Life with Corona (part of the ‘Inequality and Governance in Unstable Democracies’ programme)

As part of the our Trust and Governance programme, IDS has partnered up with a team of international researchers from the ISDC, UNU-WIDER, IGZ and University of Konstanz on an exciting and very timely research initiative to collect real time data on the coronavirus and its social and economic consequences. The project is called Life with Corona, with overall aim to build a global knowledge base about how people are dealing with the exceptional situation we currently find ourselves living in. Life with Corona will run at least until the end of 2020.

Take part in Life with Corona survey

More about the survey

Life with Corona includes various modules that allow a comprehensive insight into daily life during the pandemic. Scientifically valid answers to these questions are of critical importance for dealing with the pandemic for maintaining health, nutrition, and social peace around the world. The team publishes insights from the survey almost every week, highlighting trends about trust in government, life satisfaction, stockpiling of supplies, compliance with recommended behaviours and more.

Life with Corona: Insights

Life with Corona has published regular insights since it was established on 23 March 2020. Among them are:

  • Young adults actively perform many behaviours to counter the pandemic.
  • Stress on families during the pandemic fall disproportionately on women who live with more than one other person.
  • Older people are less stressed than younger people and are less worried about current circumstances.
  • After the peak of COVID-related deaths, support for countermeasures drops.
  • People around the world want a vaccine to be available globally – with the exception of people in the USA.
  • Younger people are more willing to pay to stop the spread of the disease than older people.
  • Older people are more likely to stockpile.
  • In almost all countries analysed up to July 2020, there was a noticeable drop in life satisfaction. The most visible decline was observed in Portugal and Spain.
  • Social distancing is the greatest impact of the crisis for Europeans and Americans, whereas Africans and Asians worry more about getting sick.
  • Trust in government is on a decline everywhere, most of all in the USA.


Key contacts

Founder and Director of ISDC

Project details

start date
1 March 2020


Supported by

About this project


Recent work

Journal Article

Africa’s Lockdown Dilemma: High Poverty and Low Trust

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, sub-Saharan African countries faced the dilemma of how to minimise viral transmission without adversely affecting the poor. This study proposes an index of lockdown readiness, taking into account housing conditions and income security, and analyses how this...

27 January 2023

Journal Article

The Life with Corona survey

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis affecting everyone. Yet, its challenges and countermeasures vary significantly over time and space. Individual experiences of the pandemic are highly heterogeneous and its impacts span and interlink multiple dimensions, such as health, economic, social...

Wolfgang Stojetz & 14 others

1 August 2022

Journal Article

Life With Corona: Increased Gender Differences in Aggression and Depression Symptoms Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Burden in Germany

Gender differences (GD) in mental health have come under renewed scrutiny during the COVID-19 pandemic. While rapidly emerging evidence indicates a deterioration of mental health in general, it remains unknown whether the pandemic will have an impact on GD in mental health. To this end, we...

27 July 2021

Working Paper

Trust in the Time of Corona

WIDER Working Paper;2020/82

The global spread of COVID-19 is one of the largest threats to people and governments since the Second World War. The on-going pandemic and its counter-measures have led to varying physical, psychological, and emotional experiences, shaping not just public health and the economy but also...

Tilman Brueck & 3 others

1 January 2020

Working Paper

Africa’s Lockdown Dilemma: High Poverty and Low Trust

WIDER Working Paper; 2020/76

The primary policy response to suppress the spread of COVID-19 in high-income countries has been to lock down large sections of the population. However, there is growing unease that blindly replicating these policies might inflict irreparable damage to poor households and foment social unrest in...

1 January 2020