Thursday, March 19, 2020

Will the coronavirus trigger a recession, or at worse a depression? Hang on because we are in for a wild ride in the months ahead. Plus Bakersfield College also cancels its commencement

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other person or organization.

 * ... CORONAVIRUS: Kern County has four confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and now that testing is in full swing countywide, you can expect that number to spike dramatically. No one knows
just how high it will go, but don't be surprised if we end up with 100 local cases or more given how contagious this virus has proved to be. Both the city of Fresno and San Luis Obispo County have mandatory shelter in place rules, and who knows if Kern County and Bakersfield may do something similar? Meanwhile. some economists believe we may be headed to a depression - yes, I said depression - while others are hoping that the worst case scenario is a prolonged recession. Hang on because we are in for a difficult period ahead.

 * ... RESTAURANTS: My heart goes out to all the locally owned restaurants who have been thrown into uncharted waters thanks to the coronavirus. Most have gone to curbside service, while others are considering closing temporarily. Here's a novel concept: buy a gift certificate from your favorite eatery to help them get through this period, and when things clear, use it to celebrate the return to normalcy. In some markets, communities are using GoFundMe to raise money to help the restaurant staffs ride through the recession.

 * ... COMMENCEMENTS: Bakersfield College became the latest educational system to cancel its spring commencement, dealing yet another blow to seniors who had hoped to walk across the stage. CSUB and Fresno State University did the same, and we can expect high schools to follow suit.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Just finished the laundry and all my socks had their partners. Is this what having your life together feels like? "

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "Everything you need to know about social distancing you will learn from marriage."

 * ... TODAYS CHUCKLE: I just had to share this.

* ... CRIME: Homelessness, the coronavirus, hoarding... what has our world come to? Well don't forget crime, that has yet to take a day off despite all the other distractions. A friend woke to find his truck had been broken into by thieves who unsuccessfully tried to hot wire the ignition. And so it goes.

 * ... MEMORIES: Back in the 1920s, the Panorama Bluffs were the scenes of weekend social activities as hundreds would gather to watch morotcyles race up to the top. Thanks to the Kern County of Old Facebook page for these magical old photos.

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