This website was madestarted as a result ofway to share our early research regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, but much of the advice may be applicable in other situations.pandemic. We were trying to write down for ourselves and our friends what to do when so many people were going to get sick. Much of what's discussed here may be common sense to some, but we felt it's still good to have some checklists and adviceinformation for various stages of illness in one place. While weWe consulted with nurses and doctors on much of this advice, most ofdoctors, but this textsite was writtencreated by the non-medically trained, trying to puzzle together what makes sense in thisour new situation.normal. 

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To be clear: **LISTEN TO LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES, DOCTORS AND NURSES** when given the choice between that and something you found on the internet.

As we started writing forInformation on this site in Berlin, Germany in the second week of March 2020, much about the virus was still unclear, but numbers of infectedwebsite is provided for informational purposes only anddead were rising steadily, most recently in Italy. While it is not now - nor is it ever - a good time to panic, we do think it is now timemeant to thinkbe a substitute for advice provided by a doctor or qualified healthcare professional. Patients should not use the information provided here for diagnosing a health condition, problem or disease. Patients should always consult with a doctor or other healthcare professional for medical advice or information about diagnosis and prepare.treatment.


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As we started writing for this site in Berlin, Germany in the second week of March 2020, much about the virus was still unclear, but numbers of infected and dead were rising steadily, most recently in Italy. Whether the virus has caused total crisis where you are or not: It is time to think and prepare.


This guide is based on the assumption that in the coming months, more people than usual will either become ill or have ill people in their lives. Let's all hope for the best, but we're going to assume that doctors and hospitals are going to be very busy if not overloaded. We have to confront the possibility that some of the people who would normally be cared for under medical supervision might need to be cared for at home. We hope some of the information here will give you some confidence in dealing with this disease, which in and by itself will reduce the load on doctors and nurses who, from the looks of it, will be quite busy in weeks and months to come. At the same time, we hope to give you information that helps you tell when it is time to get professional medical help. Getting large amounts of people to get that balance right may make all the difference in the time to come.



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### What this guide contains general advice that should be applicable in many not...

We may addtry to provide a large amount of *general* helpful tips for dealing with COVID-19 during the various stages in which it might affect your household. **What we cannot do is provide up-to-date information that is specific to certain countries or regions, butwhere you should keep your eyes open for more specificare.** We will try to tell you when we think you need to seek up-to-date local information in text boxes such as this.

Note that any advice from other credibleofficial sources thatyou may find could be outdated as soon as a few days after it is more localissued, so always try to find the latest guidance and advice you can. Refer to local broadcast media and **trusted** information on the internet. Your local health authorities know the situation on the ground where you are.are, and should be talking to the public through the media.

That said, we are seeing various levels of quality in official response. Sometimes there will insufficient capacity to supply everyone with individual help and advice, for example because hotlines and testing centers are overloaded. **Help may well be unavailable at some times**. In this text we will just keep going, giving you the best information we found in our research. This doesn't mean we think such general information as is on this site could be better than local help from trained professionals. Treat the advanced chapters of this website as a last resort: much better than nothing, but by all means get local help from actual professionals if you can.

Also note that **we do not sugar-coat**. This site is written by and for adults who can handle thinking through the consequences of our current global predicament. There is no reason to panic, but the situation is serious enough that we feel everyone should have access to the best information we could find. 

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Some of the authors of this website are not known as great fans of government and authority, but at this point trust in the public health authorities is vital. Where there are discrepancies, trust reputable sources such as:
* [World Health Organization]( (International)
* [Centers for Disease Control]( (USA)
* [National Health Service]( (UK) 
* [Robert Koch Institute]( (Germany)
* [European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control](]( (EU) 
* And the public health authorities where you are.

For the more research-minded, we compiled a list of [additional resources]( 

### Know the Facts: 

* COVID-19 is real. 
* It’s a disease caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 virus that mutated to infect human hosts after starting in animals.
* ItCOVID-19 is dangerous. 
  * The virus that causes it seems to be about twice as infectious andspread far [more readily than SARS]( 
  * It seems to commonly cause pneumonia, while most cases of the seasonal influenza virus (flu) [do not]( (and those that do are more dangerous). COVID-19 is also associated with far more pneumonia, otherother, serious diseasecomplications requiring medical care, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), cardiac events (especially in people with existing heart disease), respiratory failure, septic shock, liver injury, and multi-organ failure. It seems to cause [over 3x]( and deathspossibly [10x more deaths]( than the seasonal influenza virus (flu).flu. (But until testing is much more widespread, it will be impossible to know for sure.) 
  * Unlike the flu and other diseases, there are currently no known vaccines or anti-viral treatments for COVID-19 supported by sufficient scientific evidence from double-blind, randomized controlled trials. (Though you can be sure research is ongoing worldwide!) 
  * It's also worse than the flu because the world population so far lacks immunity. New diseasespathogens are more potentially dangerous, because their infection rates can grow incredibly rapidly (even having exponential growth).[exponential growth]( Such rapid transmission of a new pathogen that commonly causes disease severe enough to require medical care can swiftly overwhelm even outstanding health-carethe world's best healthcare systems, making it impossible for everyone who needs care (including for unrelated conditions) to access it --- and in turn contributing to even more severe disease and death.more, otherwise avoidable deaths. 
* ContainmentSlowing the spread of COVID-19 down (also known as mitigation) is the best chance we still have to save a large number of lives. ContainmentSlowing the spread down requires widespread cooperation with and implementation of measures like reporting your symptoms to the authorities where required, accessible testingtesting, isolation of the sick and those exposed to them, and social distancing -- sometimes even rising to the level of mandatory sheltering in place -- for everyone else (see Level 1 below).  
* For these reasons, it is time nowmany have changed or will soon need to change ourtheir way of life(for now) to address the very real threat this pandemic poses to our world.everyone on Planet Earth. 

Remember that there is no difference in potential infectiousness between friends and strangers. There is no race, ethnic group, or nationality that is innately more likely to get or transmit the virus than another. Try to help others when you can without being in contact with large groups of people unnecessarily. There are obvious trade-offs here that everyone has to weigh for themselves. Some people will need to have morephysical contact with other people than others.unnecessarily: A lot will depend on whether the social fabric of our society holds. Slowing the spread of an infectious disease is never absolute, butrarely absolute. But taken over all of society,society as a whole, our efforts still work when everyone does what they can, within their limits. 

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*At### You can help make thispoint the site uses metric units in many places, although sometimes both metric and imperial units are provided. We hope to offer metric and imperial versions of everything in the next few days.*better

> **YOU CAN HELP MAKE THIS SITE BETTER.** *IfIf you see something that could be better, please [click here]([**click here**]( to file an issue. AsWe promise to do our best to respond quickly. *(As you can see therethere, the backendback end of this website is on Github, so if you know that environment you can probablyalso send pull-requests or think of other ways to*

To be successful, this will need to be an expandingexpanding, collaborative effort.*effort.

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