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Over three and a half billion people, half the world’s population, have been told to stay at home to reduce the spread of coronavirus. They will have to continue to do so for many more weeks and months as countries around the world try to come out of lockdown slowly and safely. Staying at home, for most of us, is a significant sacrifice: we are separated from our loved ones, families and friends, and from the activities, entertainments and environments we enjoy. Most of us are staying at home to make sure we don’t pass the virus on to others, to protect ourselves and the people we live with, and to ensure our health services can help those who become most ill from the virus without becoming overwhelmed. But some people are choosing not to stay at home, and not to physically distance from others—teenagers and young adults who continue to gather, older adults who persist in visiting friends, and others who decide to disregard the expert advice. Is there anything that could convince them otherwise? And perhaps more pressingly, how can the dramatic changes to everyone’s daily behavior be sustained over the coming months as we learn to live with the presence of coronavirus? Discoveries from research on the moral psychology of self-sacrifice provide some valuable insights. When people reason about whether or not to make a sacrifice, their thinking is prone to several cognitive biases. Understanding these biases provides some clues about how to convey the need for sacrifices, such as staying at home or physically distancing from others—clues that are helpful for communication not only between individuals, but also by government spokespeople and policy makers.