More and More People in Jails and Prisons Are Dying of COVID-19 2020-05-05
The Corona virus is quickly spreading through jails and prisons around the country even in solitary confinement on death row. They feel that the prison system can't adequately take care of them. I'm should meet the best zoo. In for tenzing Vega and for today on the takeaway Tuesday may fifth we check in on how incarcerated people are being hit especially hard by Kobe? Nineteen then we bring you an exclusive story on conditions inside one of the largest immigration. Jails in the country. Jimmy said you know demand better provision and so the the correctional staff responded using pepper spray and ball munition. Also a look at Georgia's reopening and if the state's public health is ready and we round out the show talking about life after ovid and what we should ditch when all of this is over what I want us to leave behind is shaking hands and hugging strangers. We're taking your calls at eight seven seven eight by takes. Let's get going as states around the country start to open back up. Many of us are still trying to keep our social distance but for the millions of Americans in jails and prisons. That's practically impossible on this show. We've been covering conditions inside jails and prisons around the country before Colbert nineteen and now months into the pandemic. The number of positive cases and the number of deaths is continuing to rise in these facilities just last week. The Bureau of Prisons reported that over seventy percent of federal prisoners tested were positive for covert nineteen and those are only the people who were tested which means there could be many more that have the virus. Local law enforcement has been more cautious about introducing New People into jails but in jail complexes like rikers island in New York. So far three inmates and nine staff members had died of the disease a directive from Attorney General Bill Bar to begin releasing. Federal prisoners has caused confusion about the problem and how to address it to keep inmates and staff safe. We have two guests with US. That have been following this closely. Danny Rivero is a reporter and producer for wwl an public radio in Florida and carry. Blake and injure is a staff writer at the Marshall Project. Hi Danny Hi Carrie. I should meet the hi. Thanks for having me of course. Thanks for being cured. Danny I wanNA start with you. Can you walk us through the different conditions in facilities in the Miami Dade area? What are you seeing so far right so here in Miami Dade County in the State of Florida? We have the biggest local county jail population on a normal day. There's about four thousand inmates and you know that number has come down a little bit. Because officials have been taking some steps to to kind of draw down the the population in the local. Jails but as of today. We have over three hundred inmates in the in in these facilities that have tested positive for covert nineteen and there's one facility in particular The Metro West jail. That has Just just over a hundred sixty inmates in that. That facility is now part of a federal lawsuit Where a federal judge has now mandated the the county to provide all sorts of sanitary equipment and whatnot for for inmates in that facility. Just over the weekend. We learned that The first inmate in the in the jail system here has died and we're waiting on the medical examiner to confirm that was co it That that causes a matter of the death but we know that the inmate had tested positive for Cohen. Nineteen in Kerry. You've been reporting on federal prisons. How the spread of covert nineteen unfolded in federal facilities. Federal facilities. Like a lot of other places have been facing a lot of criticism. I sort of handling it or or not taking seriously soon enough and as of now there's nineteen hundred federal inmates who who are testing positive for Kobe. And there's been thirty eight deaths. They're not reporting any staff member deaths which is baffling because it seems that you know there has been local reporting indicating that there. Hartman staff member deaths But you know regardless. It's clearly still something that's ongoing and. I think we have a long way to go in some of these prisons especially the larger systems like the federal system. And you know where I live here in Texas right and you've done a lot of reporting work there in Texas do prisons and Facilities. There have enough supplies. Do they have what they need to fight the spread of the virus? Defense you ask you what do you mean? I mean that you know. Prison officials told me that they've had and ninety five masks around. They had I think one hundred thousand of them since the beginning of the year but on the ground actually talking to officers they're telling me that it's really inconsistent some units. Now have them but people who were doing hospital transports don't consistently have the PCP. They need I talked to one person who an officer who had done a transport with someone who confirmed positive and was in the hospital and they had a. This officer had a face shield to share with her partner. You know to to officers face shield one coughing infected prisoner and this is sort of to me when a more Greece's examples but I mean I've heard a lot of things like this so it seems that even if they do have the equipment there seems to be some with actually getting out to where it's needed. Danny you're in Florida. Can you give us a picture