Steven Pearlstein, in his March 22 Business column, “Giving every American $1,200 to buoy the economy is a really bad idea,” argued that although financial support is needed, it should be given only to those who need it because most of the population will certainly maintain their income. 

The plan to send money to every American may not be economically sound in normal circumstances, but it is an appropriate response to the economic hardships caused by this pandemic. And it could help curb the spread of the disease.

True, many people will maintain their income, but what about the short-term burden people will face because of the pandemic? What about the employee who already lost her job and needs to care for her children? What about elderly people who have no one to rely on and who cannot stock up on food?

These people need cash now to face the additional (temporary) economic burden caused by the epidemic.

More important, they need it now to heed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines: Stay home for a long enough period to break the transmission chain of the disease.

Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley, Arlington

I really do not understand the economic rationale behind the Republicans’ proposal to pay millions of American $1,200. Though the coronavirus crisis will certainly be devastating for the roughly 80 million workers who will lose their jobs as a result of it, it will have a different effect on the 100 million workers who will continue to receive their salaries and benefits.

In fact, for those who are now allowed to work from home, the current situation may even produce real savings. This past week of telework, for example, was a real blessing for my family’s budget. My husband and I did not have to pay for commuting and parking, for coffee and lunches outside the house, and for the usual family dinner and a movie on Friday night. Working from home, and avoiding leaving the house, also meant that we abstained from nonessential shopping and from using the services of our babysitter. Overall, these non-expenses allowed us to balance the budget this week, something we are rarely able to do. 

I will gladly receive a check from the federal government. But I do not need it right now. What I and my family need much more is to know that should I or my husband get infected, lose a job or become unable to pay the mortgage that there will be paid sick leave, free testing, and medical help and unemployment insurance to take us through this brewing crisis. 

Klara Bilgin, Fairfax

With China owning 20 percent of our current debt and the rest of the world reeling from the virus, who do we think will provide the funds for our stimulus? I really don’t think matters have been thought through as far as what is happening. Could we mount a program to employ people for infrastructure improvement by depending on internal funding? Are there other options? I’m concerned for our future.

Theodora K. Watts, Lusby

The March 21 news articleCrisis tests the limits of American sacrifice” was deeply depressing. The naysayers who think that the danger of the coronavirus is overblown should check the data coming out of Italy. The folks in Italy do not care about U.S. politics or President Trump. The death toll in Italy has exceeded the reported death toll in China. 

Every health expert will tell you that the coronavirus is highly contagious, and those who have it can spread it even if they don’t exhibit symptoms. The only way to stop its spread is to practice social distancing and hygiene. If those of us who are vulnerable get the coronavirus from someone while we’re shopping for essentials at the store, it will very likely kill us. That’s really about as simple as it gets. 

When I read news reports that the nation is deeply divided over whether to forsake normal routines to avoid spreading the coronavirus, I can only conclude that many people are going to die as a result of our indifference to this threat. The skeptics who are laughing over lunch and declaring that it’s all “nonsense” might want to take a close and sobering look at what has already happened in other countries before they continue with their daily routines.

John B. Allen, Alexandria

The Sports section is full of the effects of the absence of live sports to our society. While all true, here is a simple idea to partially address this problem: Television stations could show great games and events from the past. 

We could see Willie Mays play again! Arnold Palmer could charge the green! Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert could captivate us all. As George Michael used to say here in the District, “Let’s go to the tape!”

Rick Goodman, Silver Spring