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The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits reached more than 3 million last week as strict measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic grounded the country to a sudden halt, unleashing a wave of layoffs.

In Washington, D.C., Ali Nelson lost her job as an optician in the Georgetown neighborhood.

Nelson, who said she is the primary wage earner in her family, filed for unemployment benefits.

The mother of two said despite the uncertainty, she finds some comfort in this shared national struggle.

“I have to think that some good will come out of this.” She said.

In Los Angeles, dance teacher, voice-over artist and magician Tom Antonellis said he felt unexplainable “shame” and longed for a day when people would be able to gather again.

The United States has over 140,000 cases of COVID-19, with more than 2,400 deaths as of Sunday.

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