of what prisons look? Lake outside of the Miami Dade area. What do we know about the severity of this problem? Statewide Florida has the third largest prison system. The state prison system in the country and so far we have seven reported deaths. That have happened in in Florida. Prisons with inmates have contracted covert nineteen. There's almost four hundred prisoners that have tested positive for it. Almost two hundred staff that have tested positive for you know a lot of the issues that are happening here in Florida tend to be happening inside of private prisons. The first two deaths that happened here was up in the panhandle. You know not far from Alabama and that was in an facility that was run by Geo Group of very large private prison contractor and there is a special amount of controversy in in that case because the data the inmates were not made public for almost a week afterwards and it was only after some reporters started poking around the actually got that information from the medical examiner's office in that county that the public learn about it. My we do have as of now from what's been made public seven deaths at that have Happened which is pretty high actually for state prison system. You know a place like California. I believe has had only had one death in their prison system so it does seem to be spreading rather quickly here in Florida. In April attorney. General Bill Bar sent a letter to officials running federal prisons ordering them to maximize the release of the most medically vulnerable prisoners to home confinement to try and prevent the spread of the virus Kerry. What has happened in the weeks since the Attorney General gave that directive? So there's been a lot of back and forth on this and a lot of confusion over what exactly that means and who exactly eligible and one of the big points of the just been contentious has been whether or not need to serve fifty percent of your sentence because the guidance changed on that and interpretation of the guidance has changed on that. So I'm talking to a lot of families and a lot of prisoners. Who were told that they would be able to go home in? Some cases signed release papers in some cases were sent to fourteen day quarantine because they're doing a fourteen day quarantine before release and then taken out of quarantine and told actually never mind and they hadn't served of their sentence was the issue here. Danny seeing a difference in the way that jails and prisons are handling the crisis. The short answer is yes the majority of people that are sitting in county jails across. The country have not actually been convicted of any crime. These are decisions that are largely made on the front end of a criminal case. And so what we've seen happening here in. Florida is a lot of basically. There's an agreement with the Sheriff's Association and this has trickled down to virtually every county that I've been able to look at where sheriff's offices police departments are making fewer arrests and the reason for that is that they are trying to bring fewer people into the jail systems in the first place. The fear is that someone that you might bring into jail one day might have covert nineteen and then that would further spread inside the system so police have been you know issuing simple citations giving promises to appear in kind of tackling it from From the front end because they have that Authority to to make that determination on the front end of a sentence in prison. It's a little bit more complicated. Because the person who's in there has already been sentenced to something and then that changes the calculation a little bit security. What do we know about the number of people who've actually been released from federal prisons to home confinement so as when we looked at this a little bit over a week ago for the Marshall Project? There were only about a thousand people who've been sent home under the guidance which is half percent of the federal prison population. So it's really a drop in the bucket. I understand that there have been multiple lawsuits around the country by people who are incarcerated. Can you tell us about some of those lawsuits? If any of stood out to you the there have been number of them One of the ones that said most recently had an update was on Friday. Texas death row prisoners filed a lawsuit and they also filed to intervene an existing lawsuit from other Texas prisoners. But I mean it was striking to me that even in solitary confinement on death row they feel that the prison system can't adequately take care of them. That alone is pretty stark. And you know some of the things they're asking for so basic they're asking for consistent access to running water and soap. They're not asking to get out there not asking off of death row. They're just asking to be cared for better. And one of the things. They bring up in their lawsuit. Which hasn't gotten a lot of attention. Is that you also have an extremely high needs population in some parts of prison systems like severely delusional mentally. Ill We have people that hallucinate demons and snakes who are generally captain solitary confinement. It's not clear that they can understand. What a pandemic is or how they're supposed to protect themselves setting aside the fact that the officers may or may not tell them because going around and telling individual cells on death row how to protect yourself from pandemic is you know probably not a priority for them and even if you