Tuesday, December 14, 2021

California brings back the mask mandate but don't expect compliance in Kern County, a son of Bakersfield is running for office in Texas and a new study finds that 75 percent of all coronavirus deaths occurred with the elderly

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. 

 * ... MASKS ARE BACK: So are you ready to wear a mask again indoors? Are you willing to comply with a new state mandate that requires wearing a mask indoors regardless of your vaccination status? Well if you live in Kern County, the answer likely will be a resounding "no!" In the past, local authorities have

made it clear they won't do the state's dirty work in enforcing the mask mandate, and given our reputation for bucking the mandates of Sacramento, I bet very few local businesses will comply. Some of the most popular restaurants in town will simply ignore the new rule and there will be no consequences. Meanwhile in other parts of the state the mask mandate will be rigorously enforced, but don't expect to see much of a change here.

 * ... BAKERSFIELD LOVE: Bakersfield got some love recently when The New York Times published an article highlighting our lower cost of living and the influx of younger couples looking for affordable housing. The piece mentioned the cost of housing, urban development, downtown development and geography as reasons why Bakersfield remains a destination for Californians desperate to find affordability and a lifestyle conducive to all ages. You never know where these stories from out of town media will go, but this one was no doubt helped because the writer, Jill Cowen, worked at The Californian as an intern a decade ago and is well versed on our lifestyle.

 * ... ELDERLY AT RISK: After all the politically inspired debate about the coronavirus, and resistance to the idea of wearing masks, we come to find that the most vunlerable are those age 65 and older. That's according to a report in The New York Times that said we are on the cusp of hitting 800,000 deaths nationwide due to the virus. But when you look at the numbers more closely, you see fully 75 percent of those who died were 65 and older. That means 600,000 of the 800,000 deaths are among the most vulnerable of the population. Wearing a mask, then, is more about protecting the older population if not yourself. Said the Times: "Seventy-five percent of people who have died of the virus in the United States — or about 600,000 of the nearly 800,000 who have perished so far — have been 65 or older. One in 100 older Americans has died from the virus. For people younger than 65, that ratio is closer to 1 in 1,400.
The heightened risk for older people has dominated life for many, partly as friends and family try to protect them. “You get kind of forgotten,” said Pat Hayashi, 65, of San Francisco. “In the pandemic, the isolation and the loneliness got worse. We lost our freedom and we lost our services.”

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "So apparently, telling a woman 'I wanna rock your body' makes women happy in the USA and scared in Afghanistan."

 * ... ROB MCCARTHY: A former Bakersfield resident whose family moved to Texas is running for a seat in the Texas legislature. Rob McCarthy, son of Rob and Judi McCarthy, announced his bid to run for Texas House District 47 as a Republican. The district includes the cities of Austin, Bee Case, Lakeway and western Travis County. McCarthy is a graduate of Garces Memorial High School and USC and later served as a senior aide to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. After earning his MBA McCarthy worked as business development director for Lightspeed Systems, a family owned educational software business. Fed up with California's high taxes and burdensome regulations, Rob and Judi McCarthy left California more than five years ago and moved the company to Austin. Judi McCarthy was one of the founders of the Women's and Girl's Fund, a philanthropic arm of the Kern Community Foundation that funds programs to help women in need.

 * ... MEMORIES: Check out the scenes from old Bakersfield back in the day, compliments of the Kern County of Old and Kern County History Fans Facebook pages.