I'm a PhD student in a small social science lab. We've had to stop collecting data on an experiment we are in the middle of, but the nature of the experiment means we can resume data collection once (if?) things get back to normal. The director of the lab sent out an email letting everyone know that he is not smiles times. But what can you do? We just can't justify exposing research participants to a dangerous virus.
Fortunately the PhDs in the lab have a lot of data from an experiment we ran last year to analyze.
The PhD candidates are using this time to work on their dissertations.
The other PhD student and I are focusing on coursework. Plus I'm trying to apply for scholarships to summer programs that may or may not happen. So that's fun.
The big worry for my lab is timing on grants. Right not we have a grant from the Army, and next month we need to send them a report showing our progress on the research they funded. It is generally bad form to send a report that says we are not making progress. Doing that can influence your chances of getting future grants. It is not clear how their research office will deal with the COVID-19 pandemic when reviewing reports. But here's hoping they are understanding because my spot in this lab/PhD program is funded by those grants.