Thursday, August 20, 2020

Experts warn of a "twindemic" this winter as the common flu and Covid collide, pastor Frazier holds onto hope, Kevin Keyes joins the CSUB Runners and a trip down memory lane

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.

 * ... TWINDEMIC: It's hard to think about fall or winter during the height of the Bakersfield summer heat, but experts are already warning of a possible "twindemic" this winter as the common flu converges
with Covid-19. Both the flu and Covid-19 share similar symptoms like fever, a cough, sore throat, fatigue and a headache. Experts are now predicting that a record number 98 million flu shots will be given this year in the country. Still, fully 50 percent of American adults say they may opt out of vaccines for the common flu and Covid-19.

* ... THE POWER OF HOPE: Angelo Frazier is a pastor at Riverlakes Community Church and if there is one theme that is emerging from this pandemic, he says it revolves around the concept of hope. "Be an ambassador of hope," he says. "Choose hope." It is a simple yet powerful message that speaks to our heart, and reflected in our behavior, during difficult times. Hope, he reminds us, is life and life without hope is not living at all.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "One day you’re young and hip and the next day you’re buying a pair of pants at Costco."

 * ... GO RUNNERS: Kevin Keyes is joining the men's baseball team at Cal State Bakersfield as a volunteer director of Player Program and Development. Keyes is a lifelong resident of Kern County and has worked for decades as a coach, community advocate and broadcaster. He recently retired from the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, where he worked as a community prevention specialist mentoring at-risk youth. Prior to that, Keyes had served with the Kern High School District as a community specialist for 11 years, while also coaching football at Liberty High School.

* ... WATER ASSOCIATION: Congratulations to Jenny Bertagna Holtermann who has been appointed executive director of the Water Association of Kern County. Holtermann is a fourth generation California farmer and a graduate of Cal Poly. She has worked as a social media advocate as well as in public relations for several agricultural firms in the San Joaquin Valley. She replaces Beth Pandol who held the position for a decade. Along with her husband, Holtermann is a co-owner of H& H Family Farms, an almond farming enterprise in Wasco, CA. She is past president of the Kern County branch of the California Women for Agriculture and past chair of the City of Wasco Planning Commission.

 * ... HOMELESS WAVE: The director of the Mission of Kern County, Carlos Baldovinos, is warning of a new wave of homelessness. The triggers are all there: a massive disruption in the workplace caused by the pandemic, 18 percent unemployment, the reduction in federal benefits and the end of a moratorium on evictions in California. All the factors are there to bring on yet another wave of homelessness, he warns.

* ... OLD KERN: My friend Kevin Keyes (*mentioned above) posted this incredible picture of members of a church on Cottonwood Road. His take: "This is my Families Old Kern. Shout Out to the Church of The Living God, Pillar and Ground of Truth 1949 Cottonwood Road ( Lakeview Ave. / Martin Luther King Blvd). The Family Ties ...well they are deeply Rooted in History. Keyes, Sherman, Nichols, Edwards, Jamerson, Carter, Osborn, Grissom, Guilder, Stephens, Newton, Roberson, Brothers. Roll Call!" Thanks to Kevin and Archible W. and Norma H. Sherman Jr. for sharing this remarkable photo.

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