Trillia Newbell – Hope despite coronavirus fatigue

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, May 4th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. We each can succumb to apathy at times. WORLD commentator Trillia Newbell advises that we guard against it.

TRILLIA NEWBELL, COMMENTATOR: Recently I turned on our local TV channel to check the weather. News on our weather conditions would come after a special update on the coronavirus.

Later, settling in to write a devotional, I thought I’d take a quick glance at one of my online news sources. The top headline—and many of the stories—featured the coronavirus.

I opened up Slack, an app for groups to communicate with one another. The topic of the day? You guessed it, the coronavirus. 

For the past two months, I can’t turn around without seeing news about the coronavirus. And it is not as if I haven’t contributed. Almost every interview, writing assignment, or talk I’ve done during our global lockdown has been on the coronavirus. Each one has been necessary. But something in me changed last week—and I’m guessing I’m not alone.

I found myself getting irritated by coronavirus news. I didn’t want to hear anything else about it. Just as many states are opening their doors, I’m ready to close my ears to the important information about next steps. I have coronavirus fatigue.

Admittedly, it is a privilege to be able to shut my ears, and one that I cannot and should not explore. I have a fairly healthy lifestyle and although I have slight asthma, it’s controlled. Both my husband and I can work remotely. My kids have everything they need for school. So far, the coronavirus has been a burden only for our schedule. 

So, as I evaluated my recent apathy toward the pandemic, I was convicted of selfish pride. Even as I type, the Lord is gently correcting me. While inconvenient for many of us, this is a life or death situation for my mom, my in-laws, and millions of people around the world. 

Hearing yet another news story about the virus may be white noise to some, but hearing updates from state and local governments could be a much-needed life-line for small businesses. 

It may seem like another commentary on COVID-19 is a waste of space. But maybe it’s just what you needed to hear to remind you, as I’m reminding myself, that we are far from the finish line. We’re likely not even close!

As the Lord gently allowed me to repent, I was in awe of how much He loves His people. It truly is His kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). The Lord is kindly showing me that, although I don’t have to be informed 24/7, I do want to pray, I do need patience, and I do want to care. 

Now is not the time to withdraw in apathy. Now, maybe more than ever, is when you and I can shine the brightest. There will be disagreements for how we reopen. There will be questions about wearing masks and social distancing. And, sadly, there will be more deaths to mourn. 

You and I have an opportunity to continue to share hope. That’s the calling on our lives, whether COVID-19 is in the headlines or not.

I’m Trillia Newbell.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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