Thursday, July 9, 2020

Does cannabis help protect you from contracting the coronavirus? And are just weeks away from running out of hospital beds? Plus Grimmway Farms hands out its scholarships

 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 company or publication.

 * ... COVID AND RENT: Did you know that 31 percent of the people who either rent or own a
home missed their payment in May? That's the word from CSUB economics professor Richard Gearhart who said the longtime economic slowdown is starting to affect our ability to meet basic housing obligations. In June, Gearhart said that number stayed the same - right at 30 percent - and that many of those renters and homeowners are living in fear of being evicted.

 * ... CANNABIS AND COVID: In a world of turmoil and bad news, here is an interesting tidbit that should brighten your day. Cannabis - marijuana, pot, weed, ganga whatever you care to call it - may help prevent or treat the coronavirus infection. Thats according to researchers from the University of Lethbridge who said a study in April showed at least 13 cannabis plants were high in CBD that appeared to affect the ACE2 pathways that the bug uses to access the body. The results, printed in online journal Preprints, indicated hemp extracts high in CBD may help block proteins that provide a “gateway” for COVID-19 to enter host cells.While they stressed that more research was needed, the study gave hope that the cannabis, if proven to modulate the enzyme, “may prove a plausible strategy for decreasing disease susceptibility” as well as “become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy.”

 * ... COVID SURGE: it was distressing to read in The Californian and Dignity's Mercy Southwest Hospital had to turn away Covid-19 patients this past weekend because of staffing shortages. Reporter John Cox said so many hospital employees (nurses, doctors and support staff) have been sickened by the virus that they are having trouble keeping the vital positions filled. According to Cox, at the current rate we should run out of hospital beds sometime in the next three weeks.

 * .... SICK BAY: And finally on the Cover-19 front, Michael Bowers is the latest of our citizens to be stricken with the coronavirus. A former aide to state Sen. Andy Vidak and Congressman David Valadao, Bowers is now vice president of marketing with Centric Health. While he recovers at home, keep him and the other Covid victims in your thoughts.

 * ... GRIMMWAY: Grimmway Farms has awarded another 64 college scholarships to students who have a parent or guardian employed by the Bakersfield-based company. The scholarships were given as part of the annual Rod and Bob Grimm Memorial Scholarship Program, Grimmway's founders.
This year's scholarship recipients will attend a range of top-ranked schools, including Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Colgate University, Fresno State, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara. The scholarships, which are renewable for four years, are based on academic achievement and provide financial support for students attending two- and four-year colleges and universities. Applicants who exceed a grade point average of 3.5 receive a MacBook Pro laptop in addition to renewable scholarship funds.

 * ... MEMORIES: Nothing like a trip down memory lane to get a view of old Bakersfield and Highway 99 back in the day.

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