A few weeks ago, we were not taking the coronavirus as seriously as we should have been and, now, things are escalating quickly. It feels as though we are heading toward a national lockdown, much like the current situation in Italy and Spain. Restaurants, bars, libraries, and event spaces across the country are being temporarily closed as social distancing becomes important to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With small businesses taking a major hit as a direct result of the virus, the United States government is shifting focus on how to ensure that people are able to stay afloat, and that begins with a stimulus package.

The latest update from the White House and President Trump pertains to a financial payout that is being considered to take immediate effect. A massive economic stimulus package is on the brink of reality in Washington, which would entail direct cash payments to be sent to Americans. 

Steve Mnuchin White House Trump coronavirus
Drew Angerer/Getty Images -- Steve Mnuchin testifies during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing

"We’re looking at sending checks to Americans immediately," said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. "And I mean now, in the next two weeks."

The White House is trying to push this into law as soon as possible, meaning that it could become a reality within the next couple of weeks. The cash payment idea is part of a larger $850 billion stimulus package proposed by Congress. As Trump stated earlier this week, the package is likely to include support for businesses, airlines, and more industries that have been directly affected by COVID-19.

Stay safe out there, guys.