Sunday, January 3, 2021

The politics of rolling out the Covid vaccines, state Sen. Shannon Grove attends a New Year's Eve event with a largely maskless crowd of 2,500 and an anti-mask protest forces Trader Joe's to close early

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.

 * ... VACCINATE VACCINATE VACCINATE: The stunted rollout of the Covid vaccines has drawn fire, and never more so than from Dr. Brij Bhambi, a local cardiologist and owner of Bakersfield Heart Hospital. Bhambi is fearful that doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are sitting on shelves due to the strict adherence to the established protocols of who gets it first. Still, Bhambi said the thrust should be "vaccination is vaccination" no matter who gets it. Said Bhambi: "Guidelines should not become

impediments to expanded vaccination. Vaccine should not sit in refrigerators and dosages should not be wasted in commitment to compliance.... The real scandal is not that some scattered healthcare worker or administrator 'broke in line.' That behavior is reprehensible. The real scandal is vaccine sits in freezers. The real scandal is that blind adherence to guidelines will compel trashing the unused vaccine. It is too late in the pandemic to double down on the blame game. Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate."

 * ... BAD FORM? So what did you make of state Sen. Shannon Grove attending a New Year's Eve church celebration where a mostly maskless crowd of 2,500 gathered to worship? Grove snapped a selfie at the concert - no mask - to celebrate the concert by Sean Feucht, an anti-lockdown pastor who has held similar rallies in defiance of the state crackdown. On Grove's Facebook page the response was overwhelmingly supporter, with a few exceptions like this one: "This was very reckless and playing with people’s lives!! Very few people wearing masks. I’m a Republican AND a Christian but you should respect your constituents enough to protect them." So what is your take? Is Grove a courageous leader defending our God given right to worship, or a clueless politician whose actions endanger others during a pandemic?

 *... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "A shark could swim faster than me, but I could probably run faster than a shark. So in a triathlon, it would all come down to who is the better cyclist."

 * ... TRADER JOE'S: Meanwhile the Trader Joe's in Fresno was forced to close Saturday after a group of anti-mask protesters tried to enter but were turned away. After a tense confrontation outside, in which maskless protesters were arguing with store employees, the store was locked and closed.

* ... WEDDING DAY: Congratulations to Connor McCarthy, son of Congressman Kevin McCarthy and wife Judy, who married Emily Norris over the weekend. Below, the happy couple poses with Connor's sister, Meg.

 * ... MEMORIES: Check out this old photo from the Highway 99 Facebook page group. It is dated 1928
and said this: "Infamous deadman curve. On the left can be seen some of the daylighting that was done in 1924 to help improve the line of sight. Not much room to speak of... making it a daunting prospect especially at night. Also known as the 'junkyard' for all the cars and trucks that went off into the canyon."

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