In Italian, "divertimento" means fun and entertainment. A closer look reveals the idea of diverting our attention to something more to our liking.
Before COVID-19, entertainment was paramount for diverting us to life's brighter side. For example, during sports seasons it was exciting to lose oneself cheering for favorite teams in a celebratory environment devoid of momentary worries. And then there were humorous comedians making us laugh and talk shows infused with witty moments tickling our funny bone.
The world of entertainment still exists. However, its jeopardized strength in relieving anxieties raises alarming questions: Is today's news stifling its fun-loving effectiveness? Are repeated reports of violence, disasters, political backbiting, intrigues and international crises out staging it?
Do we need to earnestly reflect on its importance for maintaining mental and physical health? Do we need to find additional imaginative ways to entertain ourselves?
I live across the street from the north lawn of the Supreme Court. Unlike times past when it was empty, it is now filled with parents and their toddlers. Watching them play is entertainment par excellence. I often see a dad or mom pick up their teeny toddlers, toss them up in the air and hear the chuckles that follow.
This is one of many examples of watching parents relish the joy of their child. No better diversion from life's worries exists than this.
My guess is there has been an increase in families playing games with their children or taking more time in educating them due to COVID-19's isolating effects.
It is also my guess that many families as well as young adults and those living the single life are restructuring entertainment habits to reinforce psychological coping. Nothing is healthier than the joy of a good laugh and wholesome entertainment that creates cheerfulness.
Entertainment can come in many forms, for example, reading a good book, taking walks heretofore nonexistent, contacting forgotten friends, practicing charitable acts, or putting in order tasks we tend to avoid. When accomplished, cheerfulness follows.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to reflect on the value of entertainment and our creativity in raising it to newfound heights.