Now, millions of people across the country are risking their health to wait in tense, sometimes desperate, new lines for basic needs as the economic toll of the virus grips the country.
In cars and on foot, they are snapping on masks and waiting for hours to stock up on groceries, file for unemployment assistance, cast their ballots and pick up boxes of donated food. The lines stretch around blocks and clog two-lane highways.
In western Pennsylvania, cars stacked up for miles on Monday as hundreds of people waited to collect a week’s worth of groceries from the Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
Outside Miami, some of the 16 million Americans who have lost their jobs over the past few weeks snaked around a library on Tuesday, waiting to pick up a paper application for unemployment benefits.