Articles, Blog

The Coronavirus Explained & What You Should Do

March 26, 2020

In December 2019 the Chinese authorities notified the world that a virus was spreading through their communities. In the following months, it spread to other countries, with cases doubling within days. This virus is the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Related Coronavirus 2 that causes the disease called Covid-19 and that everyone simply calls coronavirus. What actually happens when it infects a human and what should we all do? [Intro Music] A virus is really just a hull around genetic material and a few proteins, arguably not even a living thing. It can only make more of itself by entering a living cell. Corona may spread via surfaces, but it’s still uncertain how long it can survive on them. Its main way of spreading seems to be droplet infection when people cough, or if you touch someone who’s ill and then your face, say rubbing your eyes or nose. The virus starts its journey here, and then hitches a ride as a stowaway deeper into the body Its destinations are the intestines, the spleen or the lungs, where it can have the most dramatic effect. Even just a few corona viruses can cause quite a dramatic situation. The lungs are lined with billions of epithelial cells. These are the border cells of your body, lining your organs and mucosa waiting to be infected. Corona connects to a specific receptor on its victim’s membranes to inject its genetic material. The cell, ignorant of what’s happening, executes the new instructions, which are pretty simple: copy and reassemble. It fills up with more and more copies of the original virus until it reaches a critical point and receives one final order, self-destruct. The cell sort of melts away, releasing new corona particles ready to attack more cells. The number of infected cells grows exponentially After about 10 days, millions of body cells are infected, and billions of viruses swarmed the lungs. The virus has not caused too much damage yet, but corona is now going to release a real beast on you, your own immune system. The immune system, while there to protect you, can actually be pretty dangerous to yourself and needs tight regulation. And as immune cells pour into the lungs to fight the virus, Corona infects some of them and creates confusion. Cells have neither ears nor eyes. They communicate mostly via tiny information proteins called cytokines. Nearly every important immune reaction is controlled by them. Corona causes infected immune cells to overreact and yell bloody murder. In a sense, it puts the immune system into a fighting frenzy and sends way more soldiers than it should, wasting its resources and causing damage. Two kinds of cells in particular wreak havoc. First, neutrophils, which are great at killing stuff, including our cells. As they arrive in their thousands, they start pumping out enzymes that destroy as many friends as enemies. The other important type of cells that go into a frenzy are killer T-cells, which usually order infected cells to commit controlled suicide. Confused as they are, they start ordering healthy cells to kill themselves too. The more and more immune cells arrive, the more damage they do, and the more healthy lung tissue they kill. This might get so bad that it can cause permanent irreversible damage, that leads to lifelong disabilities. In most cases, the immune system slowly regains control. It kills the infected cells, intercepts the viruses trying to infect new ones and cleans up the battlefield. Recovery begins. The majority of people infected by Corona will get through it with relatively mild symptoms. But many cases become severe or even critical. We don’t know the percentage because not all cases have been identified, but it’s safe to say that there is a lot more than with the flu. In more severe cases, Millions of epithelial cells have died and with them, the lungs’ protective lining is gone. That means that the alveoli – tiny air sacs via which breathing occurs – can be infected by bacteria that aren’t usually a big problem. Patients get pneumonia. Respiration becomes hard or even fails, and patients need ventilators to survive. The immune system has fought at full capacity for weeks and made millions of antiviral weapons. And as thousands of bacteria rapidly multiply, it is overwhelmed. They enter the blood and overrun the body; if this happens, death is very likely. The Corona virus is often compared to the flu, but actually, it’s much more dangerous. While the exact death rate is hard to pin down during an ongoing pandemic, we know for sure that it’s much more contagious and spreads faster than the flu. There are two futures for a pandemic like Corona: fast and slow. Which future we will see depends on how we all react to it in the early days of the outbreak. A fast pandemic will be horrible and cost many lives; a slow pandemic will not be remembered by the history books. The worst case scenario for a fast pandemic begins with a very rapid rate of infection because there are no counter measures in place to slow it down. Why is this so bad? In a fast pandemic, many people get sick at the same time. If the numbers get too large, health care systems become unable to handle it. There aren’t enough resources, like medical staff or equipment like ventilators, left to help everybody. People will die untreated. And as more health care workers get sick themselves, the capacity of health care systems falls even further. If this becomes the case, then horrible decisions will have to be made about who gets to live and who doesn’t. The number of deaths rises significantly in such a scenario. To avoid this, the world – that means all of us – needs to do what it can to turn this into a slow pandemic. A pandemic is slowed down by the right responses. Especially in the early phase, so that everyone who gets sick can get treatment and there’s no crunch point with overwhelmed hospitals. Since we don’t have a vaccine for Corona, we have to socially engineer our behaviour, to act like a social vaccine. This simply means two things: 1. Not getting infected; and 2. Not infecting others. Although it sounds trivial, the very best thing you can do is to wash your hands. The soap is actually a powerful tool. The corona virus is encased in what is basically a layer of fat; soap breaks that fat apart and leaves it unable to infect you. It also makes your hands slippery, and with the mechanical motions of washing, viruses are ripped away. To do it properly, wash your hands as if you’ve just cut up some jalapeños and want to put in your contact lenses next. The next thing is social distancing, which is not a nice experience, but a nice thing to do. This means: no hugging, no handshakes. If you can stay at home, stay at home to protect those who need to be out for society to function: from doctors to cashiers, or police officers;. You depend on all of them; they all depend on you to not get sick. On a larger level, there are quarantines, which can mean different things, from travel restrictions or actual orders to stay at home. Quarantines are not great to experience and certainly not popular. But they buy us – and specially the researchers working on medication and vaccinations – crucial time So if you are put under quarantine, you should understand why, and respect it. None of this is fun. But looking at the big picture, it is a really small price to pay. The question of how pandemics end, depends on how they start; if they start fast with a steep slope, they end badly. If they start slow, with a not-so-steep slope, they end okay-ish. And, in this day and age, it really is in all of our hands. Literally, and figuratively. A huge thanks to the experts who helped us on short notice with this video, specially Our World In Data, the online publication for research and data on the world’s largest problems and how to make progress solving them. Check out their site. It also includes a constantly updated page on the Corona pandemic [Outro music]


