23ABC Community Connection


In light of COVID-19, the community finds ways to come together during this pandemic

Posted at 12:47 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 15:47:33-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The focus lately has been on COVID-19, how to prevent the spread of the virus, the latest actions that the government is taking and health officials sharing the rising number of cases throughout the country.

However, the community has found ways to bring people closer together.

Council member Andrae Gonzales hired a bagpiper to walk through the Oleander neighborhood, and two other locations within his district for St. Patrick's Day.

"It just made me happy, we were inside having a wonderful corn beef and cabbage dinner and we heard the piper out here and we all came out and it was just uplifting," Carolyn Kevarline, a resident of Bakersfield said.

A surprise for residents living in the neighborhood.

"With everything that's going on, I think we all need that and we all -- everybody over here, came outside and wanted to see it and they were uplifted," James Quinn, a resident of Bakersfield said.

The bagpiper served as a reward for those who are at home protecting themselves from COVID-19.

"It's important for people to stay home as much as possible but while we do that we need to find ways that we can continue uplift people's spirits," Council member Andrae Gonzales of Ward 2 said. "So today being St. Patrick's Day, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to have a bagpiper stroll down the streets of Oleander to lighten the spirit and lighten the mood and uplift the spirits for people living in the neighborhood."

But businesses are also pitching in and offering food to those in need. At Home Boutique and Bakery, those that over the age of 65-years-old or older, those most at risk of being infected of the coronavirus or unable to afford food are able to receive one 32 ounces cup of soup, one loaf of bread and four cookies for free.

"We want to provide that for people who may not be able to get out or should not be out and about, so we wanted to make sure it was affordable and easy. Then we're offering that for free for those who can't afford it and we're going to continue to do that as long as we have ingredients and able to provide that," Vanessa Edwards, the owner of Home Boutique & Bakery said.

For those who can pick up their own meal, Edwards asks that you pick up and deliver a meal for someone else who may not be able to leave their home.

Express Pharmacy has also extended their hours of delivery at each of their three locations. The pharmacy is also providing their customers free delivery of their medications.

"Senior -citizens staying at home, really not having to go outside, to really not have -- 100 percent protection," Yousif Hussein, a pharmacist with Express Phamarcy said. We want to provide, we'll have our delivery drivers to their doorstep and give them the medication that they need, without having contact with anyone who could potentially have the virus."

Residents say this pandemic, might help bring communities together.

"I had several people on next door reach out and offer help to each other, much more so than ever before and I think that would be the silver-lining. In fact my neighbors right across the street, this afternoon said if there's anything that we need and they're younger people, please be sure and call us," Carolyn Kevarline, a resident of Bakersfield said.