Congress recently passed a bill to distribute a $2.2 trillion package to citizens who have been laid off due to this pandemic.

In addition, taxpayers who earn less than $75,000 will receive $1,200 each or those who earn less than $150,000 as a married couple will receive $2,400. However, Congress decided to leave out us college students and individuals over the age of 17.

For each dependent under the age of 17, taxpayers will receive an additional $500. The amount a family or individual may receive is dependent on their 2018 or 2019 tax returns.

According to the New York Post, the first set of coronavirus stimulus checks have been mailed out last Friday, so we have yet to hear feedback.

The point of these stimulus checks is to stimulate the economy and keep our heads up during these unprecedented times.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent since March. Many citizens are being laid off due to not being considered “essential workers.”

“The number of unemployed persons who were jobless less than 5 weeks increased by 1.5 million in March to 3.5 million, accounting for almost half of the unemployed,” stated the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  

For those who are not considered “essential workers,” I honestly think these stimulus checks are a great first step to giving Americans hope. We should be grateful for getting a check, but I am not sure that $1,200 is enough to help cover bills, groceries, and other emergency situations.  

Also, leaving out individuals above 17 who file with their parents, is not completely fair. It is practically targeted at college students.

I understand that many of us do not have children or pay bills for a house; however, what about those who do? I think it is a bit unfair, but overall it is reasonable.

Although, who are the essential workers?

The first line of fighters who we all know and appreciate are our healthcare providers such as doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and others. Some of these individuals are risking their lives by constantly being around those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to help our physical health, and others are caring for our mental health.

My cousin is a surgeon, so is required to help fight; however, she also has family and children at home. She has isolated herself from her family and children in order to prevent possibly spreading the virus.

I could not imagine coming home and not being able to hug your loved ones after a long, hard day at work during this pandemic. It is a new type of loneliness.

Law enforcement and first responders are also considered essential because they help contain and handle other emergencies. Aside of risking their lives every day on the job, these individuals can encounter anyone. They can be around individual with COVID-19 without knowing.

Broadcasting services such as news are also considered essential but have limited the number of individuals in the studio, which is reasonable. However, the most interesting thing I found was the line at Starbucks.

I am not sure how it is in Terre Haute anymore because I live in Chicago, but when we passed the Starbucks that were open, the line of cars for the drive-thru was wrapped around the building and onto the main street! Nothing is going to stop people from getting their pink drinks.

Although, this is a time for sharing our gratitude for what we have rather than what we are lacking.

Whether you are grateful for yours and your loved ones’ health, finally proving that we can make changes in our political system, seeing skies clear up of pollution, or working on our self-love, we need to look for the sun between the dark clouds.