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CoronaCare: An ethnographic study of the risks to and potential for social health during the Corona Virus Pandemic

Project Overview

CoronaCare empirically explores how the socio-political measures to contain the virus’ spread affect social health, a form of health which unfolds through and across social relations. It explores how caring as a fundamental human activity and integral to sustaining social health is impacted when in-person and person-to-person contacts are restricted and everyone is radically redefined as at risk from others and a risk to others. Its ethnographic research design maps how these regulations alter our ability to care and be cared and documents, explains and evaluates how social health is maintained in these exceptional circumstances. This citizen-science fueled ethnography uses a variety of methods namely telephonic and video interviews with 60-70 research participants, the collection of ethnographic material including video and audio diaries, storyboards, first-person camera footage, photographs and a survey based on the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ). Taken collectively, these methods enable precisely the sharp resolutions for richly describing and understanding how people are experiencing the social regulations and how the regulations are (re)shaping our ability to be cared for and to care for one another.

Study Design


Project Keywords

risk; social health; care; self-care; social relations

Principal Investigator

Name: Christine

Title: Professor

Department or Unit: Institute of Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Organization: Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane

Co-Project Investigators

  • Name: Christian
    Title: Professor
    Department or Unit: Institute of Social Medicine and Health Systems Research
    Organization: Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg

Funding Source

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany), Award no. 01KI20117

Expected Study Timeline


Study Design


Primary Methods of Data Collection

Telephone and video interviews, participant observation, citizen-science methods, surveys

Unit of Analysis

Individuals, communities

Study Population(s)

Aged 18 and over; residents of Germany

Sample Size


Geographic Focus Area(s)


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