Pandemic Reflections

Photo credit: Mike Penney

(First airdate: 12/01/20) Hi, this is Dick “the Rooster“ Keenan, the host of Vinyl Dialogues here on KPTZ, and a retired clinical social worker. I have been thinking about the effects of the pandemic and want to share some of my thoughts with you.

Pandemic fatigue is mental and physical tiredness that is the result of navigating constant change and uncertainty. The long months of social distancing and quarantining contribute to feelings of isolation and loneliness. It is normal to be experiencing these feelings.

Here is one person’s experience: “All of the sudden, I felt like I was drowning in exhaustion and sadness. I could only do two things: BE and BREATHE. Sometimes, the worst thing that we can do when we’re tired is to keep doing more things.”
– BE…I gave myself the gift of just accepting who I was in that moment, even if I wasn’t in a good place. It was okay for me to not be okay.
– BREATHE…I allowed myself to concentrate on breathing. It took about an hour for me to rise back up. But as I practice “be and breathe” I knew that the feeling will pass. It will for you, too.

Then, BALANCE…Life must go on. I’ve had to re-evaluate how much I do, how fast I’ll move and how far I’ll go.

In CONCLUSION…Be gentle with yourself, friends.

The relentlessness of this pandemic has been exhausting and stressful for all of our citizens. Over the summer there was some indication that as a nation we were making some headway on the virus due to our diligence with the behavioral recommendations. Hot spots seemed to be related to increased public circulation, especially large gatherings of non-member households and an increase in virus circulation.

It would not be unusual for people to want to quit following the guidelines in the face of their exhaustion and the confusing messages played out on the media. Some of the thoughts we have all had to contend with include: I am tired of being protective; I don’t care anymore; I want my freedom/independence; the president says it is not a big deal; no one I know has died; when state governments okay the opening of bars, restaurants, gyms, and movie theaters, that means these are safe places to attend.

Likewise, when you see people socializing without wearing masks or social distancing, it looks normal and the temptation is to join in. It is increasingly hard to stick to long-term behaviors that look like all downside and no upside. That’s because the immediate gratification of socializing freely is more appealing than the constant protective measures we do day-in and day-out with the unspectacular reward of not getting the virus.

Think about these symptoms and whether they are present lately in yourself or your family:
• eat or sleep more or less than usual
• trouble focusing (brain fog)
• feel edgy or nervous
• snap at or argue with others
• lack motivation
• unable to stop racing thoughts
• withdrawing from others

The process of changing our behavior has many ups and downs. It is expected that individuals will back slide at times. These are normal reactions to the rigor and determination required to change our behavior. Rather than thinking of pandemic restrictions as something we are forced to do, we can remind ourselves that we are freely choosing these actions to help our loved ones, ourselves, and everyone in our community.

To help with stressors, here are some Healthy ways to cope and recharge your batteries:

  1. Take care of your body – exercise, sleep, meditate
  2. Limit news intake – read, play games, sort photos
  3. Lower your stress – go out in nature, take a bath
  4. Connect with others – reach out to others for your mental health and for theirs
  5. Accept your feelings – they are normal; stop and listen to yourself
  6. Try positive self-talk – I can do this
  7. Create new traditions – movie/game nights; cooking, have a child teach you something

If symptoms persist despite using various coping skills, please consider reaching out for help. A good first step is talking with your doctor about current symptoms and asking for recommendations for counseling if they don’t offer it. Remember, most of your contacts are going to be over the internet, so you will interact with a counselor from the comfort of your own home.

I hope this presentation has given you some perspective on the impact of the coronavirus on our mental health and has added some ideas to your skill set of coping mechanisms during these trying times. This is Dick “the Rooster” Keenan and my wife, Kate Keenan on KPTZ FM 91.9, saying, “Stay well and stay informed.”

Your Connection to Community in an Emergency

 

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photo by Jason Squire

KPTZ has always been committed to being a key resource when a disaster strikes our area. Located close to the Red Cross, police, and food bank, our studio is in an ideal place if and when our community is faced with an emergency. We have been working with the Jefferson County Emergency operations center, KROH and consultant Rita Kepner to make sure we are ready when needed. The experience from areas hit by emergencies has been that radio is one of the best resources, sometimes the only resource. Our role will be to provide accurate and timely information that can be valuable to everyone in the listening area for as long as necessary. We are linked in to the emergency networks and will get information directly from the emergency command centers.

We are in the process of making sure we can stay on the air even if it means broadcasting directly from our transmitter. The key, however, will be to make sure all our volunteers are trained and available. We have had a couple of trial runs of our system and we’re using the results to improve our documentation and training. Our volunteers would first make sure they and their families are safe and then we hope that enough of them would be available to get to the station. Let’s hope it’s not needed but if it is we want to make sure we’re ready to help.

KPTZ Community Radio. More than music.

