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 12,962 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 369 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

+12% more interest over last 4 weeks How it spreads

vaccines-treatments

-18% less interest over last 4 weeks Vaccines & treatments

characteristics-of-coronavirus

-13% less 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:

CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month

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

social-distancing

+92% more interest over last 4 weeks Social distancing

masks

+21% more interest over last 4 weeks Masks

testing-immunity

-9% less interest over last 4 weeks Testing & immunity

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:

CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month

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

+25% more interest over last 4 weeks Mortality rate & cases

state-federal-response

+38% more interest over last 4 weeks State & federal response

trumps-response-to-coronavirus

-52% less interest over last 4 weeks Trump’s response to 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:

CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month

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

tracking-the-virus

-45% less interest over last 4 weeks Tracking the virus

cleaning-sanitation

+66% more interest over last 4 weeks Cleaning & sanitation

fall-winter-activities

+114% 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:

CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month

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

-53% less interest over last 4 weeks Symptoms

staying-healthy

-10% less interest over last 4 weeks Staying healthy

shopping-dining

+200% 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:

CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month

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

international-impact-response

-12% less interest over last 4 weeks International impact & response

flu-cold-season

0% unchanged interest over last 4 weeks Flu & cold season

travel

+100% more interest over last 4 weeks Travel

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:

CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month

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

grocery-takeout

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

hospital-capacity-ppe

+150% more interest over last 4 weeks Hospital capacity & PPE

pandemic-science-history

+66% more 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:

CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month

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

grade-school

+300% more interest over last 4 weeks Grade school

elections

+300% more interest over last 4 weeks Elections

health-care

-25% 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:

CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month

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

exercise-gyms

+50% more interest over last 4 weeks Exercise & gyms

preexisting-medical-conditions

-58% less interest over last 4 weeks Preexisting medical conditions

jobs-the-economy

+50% more interest over last 4 weeks Jobs & the economy

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:

CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month

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

seniors

-67% less interest over last 4 weeks Seniors

stay-at-home-orders-reopening

-40% less interest over last 4 weeks Stay-at-home orders & reopening

stimulus

+100% more 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:

CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month

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

-34% less interest over last 4 weeks Supply & demand

life-at-home

+100% more interest over last 4 weeks Life at home

mental-health

100% more interest over last 4 weeks Mental health

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:

CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month

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

going-to-work

100% more interest over last 4 weeks Going to work

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 affect 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 has 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

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