do some of them are extremely mentally impaired so I mean there are some serious concerns that that lawsuit raises. Danny what are you expecting to see in the weeks and months to come in facilities in Florida? The numbers don't look good for the state prison system. They they've gone up considerably just over the last week in the local. Jails here in Miami Dade County almost doubled so you know it's just it's the nature of confinement in a in a of being trapped within four walls you know the the ability to social distance is very limited. There's thousands of inmates across the state that are currently in Medical Corinthian and the state governments issued a lot of statements about it saying they're they're tackling it and whatnot but Aside from from mass releases which there doesn't seem to be an appetite for. It's pretty clear at this point that there is going to continue to be spread within different kinds of facilities that local and state level and It's a little bit of fingers. Crossed is honestly part of my assessment Kerry reporting on conditions in jails and prisons is never particularly easy. I can imagine it might be even more difficult during pandemic over the course of your reporting how you manage to find information about what's actually happening inside. Well I mean. I've had a lot of families that reach out to me but it's also interesting that I think that some prisons because they're not interested in doing so searches as much right now have more access to contraband phones And I think this is true across many different prison systems. I also think that people are a little more desperate a little more willing to reach out to reporters whether that's through traditional means of you know written letters or some cases like it's pretty easy to get calls from federal prison if they have access to the legitimate phone system so I think that in some cases people are more likely to reach out right now because they're so desperate you know normally the the fear retaliation and the concerns about talking. The media can be assembling block for some people in terms of not wanting to reach out but right now things are so dire that I'm hearing a lot more. I mean it's just been a constant fire hose of tragedy. Basically Danny Rivero is a reporter and producer for wwl. Rn public radio. In Florida and carry blake injure is a staff writer at the Marshall Project Danny Carey. Thank you both so much travelling. Thanks now from Kobe. Nineteen in jails and prisons to house diseases affecting one immigration center on all that in the mid one. This is the first day of possible. Call the nineteen half past one merger emergency high home but then he's not those are nine one one calls from the Stuart Detention Center in rural Georgia one of the biggest immigration and customs enforcement facilities in the US. Stewart is run by a private prison company called for civic and houses migrant detainees and asylum seekers. We've heard from detainees that in that facility like so many others across the country covert nineteen has been spreading fast. Seems like since all this began. We've been quarantined. Can't go outside or anything. I don't feel well at night. I feel like I can't breathe well and asked for help. Some time ago the staff has not given me medical attention or given the medicine and like myself. There are other people. Detained here aren't getting medical attention. So immigrants have demanded better conditions and more protection in the face of this pandemic in response correctional staff at Stewart have used force on them twice in two weeks. The officers involved from a secretive unit in the facility deployed to keep detainees in check and social media posts from members of this unit. Reveal potential pattern of alleged bias and misconduct toward detainees. Jose Alvarez takeaway producer has been reporting on this in conjunction with the intercept so we saw to protests break out in its week time span amid the Kobe pandemic and they both have been related to conditions inside the facility so the first protest took place on April ninth and this is when people detained started protesting because they were worried that people inside their units were not getting sufficient healthcare treatment of medical treatment and medical attention necessary with others who were showing symptoms of Copen nineteen. The second protests happened on April twentieth at nights people detained were alleging that they were getting very little food at a very late hour and when the very little food kind of came in closer to nine ten PM Ginny said you know we refuse to eat this. We demand better food. We demand better provision and so the the correctional staff responded with force using pepper and pepper ball ammunition Now you've actually been in touch with some of the detainees there right. Yeah Yes oh spoken with eight people who are currently detained in Stewart's and I've also been in touch with six family members in to people who were formerly detained so I've been getting a lot of information of us to kind of wet conditions are looking like inside and what they're alleging is pretty grim They're saying basically about symptoms were rapidly spreading about the units. Have Sixty to ninety people in there and that it's practically impossible to to practice any sort of social distancing in their people are getting very very desperate because of symptoms and conditions inside the facility. I spoke with one man who told me the