Jobs lost. Pay cuts. Hours cut way back. Occupations in flux. Businesses struggling to survive…
Besides the illness and deaths invoked by the virus, the economy is, obviously, taking the hardest hit and causing the most suffering globally.
There is the tiniest glint of hope, however, as U.S. Congress has finally passed a $2 trillion bill to come to the aid of Americans with a new economic stimulus package.
According to CNN.com, this bill, the "largest emergency aid package in U.S. history," will include such benefits as aid checks-based on income-mailed directly to households, as well as significant financial aid to help affected businesses, medical providers, and state and local governments. U.S. residents who make $75,000 or less will be eligible for the maximum aid payment, which is $1,200.
President Trump intends to sign the bill tonight.
Nearly overshadowing the passing of the bill, however, are the terms under which it came to pass. Drama was in the House as Republican Representative Thomas Massie forced Congress members to return to Washington, D.C., to vote on the bill in person. This is in spite of the obvious danger of exposure from travelling and the fact that at least two House members have already contracted the virus, and many others have self-quarantined after possible exposure or after having exhibited symptoms.
In these difficult times, this might not solve all of our current woes, and it won't get us out of the house, but it certainly goes a long way toward helping. After all, $1,200 would buy a lot of toilet paper!