We the People Need Help

Some background on this piece, who hasn’t seen some sort of struggle with the global pandemic going on? Whether it’s in your household, family or community the pandemic’s reality has been one that has made financial planning of the utmost importance. Maybe you know someone who was furloughed or outright fired and for many a budget is already set to a razor’s edge.

A friend of mine is really struggling and we were talking about how much help the first stimulus check was and how much another one would help. I suggested my friend write to her Congressman to plead for some help only for the joke to be I write one and it be copied. It’s a thought exercise that really intrigued me because I’ve never written to a public official before. It seemed like something important I could lend my words to and possibly make a difference.

 

Dear Congressman,

As the pandemic moves well in to its fifth month of heavily plaguing the United States it is hard to see an end in sight for the country to move back to some form of a new normal. There seemed to be a light after Memorial Day but that quickly vanished as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb and many people find themselves unsure of what to do. This unprecedented situation has really left a fog of confusion. The only truth the American people know for sure is they need help.

I believe it is American nature to persevere through difficult times, to be strong and survive through whatever challenges face us as a country. That is the history and backbone of the United States, the leader of the free world. However, the United States has had leadership and central body of government to look out and be the safety net when the challenges have become too great to handle as individuals. This is a time again where the citizens of this country are calling for aid once again.

Growing up my family never had a lot of money, but my parents always did what they could so my brother and I never had to think about our next meal and could be comfortable as kids. As a child you don’t totally realize what the sacrifices were made except for the fact you may not see them otherwise. As I’ve grown in to my place of society and strike out on my own and manage my own way of life it has become crystal clear just what my family did to get by and make it so the kids didn’t think about money.

My dad was one of the many Americans that was furloughed and then fired. He has never been one to not fight through rough situations, having multiple jobs for as long as I’ve been on this Earth. He quickly found something to continue to bring in some form of a paycheck because the harsh truth is while the country came to an almost standstill the bills did not. Rent, mortgages, car payments, credit cards, groceries, student loans, none of them stopped as the financial planning of everyday life has become something every American has to had to really think about.

The American dream is if you work hard you should find your own piece of success and become financial sturdy enough to stand on your own two feet no matter what challenges should arise. However, the American reality is most are just trying to keep their head above water. I know many who have found themselves living much closer to paycheck to paycheck as the pandemic has affected so many, and with the pandemic not slowing down the water of depth continues to rise as average Americans struggle to stay afloat.

The first wave of stimulus checks went out in April, early in the pandemic, to help the country manage this tough time. Since then unemployment has risen and the number of positive cases continues to rise. Early on we may have been naive in what we were dealing with and not completely prepared for what the rest of 2020 would look like. I was grateful for the government aid and, despite the money, chose to be better safe then sorry and take care of some bills and save what I could. As helpful as the twelve hundred dollars was the truth is it was minimal breathing room as the months of struggle have continued.

It may sound like asking for a handout but that is not what American people are pleading for, it’s help as the country tries to deal with an unprecedented challenge. I have used unemployment benefits before and was extremely thankful as it helped me get through a difficult time, but we don’t find ourselves dealing with that times millions. That is how I view the government, a safety net, that in normal times is below me but not needed but should I fall is there to catch me and help. So many people are falling and need to be caught and helped back to their feet.

I’ve seen the financial struggles in my household, my community and on the national level. The United States government responded immediately to help Americans deal with the new challenge we faced as a nation. However, the window of help the stimulus check provided has expired. We as a nation will make it through as is the American way, but we are calling for the aid from our government to help us once again. With these unprecedented times the truth is most of us will be preparing for the worst case scenario and trying to keep our heads above water as we manage our finances. Without aid that means travel, attending events or even just going out becomes a necessary cut for financial plans.

Thoughts of the future are something many don’t have the luxury of at the moment. Since the start of 2020 my girlfriend has been making plans for college, to improve her career aspects and contribute to the social and financial fabric of the nation, but there’s so much uncertainty that those plans are no less sturdy. At any given moment my or her job could potentially be gone and that dream of hers could be put on pause. How many other Americans have had to transition to that day by day or paycheck by paycheck thinking?

This country wants, desires to get back to normal as can be clearly seen by those wanting to try and get back to normal, but the challenges of the pandemic is the truth we all must face and deal with. The United States’ healing process will lag as so many struggle on a daily basis. As president Lincoln said “..government of the people, by the people, for the people…” and the citizens that elected those officials to serve those interest are calling for the government to help its people.

Sincerely,

A Citizen Calling for Aid