following. There was a man in this unit. Who fainted this morning? And the medics game in the afternoon. He fainted again and the medics game again and now he fell on the floor again. We told the officer. We call the medics and they took him again. But we don't know to where. Oh Wow so jose. Do we know if there's been anything? Similar happening. In other detention facilities during this pandemic in isolated around the country is really really bubbling up. And it's really kind of exploding. Are we seeing hunger strikes and protests in facilities all over the US? We've also seen use of force incidence different facilities as well from Louisiana to Texas to Arizona and Just last week actually in in Massachusetts okay so in the case of Stewart you reported that this secretive four step. Then what does that secret of force so the sort team is the special operations response team. It's a group of highly trained correctional staff Whose job it is is basically to sort of put down and repressed any sort of disturbance inside the facility their normal correctional staff. And when there's any sort of disturbance they change into outfits that are basically all black they essentially act like a swat team. They're trying to use shields helmets pepper spray batons pepper ball munition up but they are employees of the private company. Core Civic and they are trained by the company for these sort operations and the use of force operations. So does that mean that. This is happening at other facilities that core civic overseas. Maybe the use. These teams is usually mostly associated with prisons or very large jails not typically associated with immigration detention. Which like I said as for civil cases not necessarily criminal cases right so it seems lack based on the reporting the Stewart Attention. Sort officers were being trained at other core civic facilities that were either jails or prisons in the south and did the actions of these officers constitute a use of force beyond what you would expect in a situation like this according to social media posts from some of these sort officers that we saw in court filings. I mean some of the use of force seems to be pretty intense. I mean there was. One migrant detainees who was allegedly pepper sprayed shot with pepper volume munition on April twentieth and the social media posts. Show that he was in a wheelchair and he. He was forced to go onto the ground. The social media posts sort of alluded to the fact that maybe he was shot with pepper balls in the face. Right pretty gruesome aggressive actions in these facilities to sort of put down any sort of protests that activists and advocates claim is peaceful. So this is out there on social media. You're saying that some of the members of this sort force Were posting about it on where facebook twitter right so on facebook members of Georgia detention. Watch which is a detain migrants at St Organization. Found some of these posts on facebook and shared them with me. I'm basically we were able to independently verify that's for months. These sort officers were sort of joking about kind of talking about use of force in the facility and some of these posts are can be pretty disturbing after the April ninth pepper spray incident. There was a cheap at the basilica who posted a photo of his boots and he said Oh today I was ready to stomp and drag than another sort officer shared a very graphic video of a man in a chokehold who is being beaten by sticks and he shared that video posted next time they activate sorts and showed it with laughing emojis and then after the April twentieth incidents officers joked about how they were shooting pepper spray. Pepper spray pepper Munition on eighteen. Who's WHO's on wheelchairs. So these are some very interesting facebook posts that were just out there. joking and kind of discussing the use of force in the facility that that was taking place so has there been any response from Stewart from core civic or even from ice about this use of force yes I spoke with the individual sort members that are mentioned in the story and they all basically referred my comments. They didn't say anything on the record and refer comments to core civic same with the award and at the facility and and basically after we sent a long email detailing are reporting to core. Civic informed us. That's These correctional officers in question were placed on administrative leave from the facility and that an office and internal office with ice call. The office of professional responsibility was going to be looking in an investigating to see if there was any alleged misconduct that place and with these social media posts but also core civic and they've they've denied that there's delays in providing medical attention to folks and Diesel they've been complying with the guidelines. The key people in detention in their custody safe. So what happens next for this specific facility for Stewart and for other immigrant detention facilities around the country or their calls for change absolutely yes yes so migrant advocacy organizations and attorneys and human rights organizations around the country even even the United Nations have spoken out about conditions in ice detention centers Now a couple of weeks ago a federal judge ruled that ice should consider releasing detainees. Who are most at risk on? There's also a lawsuit filed specific the against Stuart's from the Southern Poverty Law Center seeking the release of vulnerable detainees. I