BOISE, IDAHO — Most Idahoans are impacted by the pandemic, but arguably, no one has had it harder than healthcare workers — like Mia Salgado, a nurse at St. Luke's, who for two days a week, gets to transform into a radio DJ.
"Everybody, you've been hanging out with Santamia, for about an hour and a half here on Party of One," said Radio Boise Programmer Mia Salgado during one of her two radio shows.
Salgado has seen the worst of the worst on a near daily basis over the last two years.
"My stress level has risen in regards to the way the world is going, my job," said Salgado.
But fortunately, she's found her escape by transforming into Santamia at Radio Boise.
"Having an outlet that is not healthcare-related. Being able to spend time with people that are not in the industry, and being able to discover new music and talk to people about their days, things like that, in radio land," said Salgado.
Some people might think adding another job to her already stressful profession might make things worse. But for her, it’s had the opposite effect.
"This is a different type of commitment, this is something that I'm not getting paid to do, this is something I want to do. Coming down to our booth for two hours at a time for our shows is just a good time to be able to let go of any sort of stress that you might have. Think about music instead of the real world, as I like to call it, and just experience life inside the DJ booth," said Salgado.
It's not just healthcare workers, it's people like Chris Tansey who are just looking for a little direction. After becoming a Radio Boise programmer three years ago, it became such a passion for him, he's now a staff member.
"It's given me three hours a week where I just feel good. In a time where it feels like a lot of things are just falling apart all around the world, in all kinds of ways, the room we have here that we broadcast from is the one place where it always feels like everything is coming together," said Radio Boise Business and Community Manager Tansey.
And he knows that there's nearly 130 other Radio Boise programmers who might feel the same way.
"Most people who get involved here at Radio Boise are looking to have that moment of escape, that freedom of expression, of a way to be yourself without anyone really judging you, and to show this community who you are through music or through your stories on a public affairs show, and to meet great people," said Tansey.
"Hearing that people enjoy the programming that we put on, whether it's my show, whether it's another person's show is just really beneficial to hear after you just hear sad things or stressful things all the time. Hearing the joyful, happy things every once in awhile is just really, really refreshing. And that's what I get when I come down here," Salgado said.
It might not be possible to thank every Idaho healthcare workers enough for their efforts during the pandemic, but if they're anything like Salgado, maybe apply for your own radio show.
Radio Boise is always accepting applications for new programmers with show ideas. To find out how and to see show schedules, head to their website.