Anyone can publish on Medium per our Policies, but we don’t fact-check every story. For more info about the coronavirus, see cdc.gov.

#coronacode — my commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic

Holger Heinze
Mar 15 · 4 min read

More than 750k people have viewed, shared, committed to this code of conduct in the last 48h in various languages.
You can share it using #coronacode and
www.coronacode.org, copy it, print it, e-mail it, change it to suit your needs and re-post. Whatever helps to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible and to #flattenthecurve.

#coronacode

Panic doesn’t help. But neither does ignorance. I want to deal with the Corona pandemic in a calm, informed and responsible manner and do my part to defeat it.

Things I understand:

  1. I understand that Covid-19 is dangerous.

2. I understand that we need to flatten the infection curve as much as possible to reduce the mortality rate by giving our health system enough time to care for and heal the sick.

The solid black line shows the number of people who are ill at the same time. If we slow down the spreading, we will give the hospitals a chance to treat them. The fewer people go untreated, the fewer people will die. #flattenthecurve

3. I understand that currently every infected person infects about 3 more people.

4. I understand that to stop the pandemic, the infection rate must be reduced below 1. (If every sick person infects less than one other person, the pandemic dies out, as it seems to be the case in China through rigorous isolation practices).

5. I understand that I can be contagious before I have symptoms, i.e. before I know I have Corona.

6. I understand that physical isolation is the most effective measure to contain the pandemic and that the best way to reduce the infection rate is to avoid contact — even if I feel well and have no symptoms (because I could still be contagious) and even if I am not in a risk group (because even if I don’t feel threatened I can still be a threat to others).

Therefore, until the pandemic has subsided, I pledge to …

… reduce contact with people outside my family or my direct household to the absolute minimum.

… avoid having contact with risk groups (heart patients, lung patients, diabetics, people over 60, people with a weakened immune system, people with cancer) completely in order to protect them.

… not take part in any events or gatherings, festivals, fairs etc.

… move meetings and conversations to telephone, video chat, other virtual means or postpone them.

… keep a safety distance of 2 meters / 7 feet when it is absolutely essential, non-negotiable that I meet with people.

… avoid physical contact (hugging, shaking hands, …)

… wash my hands using soap thoroughly and consistently for 20 seconds as quickly as possible after every physical contact with people and after touching shopping trolleys, cars, subways etc.

clean my mobile phone regularly.

… touch myface and mouth as little as possible.

… in the event of relevant symptoms, contact the office responsible for my region by telephone, follow the instructions and comply with any quarantine requirements.

… actively oppose panic, fear-mongering as well as ignorance and indifference in my environment by explaining how to do one’s part in containing the virus and why that is important without panic but with a sense of responsibility and a clear view of the development of the pandemic (by observing this code). In doing so, I will treat people, their fears and experiences with empathy and respect.

… not to pass on unchecked news, exciting chain letters and rumours without sources and thus cause or intensify panic

… help my neighbours where I can, when they need help like shopping, provisions, medicine.

By imposing these restrictions upon myself, I take personal responsibility:

  • to do my part to take me out of the game as a carrier and disseminator,
  • to limit the spread of the virus,
  • to infect as few people as possible,
  • to relieve the health care system and hospitals as much as possible,

in order to reduce the number of deaths and the impact on our lives and our society.


Sources and further reading

  1. Corona and COVID-19 are being used synonymously in this article. That is fine for the purpose of the codex but not accurate. COVID-19 is the disease caused by SARS COV-19 which is one of many types of corona virus.
  2. “Act today or people will die” — most comprehensive article on models, growth and how isolation flattens the curve I have yet seen: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca
  3. Similarities and differences between Corona and the flu including symptoms: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-disease-2019-vs-the-flu
  4. https://staythefuckhome.com/ — inspiration for this codex
  5. Scientific study on the effects of non-medical measures on the spread of a flu epedemic in the states. Spoiler alert: isolation is numero uno. https://www.pnas.org/content/104/18/7582?fbclid=IwAR1yUH2ECgcyzZm3c5POO6Ttffra_B4isldTtJVLTDE4ARVPTMdI2u3C8Dw#F1
  6. Simulations showing the impact of self isolation practices: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/?fbclid=IwAR1R-4JpdC8z2Se1uDuWQE4jmQrQiWAqZrHrFjwUkNJu-bE8pIPR1jQ4e2Q
  7. How people without symptoms are spreading the virus: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/03/14/health/coronavirus-asymptomatic-spread/index.html?fbclid=IwAR1v4NOniH9YO15NGJ13ufh5K5auBdLp6D9NmuwJgt1s9SDgSXPhkFtItfk
  8. 20 Hacks for families in lockdown

Holger Heinze

Written by

Father, digitally naive, former risk management professional, entrepreneur and CEO.

Holger Heinze

Written by

Father, digitally naive, former risk management professional, entrepreneur and CEO.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store