill of computer coding will make you an indispensable asset to society. I hope this encourages you to look into new career opportunities. Unfortunately for me, the Virginia Department of Corrections does not provide this sort of training to those within its’ custody. (Smdh). Peace!

– Lord Serious Hakim Allah / J. Boughton Jr., Chesapeake, VA #1404741

Lord Serious Hakim Allah is the author of the controversial book APOTHEOSIS LORD SERIOUS HAKIM ALLAH’S HABEAS CORPUS APPEAL available now on Amazon.com for $10.00 plus s/h. It is a must read.

Fear: Writing Prompt

The year of 2020 was anticipated with promise of change. Many of us prisoners here in Virginia were looking towards possibility of some relief, but as quickly as that light came, brilliant and burning with hope, the quicker that flame was doused and the gloom of despair and uncertainty reclaimed the reigns of our community. This time, the darkness came in a form fit for global impact – a pandemic. pestilence. 2020: affectionately dubbed the year of clarity and vision by most of us, has quickly wrapped into 2020: the year of the coronavirus.

Incarcerated populations across America have been affected by the disease at various rates. On the low end, staff’s refusal to work in possibly infected areas is slowing operations. At the high end, the highly communicable virus rapidly spreading throughout the confined quarters of prison communities, where social distancing is literally impossible.

So far, there is no apparent sign that the virus is here at Lawrenceville, but the proliferation of COVID-19 across cable television, the woes of our family members by phone, the statewide directives locking down prisons, and distributing sneeze guards keep fears fluid and real from one side of the gates to another.

Fear: the surrender of the help that comes from reason.

Behind the walls, fear is king. As incarcerated people, we deal with a set of fears most others do not. We depend on staff for almost every necessity. If conditions became somewhat apocalyptic and society destabilizes, prisoners will either be legally executed or abandoned in cells to futilely fend for themselves… a fear permanently etched in the back of the mind, and at the center is the motivation for all fear — the idea of survival.

Prompt: Define fear in your words. What are some of your fears? How do you see yourself overcoming them? What do you think could be done to alleviate today’s fears of sickness and death?

– Quadaire Patterson, Creator, Organizer, Writer VADOC #1392272

Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know wants to write on this prompt this month and be featured on BrillianceBehindBars.com, send an email to yourlovedoneq@gmail.com with the essay and bio to review, or we can add inmate numbers to our Brilliance Behind Bars JPay to allow them to contact us directly.