  • Reply Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell March 19, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    Phew. That might have been the fastest we ever made a video. Literally working day and night. A huge challenge in talking about Corona was that the science is ongoing. So we put in extra special care to have good sources for this video and will update them in the coming weeks and months. Check them out here:

    We could not have made this video without experts who took time in one of the busiest periods of their own careers. A huge thanks especially to Dr James Gurney and Dr Max Roser of Our World in Data for helping us make sure the video was as accurate as it could be in a situation that is changing daily.

    Also a big shoutout to – the online publication for research and data on the world’s largest problems – and how to make progress solving them. Check out their site. It also includes a constantly updated page on the Corona Pandemic. Working together with them over the years has been a delight.

    Ok. We are very tired and are going to take a nap now. Stay healthy!

  • Reply Twitch Eue March 25, 2020 at 10:35 pm


  • Reply health care info March 25, 2020 at 10:35 pm


  • Reply Zoran Gjorgiev March 25, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    stay home

  • Reply Please Stop March 25, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    I think its too late to avoid a fast pandemic bro.

  • Reply Evelyn Zlon March 25, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    It's amazing how quickly they found a viable cure for coronavirus, which had a significant impact on the economy, and which was unavoidably contracted by many rich and powerful individuals.

  • Reply rasher 62 March 25, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Covid 19….or as I like to call it, Con 19……. You will only hear of a select few famous/rich or powerful people having this so called virus but you will never see any of them die…. Trump himself conducts interviews in rooms full of reporters with no protection(mask) and he's at the ripe old age where this virus is supposed to be at its most vicious… But yet people in Italy are droppn like flies…. If u ask me I reckon the major corporations are conspiring for a cashless society…. World's biggest con ever.

