Asked and answered: What readers want to know about coronavirus

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The Washington Post is providing this important information about the coronavirus for free. For more free coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter where all stories are free to read.

The novel coronavirus is changing how we live our lives, and our readers have questions. The Washington Post has catalogued and organized 12,486 questions about the pandemic and provided a guide to help you find the answers. Many of the questions fall into common themes, and this guide provides links to reporting that holds the answers to those frequently referenced topic areas. This guide is updated twice a day and reordered with the most frequently asked-about subject areas, from how covid-19, the disease the virus causes, affects individuals to the broad impact on society as we know it.

You can keep asking us questions here.

The Post has collected 414 new questions in the last 14 days. Categories are organized by frequency of most recent questions. Change in interest is based on questions asked in the last 4 weeks.

how-it-spreads

+50% more interest over last 4 weeks How it spreads

tracking-the-virus

+23% more interest over last 4 weeks Tracking the virus

vaccines-treatments

-6% less interest over last 4 weeks Vaccines & treatments

Resources

The coronavirus mainly spreads person to person through respiratory droplets when a person talks, coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Washing your hands with soap and water can help reduce the spread of the virus. If you’d like to learn more, read here:

The CDC says coronavirus is airborne and spread by aerosols, warns of badly ventilated spaces

Genetic data shows how a single superspreading event sent coronavirus across Massachusetts — and the nation

Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states

testing-immunity

+57% more interest over last 4 weeks Testing & immunity

masks

+64% more interest over last 4 weeks Masks

characteristics-of-coronavirus

+13% more interest over last 4 weeks Characteristics of coronavirus

Resources

The coronavirus mainly spreads person to person through respiratory droplets when a person talks, coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Washing your hands with soap and water can help reduce the spread of the virus. If you’d like to learn more, read here:

The CDC says coronavirus is airborne and spread by aerosols, warns of badly ventilated spaces

Genetic data shows how a single superspreading event sent coronavirus across Massachusetts — and the nation

Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states

mortality-rate-cases

+22% more interest over last 4 weeks Mortality rate & cases

state-federal-response

+22% more interest over last 4 weeks State & federal response

social-distancing

+100% more interest over last 4 weeks Social distancing

Resources

The coronavirus mainly spreads person to person through respiratory droplets when a person talks, coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Washing your hands with soap and water can help reduce the spread of the virus. If you’d like to learn more, read here:

The CDC says coronavirus is airborne and spread by aerosols, warns of badly ventilated spaces

Genetic data shows how a single superspreading event sent coronavirus across Massachusetts — and the nation

Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states

symptoms

+112% more interest over last 4 weeks Symptoms

trumps-response-to-coronavirus

-13% less interest over last 4 weeks Trump’s response to coronavirus

staying-healthy

+55% more interest over last 4 weeks Staying healthy

Resources

The coronavirus mainly spreads person to person through respiratory droplets when a person talks, coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Washing your hands with soap and water can help reduce the spread of the virus. If you’d like to learn more, read here:

The CDC says coronavirus is airborne and spread by aerosols, warns of badly ventilated spaces

Genetic data shows how a single superspreading event sent coronavirus across Massachusetts — and the nation

Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states

travel

-19% less interest over last 4 weeks Travel

international-impact-response

+100% more interest over last 4 weeks International impact & response

cleaning-sanitation

+19% more interest over last 4 weeks Cleaning & sanitation

Resources

The coronavirus mainly spreads person to person through respiratory droplets when a person talks, coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Washing your hands with soap and water can help reduce the spread of the virus. If you’d like to learn more, read here:

The CDC says coronavirus is airborne and spread by aerosols, warns of badly ventilated spaces

Genetic data shows how a single superspreading event sent coronavirus across Massachusetts — and the nation

Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states

preexisting-medical-conditions

+37% more interest over last 4 weeks Preexisting medical conditions

seniors

+12% more interest over last 4 weeks Seniors

fall-winter-activities

100% more interest over last 4 weeks Fall & winter activities

Resources

The coronavirus mainly spreads person to person through respiratory droplets when a person talks, coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Washing your hands with soap and water can help reduce the spread of the virus. If you’d like to learn more, read here:

The CDC says coronavirus is airborne and spread by aerosols, warns of badly ventilated spaces

Genetic data shows how a single superspreading event sent coronavirus across Massachusetts — and the nation

Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states

flu-cold-season

-38% less interest over last 4 weeks Flu & cold season

grade-school

-45% less interest over last 4 weeks Grade school

shopping-dining

+33% more interest over last 4 weeks Shopping & dining

Resources

The coronavirus mainly spreads person to person through respiratory droplets when a person talks, coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Washing your hands with soap and water can help reduce the spread of the virus. If you’d like to learn more, read here:

The CDC says coronavirus is airborne and spread by aerosols, warns of badly ventilated spaces

Genetic data shows how a single superspreading event sent coronavirus across Massachusetts — and the nation

Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states

stay-at-home-orders-reopening

-43% less interest over last 4 weeks Stay-at-home orders & reopening

life-at-home

100% more interest over last 4 weeks Life at home

pandemic-science-history

-25% less interest over last 4 weeks Pandemic science & history

Resources

The coronavirus mainly spreads person to person through respiratory droplets when a person talks, coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Washing your hands with soap and water can help reduce the spread of the virus. If you’d like to learn more, read here:

The CDC says coronavirus is airborne and spread by aerosols, warns of badly ventilated spaces

Genetic data shows how a single superspreading event sent coronavirus across Massachusetts — and the nation

Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states

supply-demand

+200% more interest over last 4 weeks Supply & demand

exercise-gyms

-34% less interest over last 4 weeks Exercise & gyms

health-care

-72% less interest over last 4 weeks Health care

Resources

The coronavirus mainly spreads person to person through respiratory droplets when a person talks, coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Washing your hands with soap and water can help reduce the spread of the virus. If you’d like to learn more, read here:

The CDC says coronavirus is airborne and spread by aerosols, warns of badly ventilated spaces

Genetic data shows how a single superspreading event sent coronavirus across Massachusetts — and the nation

Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states

hospital-capacity-ppe

-34% less interest over last 4 weeks Hospital capacity & PPE

grocery-takeout

+100% more interest over last 4 weeks Grocery & takeout

college

-34% less interest over last 4 weeks College

Resources

The coronavirus mainly spreads person to person through respiratory droplets when a person talks, coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Washing your hands with soap and water can help reduce the spread of the virus. If you’d like to learn more, read here:

The CDC says coronavirus is airborne and spread by aerosols, warns of badly ventilated spaces

Genetic data shows how a single superspreading event sent coronavirus across Massachusetts — and the nation

Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states

misinformation

0% unchanged interest over last 4 weeks Misinformation

elections

-60% less interest over last 4 weeks Elections

essential-workers

-50% less interest over last 4 weeks Essential workers

Resources

The coronavirus mainly spreads person to person through respiratory droplets when a person talks, coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Washing your hands with soap and water can help reduce the spread of the virus. If you’d like to learn more, read here:

The CDC says coronavirus is airborne and spread by aerosols, warns of badly ventilated spaces

Genetic data shows how a single superspreading event sent coronavirus across Massachusetts — and the nation

Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states

societal-change

0% unchanged interest over last 4 weeks Societal change

stimulus

0% unchanged interest over last 4 weeks Stimulus

Resources

The coronavirus mainly spreads person to person through respiratory droplets when a person talks, coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Washing your hands with soap and water can help reduce the spread of the virus. If you’d like to learn more, read here:

The CDC says coronavirus is airborne and spread by aerosols, warns of badly ventilated spaces

Genetic data shows how a single superspreading event sent coronavirus across Massachusetts — and the nation

Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states

Methodology

Wondering how this works? Here's an explanation:

Tell The Post what you want to know about the virus.

Reporters are interested in any questions about the virus, but it’s helpful to ask a question that addresses a common dilemma caused by the pandemic. You can also ask about how something works, such as contact tracing, antibody tests or respirator masks. If you’re comfortable doing so, please explain why you’re asking the question and how the answer may impact your life.

A Post journalist will read your question.

We’re reading every query and categorizing questions into topic areas, such as “masks,” “stay-at-home” or “symptoms.” The categories help us understand what topics people may have the most questions about and how that’s changed over time. A reporter may also email or call you to get more context regarding your submission.

We’ll send questions to different parts of the newsroom.

When we notice trends or find a question worth answering on its own, we’ll send those submissions to the appropriate team in the newsroom.

A reader’s question may inform reporting efforts that are already underway. In some cases, a question will become the basis for an entire article. If we answer your question directly, we’ll email you.

About

Written by Teddy Amenabar. Curated by Teddy Amenabar, Eliza Goren, Tom Johnson, Steven Johnson and Nia Decaille. Edited by Everdeen Mason. Designed and development by Jake Crump. Illustrated by Luerat Satichob/istockphoto.com.