While I was out on my 1 hour pandemic walk, something I’ve been doing since being ordered to shelter in place. Although my gym is open I’m afraid to go back, so I created a daily workout routine indoor and my outdoor activities consist of walking the outside perimeter of the football field near my house.
I was listening to Miles Davis and my mind wondered about the life of prisoners and the limitations they struggle with. I know that there is no comparison to the limitations placed on our lives due to the coronavirus, and the striction placed on a prisoner due to crimes committed against society.
I began to think about what it feels like to lose privileges and freedom of choice, to be able to make decisions based on what we feel we need or want. For now our so called normal has been turned upside down, we have to put great thought into who we are around, where we can and can’t go, but we still enjoy some freedoms, as we sit, hope, and wait for the day when we can exist in something that resembles what we use to know as normal.
In the case of some prisoners they have no hope of life returning to normal. Once branded a criminal, this label sticks. When a person who has been incarcerated serves their time and is released back into society they have conditions placed on their lives that seem impossible to overcome.They have to check in with a probation officer, can’t live in public housing, is denied the opportunity to apply for government assistance, difficulty finding employment, and they no longer have the right to vote. All the rights and privileges endowed to all individuals. To add insult to injury their criminal record follows them for the rest of their life.
I said that to say this, all the privileges that we might moan and groan about missing during this pandemic like, dining out, broadway shows, sporting events, going to the gym, and meeting friends for cocktails or coffee. Although at this time we have to be careful, we can still exercise making choices by free will. Oftentimes when an event like a pandemic occurs we are often reminded that what we think we are missing or can’t live without, we should be thankful for what we do have and for the freedom of choice.