  • Reply j Y March 25, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    China literally controls the Democratic Party… remember a communist country is controlling you with political identity you ignorant kids 😂 suddenly liberals are lined up at gun shops

  • Reply QPDS March 25, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    COVID isn't a word it's a number,
    written as roman numerals it's DCVI.
    That's 606, computer op-code for system "reset"

  • Reply Julita Sarnecka March 25, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    Questo non è italiano!!!!!!!😡😡

  • Reply It’s Angiecat ! March 25, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    I’m really freaking out ;-;

  • Reply Jonny 1747 March 25, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    Ok now do hantavirus

  • Reply michael spellman March 25, 2020 at 10:58 pm


  • Reply michael spellman March 25, 2020 at 11:00 pm


  • Reply Madey Madey March 25, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    that bird at 7:34

  • Reply Dislike my video challenge March 25, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    "No hugging,no handshakes"

    Just like the simulations

  • Reply LoudAswin GT March 25, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    Not to brag but i used soap and water to wash my hands before it was trending

  • Reply luthfi daffa March 25, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    Coronavirus is killer virus just like bacteria etc and take care yourself stay home right

  • Reply Charlotte Dean March 25, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    i’m gonna go wash in hand sanitizer

  • Reply sasha parker March 25, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    This is sad but true.

  • Reply Terry Whitney March 25, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    Fantastic explanation. Showed it to my kids so they could understand whats happening and not be terrified by lack of comprehending what is going on. Great job and a great public service.

  • Reply Charcharocles Megalodon Prime March 25, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    Coronavirus weakens the immune system, but then bacteria invade, this is when we use those damn phages

  • Reply 1 2 March 25, 2020 at 11:54 pm


  • Reply B March 25, 2020 at 11:54 pm


  • Reply Penguin HL Dot March 25, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    Hey kurzgesagt I’m your longest fan I watch all your vids but I have one question why can’t we use bacteriophages to cure covid 19

  • Reply _ethhereal March 26, 2020 at 12:02 am

    i love this channel, they put so much effort and care into every video to inform us.
    this channel was the entire reason i got into science and made me finalize my choice on what career i wanted.

  • Reply Nishit Gaur March 26, 2020 at 12:10 am

    Plz make a video on haentavirus

  • Reply JakeDaHoomanDog JakeIsReal March 26, 2020 at 12:10 am

    Hey there Kurzgesagt, I love your vids <3 but all I can do is moral support xD uhhmmmm I have a suggestion since that this channel is very investigative <3 so Can you make a video about Cryostatis?

  • Reply Planet DarkInch March 26, 2020 at 12:10 am

    This is definitely a viral video

  • Reply Just a Bonewalker with skizaphernia and wifi March 26, 2020 at 12:19 am

    Hey uhh @kurzgesagt can you make a video about different methods to travel through space?

  • Reply Nick Grigorakos March 26, 2020 at 12:22 am

    Other ways of saying stay the fuck home!❤

  • Reply NewsSprocket March 26, 2020 at 12:25 am

    Isn't it odd that the mechanism is identical to common flu cough cold, but death rate is lower at a fraction of 1%?

  • Reply Finn Case March 26, 2020 at 12:28 am

    Not socially isolate spacially isolate

  • Reply RicKuklinski March 26, 2020 at 12:34 am

    Why eight thousands dislikes?