DJ Spotlight: Mike Pollack from Progressive Tracks

DJ Mike (ProgTracks)-300x225Read our interview with DJ Mike Pollack, in which he talks about what one can’t dance to, the love of two football teams, and the art of question answering. Mike’s show, Progressive Tracks, airs on Monday nights at 9pm.

What can listeners expect to hear on your show?

I play Progressive Rock (or Prog for short), which is a bit hard to define because of all the off-shoots and sub-genres. The sounds range from symphonic to metal to folk to jazz to the avant-garde. But it’s generally a bit more complex and longer than what you hear on popular radio stations – it’s music for active listening vs. background music. Most people relate Prog to the 1970’s and to bands like Genesis, Yes, and Pink Floyd. Well, that was correct back in the 70’s, but Prog is still going strong today…… and it has ‘progressed’. I like to sum up Prog by saying: “It’s all the music you can’t dance to!”

Have you ever regretted playing a song on your show?

I don’t. Some KPTZ listeners might regret some stuff I have played though, you should ask them!

What piece of music do you wish you could play every week?

I like variety, so I’d hate to listen to something over and over. But if you paint me into a corner, it would probably be Jethro Tull’s “Thick As A Brick”, which is a 43-minute epic.

Give us your top three pastimes?

Well, music (listening and concerts) is an obvious one. But other than that, snow skiing (as a participant), and IndyCar Racing, and Unlimited Hydroplane Racing (as a spectator). I’m also a die-hard Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos fan (I can be both, because one is NFL and the other original AFL………yes, I am THAT old). Gee, that’s 6 instead of 3, isn’t it?

Tell us about your favorite local spot in the community?

My favorite nature spot is Fort Worden…….the gun emplacements, the beach, the lighthouse. My favorite man-made place is probably the Tyler Street Café – I’ve lived and died several times when it’s been reopened, only to close again. Oh, and of course the production booth at KPTZ (to be politically correct).

What other KPTZ shows do you like to listen to?

There are so many great, unique shows on KPTZ, but I like to listen to “Stockholm Syndrome” on Monday nights – there’s always new and interesting music on DJ Alexander’s show.

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

The power to answer questions correctly……

Spotlight On Tossed Salad

KPTZ listeners have come to love Fridays on the radio due, in part, to Phil Andrus’ weekly noon-4 variety show, Tossed Salad. Here are some of the highlights for the next two weeks of Salad. And check out this video of NW legends, Phil and Vivian Williams, who will be on Phil’s show Friday, October 4th at 12:30.

September 27

Laura Lewis, Director, WSU Extension for Jefferson County; Jeanie Murphy “Banjo tunes, Tunings, and Lore”; Sylvia Herold, with Chuck Ervin on bass, Songs in many forms; Charlie Bermant, author of “Imagine There’s No Beatles”; Bill Mawhinney, reading “The White Silence” by Jack London

October 4

Sue Ohlson, Sunrise Coffee; Phil and Vivian Williams — fiddle, guitar, and fifty years of Voyager Recordings; Tom Jay, the word of the month; Nancy McDaniel; Catherine McNabb, reading…

KPTZ at The Wooden Boat Festival

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(photo credit: Jan Davis)

Join your local radio station at the Wooden Boat Festival this Friday through Sunday, September 6-8. We’ll be filling this festive weekend with live remote broadcasts, DJ meet-and-greets, a raffle, and more! Look for our yellow sign and stop by our booth while you’re perusing the more than 300 wooden vessels in the harbor. Come say hi, meet one of your local DJs, and–if you’re over 18–buy a raffle ticket for our awesome local prize, worth $600. The winner will get a year membership to Evergreen Fitness, a full service gym with group fitness, state of the art machines, a sauna and steam room, senior programs, a juice/espresso bar, and much more!

And if you can’t make it out the festival, catch the action by tuning in on Saturday from 12-2pm to hear some original interviews during our live remote broadcast. We hope to see you at this iconic local event!

Tune In! Monday’s Woodstock Anniversary Show

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Be sure to listen to KPTZ this coming Monday for our Labor Day Special: a rebroadcast of the Woodstock 44th Anniversary show by our own Dr Dave and the Briceman. If you missed Woodstock, if you missed this program …… here’s another chance! You’ll hear every artist who performed, each doing a song they performed at Woodstock. FAR OUT.  Join us. Monday September 2, from 1:00 to 3:30 pm.

Come to Tonight’s Concerts on the Dock

August 29th Emerging Artists Night & DJ Dance Party!
With 2013 Stars of Tomorrow Winners “Daughters of Albion,” with “The Cold Comfort,” and DJ Silace Amaro

Come cut a rug, listen to some tunes, and grab a drink with us at tonight’s Concert on the Dock. We’re proud sponsors of this emerging artists lineup. Hope to see you there!

It’s all happening at Pope Marine Park/City Dock Civic Plaza, 607 Water St, Port Townsend, WA 98368