In the hopes of getting back to some semblance of normal life, a Bakersfield couple is hoping to appeal to a particular trait well-known among locals: coming together for a good cause.

Shanna Treanor, a dermatologist with Bakersfield Dermatology, and her husband, Fernando Fan, local chief of pediatrics for Kaiser Permanente, have started a campaign to encourage mask wearing, which they believe is essential to stop the spread of COVID-19. With their two teenage sons, the family designed a logo of a masked emoji and a slogan — Mask Up to Open Up — and had yard signs made. For $20 — the cost to print the sign — anyone who wants to spread the message can get one. And coming soon: face masks and decals.

"In Bakersfield we come together for a lot of different causes" Fan said. "We need to come together for this. This is a cause that’s affecting us locally."

The project got underway, Treanor said, when the idea of wearing masks was questioned by some and she told her husband she wanted to do something positive to encourage people to change. She felt it was important for local physicians to speak up and promote mask wearing. And she also has a sincere desire to get back to the normal activities she and her family enjoyed.

"We’re like everyone else; we want to get back together with friends, go to church, get our kids back to school," said Treanor, a Bakersfield native who met her husband while they were both in residency at Valley Children's Hospital in Madera.

As a doctor, Fan said he had also started to feel limited in what he could do to help. By the time a patient came to him with virus symptoms "the cat's out of the bag, the transmission has already happened." And that patient may have already transmitted the virus to someone else, he said. 

"The key to controlling the pandemic is primary prevention and we see it as masking," Fan said. "Most people need to do this to cut the transmission down."

So far the couple has distributed about 100 signs and the couple is looking to form partnerships with any local businesses, schools or community groups. More than 200 people have also joined their campaign's Facebook group, where they post funny memes and pictures of clever signs about mask wearing. One post shares a reminder to "treat your mask like underwear," which includes reminders such as not to borrow or lend it, make sure it's clean and don't go commando.

The good-natured humor is in keeping with the apolitical and straightforward sentiment of the campaign. Another photo shows a box of masked smiley face cookies from Smith's Bakeries, which Treanor spotted one day when she went to buy some goodies.

"The timing is good," said Matt Constantine, director of Kern County's Public Health Services Department, when told about the campaign Friday. That same day, Gov. Gavin Newsom rolled out a new process for business reopenings that loosens restrictions on businesses as counties bring down their COVID-19 cases. The new process makes clear that steps taken in individual communities to stop the virus will determine how soon a county can more fully reopen.

"If we can all mask, it helps the community. People want to have the economy going and want to have their jobs back," Fan said. "But if we don’t mask up, we won’t get there." 

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(15) comments

Sailor007

Does anyone else find it odd that two people advocating everyone wearing of masks are themselves NOT wearing masks? Very poor optics !!

Masked 2020

Sailor.... don't get in a boat unless u can swim or have your wader wings on.........their a couple.......

Masked 2020

Matt and Crew should be saying this daily........."The new process makes clear that steps taken in individual communities to stop the virus will determine how soon a county can more fully reopen"....do your part.. its not rocket science....Vote Early

alexkelley

Wow! What a great scheme. How does a HMO and a Dermatologist promote their services to make a few million more dollars while ALSO creating a pseudo-partnership with local and state government to glean a little bit more influence for their businesses. Use the current fear & panic created BY government to pressure the ignorant to buy baked goods, yard signs & other promotional materials (all conveniently logo’d with their business names) & get local media to push it for free in their blogs, newscasts, rags and newsletters. Great way to keep the moron masses to remain compliant, passive, scared and submissive. Wake up America! Protect your personal liberty. It’s apparently it’s too late for Bakersfield.

The Independent Voter

Amen, alexkelley.

She Dee

Gosh alexkelley, you forgot to mention how dangerous those cookies are. Sugar, flour, artificial this & that. Maybe even some transfats too? Go whole hog and cover all the bases of this suppossed "great scheme" that you are so concerned about. I failed to see what you did. But I'm not you. I agree that it's too late for California. All we can do is protect ourselves. I choose to wear a mask and distance myself from others whenever possible.

REMUDA

Oh . . . YEAH!

Terrific idea . . . !

Un oh . . . wait a minute . . . ! We're already all wearing masks . . . ENFORCED (Walmart, Sam's, Costco) . . . !

Will Newsom allow US to "OPEN" here . . . (DID YA HEAR HIM ON NPR?) . . . ? Will the BAKO city council & Kern BOS be in the lead . . . marching and waving . . . and tossing masks into the crowds lining the curbs . . . ?

Did ya watch the (R) White "Home" lawn convention . . . as a precursor to 'SANITY' . . . ?

I can go into Denny's . . . but nowhere to sit, relax and . . . enjoy . . . !

I DON'T LIKE "TAKE OUT" when I want to GO OUT . . . especially at Black Angus . . . !

Moardeeb

Spoiled rotten selfish Americans. Definately NOT the greatest generation.

She Dee

It's just all so simple folks...WEAR A MASK when you go to a public place. Nothing will kill you quicker than ignorance. This campaign is awesome and the people who started it are HEROES in my heart and mind. MASK UP to OPEN UP! love it.

Catherineocds

Thank you! I hope your efforts have a positive impact on our community Keep up the good work

Moardeeb

😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘

patraps

Most excellent and thank you. Bravo! Our community needs to hush up and mask up...it is a permanent way of life especially also in a dirty air community. Do the right thing for ALL people! And so it is. Amen.

More deep

Bakersfield has been masked up for three months. The virus still spread. This campaign is pointless, though the doctors seem nice. We should just reopen the schools, like the rest of the country. Even New York has opened!

Moardeeb

Probably kept 10,000more people from getting sick. Use science knucklehead.Turn off Fox, read a book.

Moardeeb

Awesome sauce! Theses people are diamonds in a city of rocks

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