  • Reply zainab March 26, 2020 at 12:38 am

    oh so NOW we watch the news

  • Reply John Michael Manalang March 26, 2020 at 12:42 am

    And it all started because one stupid moron wanted bat soup

  • Reply Princesa Reynoso March 26, 2020 at 12:46 am

    A lot of people infect and a lot of died

  • Reply 대검 March 26, 2020 at 12:50 am

    good information

  • Reply jaylynn roagers March 26, 2020 at 12:53 am

    if I could take a gun and kill the coronavirus I would shot it and then dab… I been having nightmare's no going back to school…. and been forgetting math a lot…..I been having thing's I even forgot what 34+7= ….. I wanna go back to school for now I wanna YEET away covid-19 like if u agree

  • Reply Arianna Lenaè March 26, 2020 at 1:01 am

    Well dang they need to make a vaccine that prevents the healthy cells from fighting off the virus. Omg goodness

  • Reply Arianna Lenaè March 26, 2020 at 1:03 am

    It's alright a guaranteed fast pandemic guys😢

  • Reply Liz Pena March 26, 2020 at 1:07 am

    What a cute, bored birdie on the window

  • Reply dansu92833 March 26, 2020 at 1:13 am

    Kurt that virus was warned from Taiwan CDC to WHO back in November. Also some people has no symptoms and become “super carrier”. Please address that so that more people should take test.

  • Reply Darbo Scalante March 26, 2020 at 1:14 am

    Big big thanks for this work!! It complains with every aspect of a winner design: Functional, Relevant, extremely well designed. You're fantastic.

    Guys, for years I was looking for this voice (I've heard it at DMG Mori videos). Thanks again. Your work is truly amaaaaaaaaaazing!!!!!!

  • Reply Lanlan Tian March 26, 2020 at 1:15 am


  • Reply Carlos Valenzuela March 26, 2020 at 1:20 am

    Someone show this video to that dipshit trump, he wants to end social distancing and quarantines by easter… great job electing your president conservatards!

  • Reply UnknownFact March 26, 2020 at 1:20 am

    Ok, I didn't expect the toitet paper.

  • Reply Isha Fatty March 26, 2020 at 1:20 am

    "Don't touch your face"
    Me resting my hand on my cheek while watching:

  • Reply Nintendo Switch March 26, 2020 at 1:20 am

    Man I am disappointed at you, CELLS.
    Just take one for the team amiright😐

  • Reply RAfLI RAfLI March 26, 2020 at 1:21 am

    gara gara ginian gua suruh rangkum tentang corona

  • Reply Tunjung Utomo March 26, 2020 at 1:21 am

    thank you for this immensely educative video!!

  • Reply mimosa9188 March 26, 2020 at 1:28 am

    my neighbor is having a party right now, after the state declared lock down mode 3 days ago.

  • Reply Dream Weaver March 26, 2020 at 1:35 am

    Natural virus…. 😂😂😂😂 I DON’ THINK SO!!! ….. Thank you China 🇨🇳🙏🙏

  • Reply RomanceThief March 26, 2020 at 1:38 am

    >mentioning police over fire/EMTs

    yea fuck you too

  • Reply GlitchJedi March 26, 2020 at 1:39 am

    Kurzgesagt I have a weak immune system so do you think the virus would be less or more serious for me?

  • Reply Boran Efe March 26, 2020 at 1:41 am

    i didnt believe this was a manufactured virus but there is a patent on google for this exact disease search this patent number on google EP1694829B1 . it was manufactured by a group of scientists in france. Dont believe everything u hear on the media the evidence is there but its hidden.

  • Reply Dr. Omnicron E March 26, 2020 at 1:44 am

    why do I feel like the immune system is 50% cell stuff and 50% reverse psychology x2

  • Reply Dr. Omnicron E March 26, 2020 at 1:45 am

    how to beat the immune system: use more reverse psychology

  • Reply Benjamin Lee March 26, 2020 at 1:45 am

    Hi Kurzgesagt can make a video on global recession.

