One of the first things I ever wrote for NRO was a piece about how — out of a sense of patriotic duty — I spent my entire 2008 stimulus check on video games. The idea behind the checks was to stimulate the economy, and dangit I was going to do my part.
This time around, with $1,200 coronavirus checks soon on the way, my thoughts are basically the same, but the smirk is gone. Lots of businesses have been intentionally kneecapped by government policy to protect public health, and they need your help to survive. And while the relief bill encourages companies to keep workers on the payroll and boosts unemployment benefits for those laid off, countless individuals will be struggling too.
So if you’re fortunate enough that you don’t really need your COVID-19 check, don’t just toss it into your bank account and forget about it. Donate it to those in need, or at least use it to buy stuff, online or via pickup, from businesses that could use the help. If you can’t decide on what you want, buy gift cards and cash them in when this is over.