mean the population in the past few weeks at the facility has dropped almost two fifty four percent of what its capacity is so Pressure seems to be bouncing. Time will tell what's going to happen. Jose Olivarez is an associate producer with the takeaway. You can find his full investigation on the takeaway dot org and on the intercept dot com and a quick update to the story since we recorded this interview for civic said that three additional employees were placed on administrative leave because of our reporting and four other staff members have been fired all this week. We're looking at the reopening process here in the US as more and more states roll back measures they put in place due to covert nineteen. Georgia is one of the first states to do so. Here's Governor Brian. Kemp on April twenty fourth. We will allow gyms fitness centers bowling alleys body art studios barbers cosmetologists hair designers nail care artist s decisions their respective schools and massage therapist to reopen their doors. This past Friday kemp took it a step further and lifted. The state's stay at home order from most of Georgia's residence. The exception is for people who are elderly or considered medically fragile. They need to shelter in place until at least June twelfth. For more on this I spoke to Dr Harry Hyman a public health professor at Georgia State University and Dr Karen Landman a practicing physician epidemiologist and journalist who reports on medicine and public health based in Atlanta. Here's what Karen told me about the scope of the pandemic in Georgia. So far we have had a progressively increasing number of cases over the course of the pandemic the worst affected areas of Georgia do seem to be sort of smaller. Urban areas where there's a lot of concentrated poverty and a lot of folks sharing a lot of space and also a a difficulty of information penetrating those spaces and resources penetrating those spaces We have been deeply affected in Georgia. But it's not the same all across the state and Harry. We talked a bit about. What's behind the push to reopen states on our show yesterday so what has state leadership in Georgia said about why they want to ease restrictions. Now I think it's important to understand that question in the context of Georgia and Georgia both politics and policies Georgia kind of prides itself on this mantra of being number one for business so the the state has a long history of making policy decisions that give preferential treatment to business without really considering the impact on workers and particularly the the lives and livelihoods of low income workers. Just as an example Georgia's still has a minimum wage of five dollars and fifteen cents now. Fortunately the federal level which takes precedence is higher than that but it gives you a sense of historically how Georgia has valued workers pickety low income workers relative to business. So I think we have a long history of prioritizing the economy and business over the health and wellness of both employees and communities in general and I think unfortunately that that's kind of a false choice but we're seeing that happening all over the country where governors and others are deciding. Do I do. What's best for public health or do I do? What's best for the economy without recognizing that those are intimately tied together and the only way to save the open the economy and have it sustainably. Stay Open is to address and have a plan in place to address the public health crisis. Well Karen the governor. Brian Kemp said that his decision to reopen was based on what he called favourable data. What was the data that he was referring to there? He was referring to what appeared to be to the naked eye a downward slope in cases over the days two week preceding his announcement. Now it's important to understand that just by its very nature. Corona virus data has a lag built into it the way we record data now in port data now in Georgia is by the date of symptom onset. So let's say I start having symptoms today. I might wait a couple of days to get tested. It might take a couple more days for that test result and then a couple more days for that result to get reported to the state so you automatically have something like a five to seven day. Minimum data lag built in to all of this testing data. If you look now at the data from the days he made that announcement it already looks like we are at minimum seeing a plateau in cases and more likely an increase in cases in the days before. So you can't rely on data from the past week or two to make any decisions you need to build the lag into your thinking when you're making these decisions so I I really don't understand how he felt that the data on which he was basing his decision suggested any clear evidence of downward slope in cases. I think the notion that public policy is data driven is a misconception. I think we see policies at federal state and local levels every day that that don't seem to be aligned with what we know and what we know works. I think unfortunately when you continue that practice during a pandemic it literally has life and death implications so the stay at home order in Georgia was lifted on Friday Karen what was the first weekend like? I don't know I was home the whole time. But you know we see pictures and we read reports of people out and about. I saw video of Jackson Street Bridge. Which is a bridge. People might remember seeing from the walking dead people crammed