  • Reply Paty Martinez March 26, 2020 at 1:46 am

    When we finish watching the video

    Goes to the bar with the homies😂😂and party

  • Reply Dre Murf 313 March 26, 2020 at 1:46 am

    Strengthen your immune system:
    -Eating fruits (Vitamin C) & vegetables (Vitamin D)
    -Drinking water (at least 1 gallon)
    -Ginger, Garlic, Lemons as a tea are excellent
    -Getting in some exercise (cardio & resistance training)
    -Getting the necessary rest

  • Reply Jordan Washington March 26, 2020 at 1:49 am

    What’s up with the thing licking the thing at the end of the video

  • Reply janko pandza March 26, 2020 at 1:50 am

    Coronavirus was designed in North Carolina ..bought and paid by Chinese …buisness as usual…hard to get it ? shouldnt be in 2020 !!

  • Reply Nagendra Rao March 26, 2020 at 1:59 am


  • Reply Pooja Mahesha March 26, 2020 at 2:10 am

    Thank you so much for making this video. . This is greatly helpful .. Everyone should watch this..

  • Reply Rezio Rizky March 26, 2020 at 2:11 am

    So….. does it actually trigger the cytokine storm?

  • Reply Mr M March 26, 2020 at 2:17 am

    simply and brilliantly explained….thanks everybody…

  • Reply Uinverso March 26, 2020 at 2:18 am

    Already read/watched all about it but i'm' here for the animation👌

  • Reply aryaaa 19197 March 26, 2020 at 2:18 am

    body: gets infected
    memory B cells: you could not live with your own failure, look where that brought you, back to me"

  • Reply Diana Lopez March 26, 2020 at 2:19 am

    If you healed from Corona, you stop spreding the virus?

  • Reply Alexandra Giraldo March 26, 2020 at 2:21 am

    The inmune cellus of scholl
    Sopa virus

  • Reply Timothy B. March 26, 2020 at 2:28 am

    thanks you for this very informative video! i'm sharing it with my friends!

  • Reply Vixx Celacea March 26, 2020 at 2:29 am

    It's also about right measures at the right time. Enforce a lot of restrictions too early and you are just causing a bigger out break after quarantine when people who are still infected are let out and infect everyone all at once. Do it just before the peak and you bring the peak begins and you slow it down. Do it too late and it has almost no affect on slowing the spread.

    This is why some countries have seemingly done "nothing" in response. They were waiting for what was calculated to be their peak in their country. Some of them also absolutely panicked and politicians fell into public pressure. Pandemiologists are trying really hard to explain the peak and that it's not just about you getting sick, it's about the older, immuno-suppressed and just plain unlucky that we are trying to save. If you get Corona, you are likely to have mild symptoms and get over it, but if everyone gets infected at once because people don't practice social distancing and washing hands, then we'll find out very quickly who might be unlucky and if there is an overload of the already vulnerable populaces getting sick then most of them could die to to a lack of staff, respirators and any medications that might help those people survive.

    This is also exactly why vaccines are important. Herd immunity means that when you get a illness, your body just goes into destroy mode towards it because it's learned via a weakened version what that virus/illness looks like and how to fight it. If you get say the flu, and your body just destroys it, you aren't a carrier any longer for those who for some reason can't get vaccinated or are a vulnerable populace.
    Think of vaccines as a demo for your body to understand how to fight an enemy. Because we don't have this option our immune systems are going in blind with no tutorial on what to do and they can get royally screwed because of that. So we have to instead try hard not to get sick till we have a vaccine.
    Those who are sick and not in critical conditions can self-quarantine, let their body learn how to fight (hopefully not on hard mode) and become immune that way which will help overtime, but not right now, not while we don't know how so many will respond to having it.

    I didn't know that the big issue with some viruses is that they literally hijack your organic programming. It would seem that given how a virus works and that it's goal is basically endless replication, forcing the body into "bomb everything" mode isn't beneficial to it anymore than it is to us. But no one said evolution was perfect. There are plenty of parasitic life forms that are failures because they do too much damage and encourage the creature who suffers to want to destroy it or outright kills it's host, leaving it to die too. This goes for anything that throws itself out of it's own eco-system.

