GESIS Panel Special Survey on the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Outbreak in Germany

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • GESIS Panel Team
Publication Date
  • GESIS Panel Team (Data Collector)
  • ZA:
    • Political Attitudes and Behavior
    • Society, Culture
    • Medicine
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • Working conditions
    • Health care and medical treatment
    • Health policy
    • Specific diseases and medical conditions
    • Information society
    • Mass political behaviour, attitudes/opinion
  • Abstract

    The aim of the special survey of the GESIS panel on the outbreak of the corona virus SARS-CoV-2 in Germany was to collect timely data on the effects of the corona crisis on people´s daily lives. The study focused on questions of risk perception, risk minimization measures, evaluation of political measures and their compliance, trust in politics and institutions, changed employment situation, childcare obligations, and media consumption. Due to the need for timely data collection, only the GESIS panel sub-sample of online respondents was invited (about three quarters of the sample). Since, due to time constraints, respondents could only participate in the online survey but not by mail, the results cannot be easily transferred to the overall population. Further longitudinal surveys on Covid-19 with the entire sample of the GESIS panel are planned for 2020. Topics: Risk perception: Probability of events related to corona infection in the next two months (self, infection of a person from close social surrondings, hospital treatment, quarantine measures regardless of whether infected or not, infecting other people) Risk minimization: risk minimization measures taken in the last seven days (avoided certain (busy) places, kept minimum distance to other people, adapted school or work situation, quarantine due to symptoms or without symptoms, washed hands more often, used disinfectant, stocks increased, reduced social interactions, worn face mask, other, none of these measures). Evaluation of the effectiveness of various policy measures to combat the further spread of corona virus (closure of day-care centres, kindergartens and schools, closure of sports facilities, closure of bars, cafés and restaurants, closure of all shops except supermarkets and pharmacies, ban on visiting hospitals, nursing homes and old people´s homes, curfew for persons aged 70 and over or people with health problems or for anyone not working in the health sector or other critical professions (except for basic purchases and urgent medical care). Curfew compliance or refusal: Willingness to obey a curfew vs. refusal; reasons for the compliance with curfew (social duty, fear of punishment, protection against infection, fear of infecting others (loved ones, infecting others in general, a risk group); reasons for refusal of curfew (restrictions too drastic or not justified, other obligations, does not stop the spread, not affected by the outbreak, boring at home, will not be punished). Evaluation of the effectiveness of various government measures (medical care, restrictions on social life such as closure of public facilities and businesses, reduction of economic damage, communication with the population). Trust in politics and institutions with regard to dealing with the coronavirus (physician, local health authority, local and municipal administration, Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Federal Government, German Chancellor, Ministry of Health, World Health Organization (WHO), scientists). Changed employment situation: employment status at the beginning of March; change in occupational situation since the spread of coronavirus: dependent employees: number of hours reduced, number of hours increased, more home office, leave of absence with/ without continued wage payment , fired, no change; self-employed: working hours reduced, working hours increased, more home office, revenue decreased, revenue increased, company temporarily closed by the authorities, company temporarily voluntarily closed, financial hardship, company permanently closed or insolvent, no change. Childcare: children under 12 in the household; organisation of childcare during the closure of day-care centres, kindergartens and schools (staying at home, partner stays at home, older siblings take care, grandparents are watching, etc.) Media consumption on Corona: information sources used for Corona (e.g. nationwide public or private television or radio, local public or private television or radio, national newspapers or local newspapers, Facebook, other social media, personal conversations with friends and family, other, do not inform myself on the subject); frequency of Facebook usage; information about Corona obtained from regional Facebook page or regional Facebook group. Demography: sex; age (categorized); education (categorized); intention to vote and choice of party (Sunday question); Left-right self-assessment; marital status; size of household. Additionally coded: Respondent ID; recruitment cohort; mode of invitation; mode of participation; participation (dichotomous); questionnaire evaluation: overall assessment of the survey; comment (dichotomous); evaluation of the special survey on Corona; disposition code (online); survey duration in seconds. User-side paradata are stored in a separate CSV file (see codebook).
Temporal Coverage
  • 2020-03-17 / 2020-03-29
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
Sampled Universe
Cohort 1: German-speaking population aged between 18 and 70 with permanent residence in Germany Cohort 2: German-speaking population older than 18 years of age with permanent residence in Germany
Probability: Multistage; Sampling Procedure Comment: Due to the need for timely data collection, respondents could only participate in the online survey, but not by post. Therefore, the results cannot easily be transferred to the total population.
Time Dimension
  • Longitudinal: Panel
Collection Mode
  • Self-administered questionnaire: Web-based
  • Recruitment Interview: Face-to-face interview: CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview) Following Waves: Self-administered questionnaire: CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interviewing) Self-administered questionnaire: Paper
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 137
In contrast to regular waves, no incentive was paid. The respondents were promised a report about the results. Some of the collected items will also be fielded in upcoming GESIS Panel waves. This questionnaire can be found here: The data set contains demographic information about all 3765 panelists that were invited to the survey. In addition to the collected data in the special survey, the data set includes basic demographic information that is based on the latest information from the panel.
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
All metadata from GESIS DBK are available free of restriction under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. However, GESIS requests that you actively acknowledge and give attribution to all metadata sources, such as the data providers and any data aggregators, including GESIS. For further information see
Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA5667 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Is new version of
    DOI: 10.4232/1.13485

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 15 | Registration Date: 2020-04-28