together on this bridge the way they might be for New Year's Eve fireworks. It just seems that this is sent the signal to a lot of people that it's all over and you can go out and do whatever you want Karen you mentioned testing earlier and I just want to briefly touch on two of the criteria that states are considering as they reopen which has testing capacity and contact tracing. Tell us how Georgia's doing with both of those things so Georgia has improved testing capacity. It's not yet at the place where everybody throughout the state and you know that we're all employers can get testing at will Contact tracing. I also know that our state is hiring contact tracers. I don't know exactly what their timeline is for rolling that out. You know some states have already begun doing contact tracing like Massachusetts. I know a lot of states. Most states are hiring for this right now. So you know the right time to cautiously reopened is when you have all of those things in place everywhere and everybody can feel as secure as everybody else in the state that if they start to have concern about a hotspot of infection in their community or in their business that they can close things down appropriately test and isolated warranty and people. You know in have quick access to healthcare for those folks. There's a little bit of a public misconception about about testing and there's been too much focus on number of tests and while a number of tests is an important metric reflecting the capacity of the states to to really be were states need to be. They have to have adequate testing capacity for every community in every part of the state and Georgia for example stood up forty-nine Dr Engenders across the state in have mobile Dr Centers in some of the rural areas. And all that is great but the reply barrier to entry is access to a car. So if you don't have a private car or access to wine in those situations access to testing how're you mentioned earlier? The sort of tension between the governor and some of the municipalities in this choice to reopen. And I know that the governor is facing some backlash from most notably the mayor of Atlanta. What does the governor's decision mean for counties for municipalities like Atlanta? That may have had their own measures in place or may have wanted to put their own measures in place. What it means is they're having to work against a powerful counter narrative coming from the government or that. It's okay to use things up when people hear that message from what they perceived to be a trusted authority it sends signs and signals to him. About what behavior is okay. So it means that in places like Metro Atlanta where we know there are still significant community spread or places like Albany in southwest Georgia the surrounding counties where where they've been devastated. It means that they don't have the ability at a local level to make decisions based on what they're seeing on the ground and they have to rely on messages to people about what's appropriate behavior and trying to provide direction and guidelines to employers About what is what isn't isn't appropriate. Both in terms of opening and about what needs to be put in place to protect not only their employees but also customers in the public. These are also decisions that are on the backs of black and Brown communities. Not only in Georgia but across the country if you look geographically who's being disproportionately impacted in New York City and across the country. It's African American communities and other communities of color so I don't want listeners to think that this is a uniquely Georgia problem but but if you look at the data from Georgia African Americans make up about thirty percent of the State Population and comprise the majority of deaths from corona virus and in thinking about the repercussions of reopening and who that will impact the most. I'm also wondering what this means for the owners of those small businesses. I mean Karen. Can you talk to this? How are they responding to the governor's decision? And what kind of position does this put them in just puts them in an absolutely terrible position. They are forced to make a choice. That is best for the public's health without having any better data than our governor does and also without really having the understanding of what what's best for their community they really can. Can they can try You know and they can certainly hold two things in their head at the same time that you know there. There are two kinds of pain here. There two kinds of severe impact that they're choosing between but they're really having to make a choice that they should not be having to make. This is why we have government. This is why we have the whole ability to have input from around the state. This is why we have representation and why we have public health authorities so they can take decision out of the hands of individual business owners whose livelihood is understandably their highest priority and making a decision collectively best for everybody. What are some of the biggest lessons that other states could learn from looking at how Georgia has chosen to reopen? Try not to make politics and political gain the center of your communications nor the center of your decision. Making this is a human disaster on a grand scale. And it's just not the time for faffing around with political grievances whether you are a community member and a neighbor of somebody who who's trying to