Many Americans have suffered from the pandemic lockdowns of this spring. Millions have lost their jobs and many of those who have retained their work have still seen their income and hours cut. But our robust economy is beginning to bounce back. 

Axios reports: 

The U.S. economy grew at 33.1% annualized pace in the third quarter…”When you go from having an essentially complete lockdown to opening up, that allows the economy to bounce back a bit like a compressed spring,” Nathan Sheets, chief economist at asset management firm PGIM Fixed Income, tells Axios. 

The article warns later on: 

It’s still too early to tell whether this recovery is V-shaped, W-shaped (a so-called “double dip”), or whether it looks more like a backwards square root sign.

While the economic regrowth has been encouraging to see, it still has a long way to go to reach pre-pandemic strength. Some of the stalled federal stimulus negotiations along with recent coronavirus spikes in many communities could greatly hinder the regrowth process. 

As our lawmakers continue to negotiate over new stimulus packages, the aid that they provide should be targeted, temporary and flexible. Broad, sweeping support is not an efficient use of taxpayer dollars. We need to focus on those sectors and individuals who need the assistance the most and ensure that companies, universities, individuals and other organizations do not take advantage of the situation to add to their bank accounts. 

At the same time, the pandemic landscape is an unprecedented time. People need assistance but we don’t know how long the pandemic will continue to affect our country. Assistance provided should be temporary, serving the needs of Americans today and lawmakers should not assume that they can read the future. 

Finally, aid packages should be flexible. Communities know how to best use the support they receive, not lawmakers back in Washington. Situations across the country change continually and communities should be able to use aid dollars to address their specific and changing needs. 

In the meantime, however, it is encouraging to see our economy slowly recovering and responding to the reopening of our country. Americans are finding a “new normal” within this pandemic landscape, one that balances safety with a level of normalcy in our lives as well.