Mukasa Sirajeh Katantazi
Solitary is a book telling the story of a black man Albert Woodfox who spent four decades in solitary confinement.
Having been sent to prison for petty crimes,his hopes for an early release are shattered when he and others are accused of stabbing to death a prison guard.
Little evidence points to Woodfox, and much of the evidence is exculpatory, but through perfunctory and corrupted hearings and trials he is convicted.
This was in the 1972.
Transformed that this is a systemic political imprisonment because of his being black, he chooses to transform his life.He reads, learns the law and seeks pro bono legal assistance.
Frustrated and failed he never loses hope and keeps pushing.
Many years and letters in 2013, Juan Méndez, the UN special rapporteur on torture, took up Woodfox’s cause and in 2016, after reluctantly accepting a manslaughter plea bargain as the price of freedom, Woodfox was finally released from prison.
He had spent 46 years in prison.
In physics there is a principle called the uncertainty principle or indeterminacy principle, articulated by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg.
He asserts that the position and the velocity of an object cannot both be measured exactly, at the same time, even in theory.
The very concepts of exact position and exact velocity together, in fact, have no meaning in nature.
Just as we begin to dust ourselves off of the numbing social isolation imposed by the lockdown occasioned by the raging C19 virus, we hear that new cases have tested positive.
Matters are not helped when the worrisome and compulsive predictors go into overdrive on social media of how this lockdown will be extended for another 14 days.
It brings into play the uncertainty principle, the exact position (read areas where victims are)and speed( read number of cases) can not be told.
And we continue in a state of random disorderliness waiting for daily updates on cases tested and the incumbent results, I can’t help but wonder when will the lockdown be eased?
Even after almost two months the number of individuals tested is 36,302 per Ministry of Health website. And the population is over 42 million.
Gosh that’s scary, when will I be called to be counted. Some countries that fared worse than us are slowly opening up.Italy, Germany and Spain are taking gradual steps towards normalization starting May 4 2020.
France is reopening kindergartens and primary and secondary schools on May 11 2020.
We need that plan on normalizing life.
The next address was promised before the end of the current extension which will end on Tuesday May 5 2020.
We also need some positive news in these grim days not to run crazy else our mental health will be adversely affected.
The disorientation and psychological effect on many people lives will only be fully brought to light post covid isolation.
But it’s my considered opinion that for many of us,we are likely to suffer from increased anxieties and stress disorders.
Woodfox may have withstood solitary confinement but I doubt all of us have the mental resilience to continue being locked down.
In that case it will be more of being locked up albeit in our homes than socially isolating ourselves.
Life must continue, I so submit.
Stay home, stay safe.