EDITORIAL: Now, more than ever, we desperately need our meaningless distractions
The United States' leading infectious-disease expert says the US will see "millions of cases" of COVID-19 and more than 100,000 deaths. Wochit
Now, more than ever, we need our distractions.
That’s why it gets more than little tiresome when some holier-than-thou folks on social media feel the need to disparage others who are still actively engaging in, and caring about, their favorite meaningless diversions.
Oh, the horrors.
The more sanctimonious among us seem to believe you aren’t taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously if you simultaneously still care about the latest recruit by your favorite sports team, the latest plot line in your favorite TV series or the latest love interest of your favorite celebrity.
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Well folks, here’s a news bulletin: Most of us are quite capable doing both. They are not mutually exclusive.
In fact, if you want a sure-fire recipe to send someone into a state of deep, dark depression, just sentence that person to watch a dozen hours of cable-news coverage over one 24-hour period. When that day is over, that pour soul will most likely resemble a quivering bowl of anxiety gelatin.
Some social-media pundits seem to take special delight in ripping sports fans who still have the audacity to care about something as inconsequential as baseball, football or basketball while thousands of folks are sick and dying.
For example, Penn State football fans and local golfers have come under fire recently on social media. The PSU followers were ripped for paying attention to Nittany Lions news during an international crisis. Golfers were similarly blasted for wondering when the local courses might reopen.
The critics said caring about such trivial topics during such as serious time was insensitive and tone deaf.
Need for entertainment in times of crisis: Well, our nation’s leaders have long understood that, especially in times of crisis, we still need some entertainment.
That’s why, during World War I and World War II, the games, movies and the concerts continued on, while our young men were dying by the thousands on foreign soil.
That didn’t mean we didn’t care about the daily calamity unfolding before us. It just meant we needed a respite from the seemingly never-ending storm of horrific news.
Most everyone understands that many of our favorite distractions are, at their very core, frivolous and unimportant. That why they’re called distractions.
Most everyone also understands that the COVID-19 outbreak is a heartbreaking and serious situation.
There’s no doubt that we must all listen to the health experts who tell us to stay at home whenever possible, and if you must venture out for life-sustaining activities, employ proper physical distancing.
There’s also no doubt, however, that keeping up with the latest news about your favorite athlete, actor or singer is not going to do any harm to anyone who has COVID-19.
A momentary cure for cabin fever: The only thing it might do is brighten your day, improve your mental health and provide a brief pause from our national case of acute cabin fever.
It might also help you realize that we will eventually escape from this scourge and return to some semblance of a normal life. That may be months, even years, down the road, but it’s still a much-needed glimmer of hope for all of us.
Until that happens, we are in desperate need of our distractions, wherever we can find them.
So, go ahead, and binge watch that HBO series you’ve been meaning to catch up on, go out in the backyard and do a little chipping and putting (with proper physical distancing, of course) or visit your bookmarked sports websites to see what your favorite team is up to these days.
Most of all, don’t let the self-appointed, morally-superior, social-media critics make you feel guilty about it.