Thursday, April 9, 2020

Experts say we may be flattening the curve on the coronavirus but warn us not to let off the pressure... plus Tim Calahan joins Clinica Sierra Vista, keep an eye on Ishaan Brar and wearing masks as fashion statements

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:  Are we seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in the fight against the coronavirus? Judging by our ability to flatten the curve, it appears we are all making good progress, but experts tell us not to let off the pressure. Dr. Hemmal Kothary told KGET Kern County is not yet
a "hot spot" but it could well become one, if we stop practicing social distancing. Over at Bakersfield Heart Hospital, cardiologist Dr. Brij Bhambi echoed that sentiment: "If we fail to implement an incremental approach and near total compliance we will allow the virus to come back with a vengeance. The light at the end of the tunnel cannot be the train rushing at us."

 * ... BLACK SWAN: If you are like me, you have grown weary of the finger pointing in Washington and the search for someone to blame in this pandemic. Is it Trump's fault? Was the administration prepared? Was it Obama's fault? What about George Bush, was he prepared? For me, the coronavirus is s classic "black swan" event, an unpredictable catastrophe that is beyond what is normally expected and has potentially severe consequences. Black swans are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the widespread insistence they were obvious in hindsight. A little research shows the black swan as "an extremely rare event with severe consequences. It cannot be predicted beforehand, though many claim it should be predictable after the fact. Black swan events can cause catastrophic damage to an economy, and because they cannot be predicted, can only be prepared for by building robust systems." So here is a plea: how about we all pull together and stop politicizing one of the greatest health crises of our generation.

 * ... TIM CALAHAN: Former KERO TV evening anchor Tim Calahan has joined Clinics Sierra Vista as director of public relations and community development. Calahan previously worked KGET TV and the Mission of Kern County and said he is excited to join Sierra "to serve the community and healthcare marketplace in such a critical time. Families up and down the centra valley are concerned about their health during the Covid 19 crisis. I'm excited to serve the public interest, and support our doctors, nurses and critical staff on the front lines of this battle, it is truly an honor. I'll be responsible for providing critical information to the public about Clinica Sierra Vista mitigation efforts, how the public can be tested for Covid 19, and future plans for Clinica. My 13 plus years of experience in Kern County, both in news broadcasting and community non-profits have prepared me for this role, I'm excited to continue to serve the pubic--and look forward to the days ahead, we will be a stronger community because of it--excited to help take Clinica into the next chapter!"

 * ... A STAR IS BORN: Keep an eye on Ishaan Brar, a Stockdale High School junior who continues to excel academically - and astound - us all. Brar, a science whiz and the son of two doctors, is spending his quarantine producing podcasts featuring interviews with local doctors discussing the coronavirus. He is streaming the podcasts called Brarcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. (Brar pictured here during a recent appearance on The Richard Beene Show)

 * ... MASKS: Well we knew this would happen. Ordered to wear masks, some will take that as a fashion challenge while others will simply do their own thing. Can you identify these local celebrities behind the masks?

 * ... RAINBOW: The rains earlier this week brought spectacular rainbows about town. Here are a few.

 * ... MEMORIES: Enjoy these old color pictures of the Lebec Hotel, once a grand and famous landmark on the old Ridge Route before Interstate 5 was constructed. It no longer exists.

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