struggle with these big questions or a governor of a of a state. The first responsibility of government is the safety insecurity in protection communities and until you have a plan resources and infrastructure in place to ensure the safety security and healthy of your communities. You shouldn't go forward with opening things back up. And I think the requirement to that plan or well known and the requirements includes targeted policies and strategies to those communities that you know are being proportionately impact. Dr Harry. Hyman is a public health professor at Georgia State University and Dr Karen Landman is a practicing physician epidemiologist and journalist based in Atlanta. Thank you both for joining us. I'm the best sue in for tenzing Vega and you're listening to the takeaway shaking hands Unnecessary in person meetings buffets. Those are just some of the things that New York Times bestselling author Lovey. Aja Jones has on her ditch list for when we go back to our routines post pandemic in her viral piece for Zora a publication on medium for by and about women of Color. Lovey wrote that. When we do return to work and to our post Cova daily life. Our sense of normal will be forever changed by this pandemic. So what should we keep? And what should we ditch just here? We don't want you anymore. I spoke with lovey. Who's the author of? I'm judging. You and asked her why. She sees the global timeout as an opportunity. First of all a lot of people were facing a burn out from just running themselves ragged because the world has caused us to constantly be on the go. So I'm like I feel like it's an opportunity for us to figure out. Okay that's slow down that you probably wanted. Of course you didn't want it to come with a whole pandemic but we are now sitting at home. We now have the time and hopefully the space to do the thing that we were looking forward to doing or even catching up on sleep you know. So on that level. It's definitely opportunity for people to figure out what they need to be doing that. It's going to fulfill them. Serve them. You know make them recharge their batteries. So yeah so. Let's start with the ditch list. What do you think we will leave behind as a society after this pandemic what? I want us to leave behind. Shaking hands and hugging strangers. Like shaking hands by itself is like a greeting as a cultural greeting. I already was like really like it because think about it. We all have different standards of hygiene and we're finding out now that a lot of people aren't properly washing their hands like they haven't been and just as a habit so we're all constantly exchanging GERMS BHAI assistant on shaken hands. It doesn't really serve us. Can we just you know. Bow Curtsey Kinda forever. I'm fine with that. There's other ways to greet each other. That does not involve. Let me put my palm your palm so my my mom from Iran and Iranian culture is big on the kiss on the cheeks. Like usually they'll do to kisses on the cheek as a greeting and sometimes even three kisses on the cheek alternating cheeks. Are we ever going to go back to that? Yeah I mean I can be okay with their but I'm okay with that for people who I know in love. I think a lot of US need human touch. Of course I think humans need contact. I think especially business settings things like shaking hands and hugging. We can do away with but of course when you see your loved one. We you see your friend absolutely. Let's hug it out but it's like Oh this is somebody who I just met now. We're like mashing wastes now. I think we should get rid of that. She weighs so on twitter. Zora MAG tweeted out. What else should we leave behind? Yeah and over a thousand people chimed in there. Yeah I feel like one thing that lots of people were saying to leave behind from all. This is even the concept of of offices and going into the office and especially commuting because a lot of people are commuting by. Subways are if you're commuting on public transportation a lot of people. It seemed in that twitter response. Where saying I think we could. I think we could leave that so I don't agree with that. Oh why I worked from. I worked myself. I work from home but really I. I work from the world basically because I travel a lot. I think what we're also realizing especially with this. Everybody locked in their houses offices. Even though it's not required for every business we don't have to go into the office five days a week. I do think we still need base where people can can co work together in some way I think is isolation is she showed us that you know what it actually is. Good too sometimes. See other people in the creative space. So I'm saying I think we shouldn't necessarily completely get rid of the concept of going into the office of community but I think it's going to be reimagined will love you said you like to travel. Someone suggested that we leave behind middle seats on airplanes which I thought was kind of a good one. I can support that. Actually saw a graphic of what they said. It would look like if they decide to do that. I'm fine with that because already planes. We are packed on top of each other. Middle seats are miserable. Someone suggested I like even the little things that people were saying. We might consider leaving behind. Someone said blowing out birthday candles and a lot of people like that comment. I guess the season pretty messy blow outside. Agreed because when you're blown cake depend on. How many candles there are. You