  • Reply Metal Bum March 26, 2020 at 2:33 am

    Good cideo

  • Reply Sam Valladares March 26, 2020 at 2:42 am

    Okay but what if one of my favorite things to do is literally rubbing jalapenos into my eyeballs??

  • Reply Gerardo Lopez March 26, 2020 at 2:44 am

    This is HIV airborne. This is deadly.

  • Reply Rapha Gacha March 26, 2020 at 2:48 am

    Me: Relaxing


  • Reply Ian Wheelock March 26, 2020 at 2:48 am

    I swear to God, who the fuck ate the bat!?!?!?

  • Reply Salma Medina March 26, 2020 at 2:52 am

    Could you please tell me who's the producer of this vid? I need it for my homework 😭

  • Reply Ray Carreon March 26, 2020 at 2:55 am

    Feed the infected some soap

  • Reply Thomas Wolf March 26, 2020 at 2:59 am

    07:00 Liberal left wing lesbians


    Yeah sounds man made to me

  • Reply Memenetic March 26, 2020 at 3:09 am

    Anyone else notice that in the intro the monkey holds a roll of toilet paper this time?

  • Reply Pauline Sanchez March 26, 2020 at 3:12 am

    Every one should stay home

  • Reply Tanish Gaglani March 26, 2020 at 3:15 am

    that monkey in the intro hugging toilet paper: ITS CORONA TIME

  • Reply Edward Smith March 26, 2020 at 3:15 am

    No hugging + other social distancing measure.
    Turns out I've been practising for quite some time.

  • Reply pangef March 26, 2020 at 3:22 am

    From where it came and how did it created?

  • Reply Danny Richards March 26, 2020 at 3:23 am


  • Reply Anjunakitchen March 26, 2020 at 3:33 am

    What if your overreactive immune system is surpressed (Crohn's with Imuran), does this mean the virus will take over before the bacteria stage? I'm basically dead if I get this. I have mild Asthma as well (was worse as a child). I'm 26.

  • Reply Islam is the best Religion March 26, 2020 at 3:34 am

    And indeed i will make them taste of the Penalty of this (life) prior to the supreme Penalty, in order that they may (repent and) return. 
    (Al Quran:Chapter 32, As-Sajda: Verse 21)

    Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned, that (Allah) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from Evil). 
    (Al Quran:Chapter 30, Ar-Room: Verse 41)

    Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.
    (Al Quran:Chapter 16, An-Nahl: Verse 97)

  • Reply Oink Oink March 26, 2020 at 3:41 am

    I have asthma so if I get it I would have a very high chance of dying because my respiratory area is very weak

  • Reply J F March 26, 2020 at 3:43 am

    "only wear masks if you are sick".

    also incubation period: you wont know when you are infected

  • Reply Vasco Santos March 26, 2020 at 3:43 am

    stora ta ai eu fiz

  • Reply staticsiege March 26, 2020 at 3:44 am

    Not a huge fan of the swollen fish lips and bulbous/pendulous noses on the humans……bugs me for some reason………like, in an "ugh, gross" kind of way ……just sayin'…… :/

  • Reply Keith Legados March 26, 2020 at 3:50 am

    That Corona is one hick of a scary virus 4:41

  • Reply Jesse Hugo March 26, 2020 at 3:54 am

    who is washing their hands after this video

  • Reply Shadow GirlGaming March 26, 2020 at 3:58 am

    There is a new virus in China called Hantavirus! Caused by rats! How can I handle this?!?!

  • Reply IronPlays 123 March 26, 2020 at 4:05 am

    See this is why we should end China oafa

  • Reply Luis Guirola March 26, 2020 at 4:10 am

    Incredible amazing. Astonished for the accuracy

  • Reply Suhandi Wiratama March 26, 2020 at 4:10 am

    Thank you! It's a nice video, and I immediately pressed the subscribe button after I watched your video for the first time! 🙂

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