The coronavirus pandemic, which first impacted European societies in early 2020, has created a twofold crisis by combining a health threat with economic turmoil. While the crisis has affected all European societies very significantly, its impact varies across countries, social groups, and societal domains. In an effort to provide a first overview of the effect of the coronavirus crisis, in this editorial we discuss contributions of 58 papers published as part of this special issue. These early research papers illustrate the varied impact of the pandemic on various areas of social life. The first group of studies in this special issue analyzes the effect of the pandemic on social inequalities with respect to gender, ethnic otherness, education, and work. A second stream of research focuses on the psychological consequences of the pandemic, especially with respect to wellbeing and resilience. Thirdly, the crisis is discussed on a societal level, in regard to welfare states, social policies, and approaches to crisis governance. In a fourth line of inquiry, several studies have analyzed the impact of the pandemic on social solidarity and cohesion. A fifth strand of research is devoted to examining the role of culture and lifestyles. This review ends with a discussion of areas for future research trajectories.
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