Bassi spitting on the Kate. I think there should be a little piece of the cake that's cut out for the celebrants to blow out. That nobody else touches them. The rest of the cake less not have it be the candle all over it. Yeah no I'm I'm I'm a fan of that. What about the flip side? What have we been doing more of during this time that maybe we should try and hold onto. I love how we're all staying connected to those. We love you know because we have braved. Go outside because we have to see anybody. We're actually making sure to connect with friends that we haven't talked to in a long time like we're video chatting more regularly with our loved ones. We're doing family group chats that which which we never did before and I think there's some there's so much value in that human to human connection. We are also understanding that the things that we took for granted which is being able to hug our family. Our friends our parents. We can't take it for granted the next time we can the next time. We get out of this foolishness. We won't be like you also see my mom. I'm going to skip on it today. We're going to run over there so that whole staying connected to those. We love is something that when we are out of this we have to hold. Dear continued to hold dear. You also mentioned that Thanking essential workers should continue post pandemic. That's something that it seems like. A lot of people have been reminded of in this moment. How do we keep people connected to this idea when the pandemic isn't front and center anymore? Unfortunately what we value what we value the most. Are things like entertainment and you know we value business leaders which valuable I understand we have. We take for granted the people who are underpaid but essential to make our lives easier to make our lives even work you know. The Nurses Doctors Lab Techs Grocery store workers even morticians right and for us. I think it's a cultural reckoning so also remind us that when even before this we should have been very grateful for essential workers and especially after this. We need to make sure that we do not relegate them to the margins of society we do not under compensate them. We don't take their work for granted. And how we keep that in mind is honestly. I think we're going to have to make some halls sweeping changes. How much are we paying them can do? They have the shouldn't just be getting a living wage. They should be able to thrive in their lives as they are putting themselves on the line every single day to serve the greater community. So we we gotta keep that same grateful energy and I think when all of this is done we all have to reflect on how we thought right now like we. We need to kind of keep tabs on on how this moment felt and then go back to it when we feel like we're losing sight of it My guest is Lovey Ajayi Jones. She's a New York Times bestselling author of the book. I'm judging you thank you so much for being with us. Levy thank you for having me and have been hearing from you about the changes daily life that you'd like to keep around and those that you're eager to throw away when this is all over. Hi this is Mary from Philadelphia. I'm trying harder to overcome my insomnia so that I can keep my immune system in the best possible shape. I don't think I'm ever going to resume shaking hands or if I do it'll be maybe a couple of years from now and also I'm GONNA be washing my hands more frequently or using sanitizer more frequently. Hi My name is Karen and I'm calling from Massachusetts. I hope to leave behind the hustle and bustle racing from one thing to the next is hard. It's been to be isolated. I live alone and I wish my kids and my grandkids my friends and my coworkers but I have appreciated the opportunity to slow down a bit Steve. From Borden Town New Jersey. My lifetime most likely will not be returning to restaurant is also as we used to. I just don't see how wants to be around large groups of people anytime soon. Julie's Hopkins Minnesota my pre coded state was working all the time and now that I have been five weeks. Out of work due to state mandated closure of my type of business as a massage therapist. I have had plenty of time to instill some great self care practices like daily meditation cooking for myself going on daily walks and taking care of both my physical and mental well-being and I hope to keep my code resolutions Once I do get back to work here hopefully in a few weeks here in Minnesota my name is Carmen Martorell. I'm calling from New York City. I have not ridden subways or buses since the beginning of the pandemic and I will continue not to do that now as I do. Not Think it's safe and the subways and buses are overcrowded. No matter what time of the day or night you ride on them and until there is a dramatic change scheduled frequency and the cleanliness. I could not even consider. This is a question and my wife. And I get closer to my mid Seventies. I have to be careful even though I'm very healthy for six years I've been substitute high. School teacher can't plan to continue since I love doing it but now I wonder type retired again until there's axiom very effective drugs to treat because I came. I expect where mass say. Wait from people. Shaking hands will be difficult not to do call and give us your thoughts. You can leave a message at eight. Seven seven eight my take. Thanks for listening during these times. I'm Shumita Basu in for Tenzin Vega and this is the takeaway see you tomorrow.