Hackers will use whatever is timely to get victims to do the action required to install malware of ransomware, currently Coronavirus is a hot topic that people are concerned about, and more likely to be opened to look for more information. Hackers also track the open and install rate of their various campaigns, so they will scale and reproduce the ones that 'perform' the best for them.
[What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus for ISE 2020 (opens in new tab)]
Yes, its possible to get a virus and especially get infected opening a file. Often times, hackers use newly discovered computer bugs that may not have been patched by software vendors to take advantage of flaws to install their malware or ransomware.
The best rule of thumb is not to engage with people or emails from people you don't know, even if the content is written in a compelling way to get you to open it. Its especially important not to download files or open attachments as it could compromise the security of not only yourself, but everyone else that uses shared resources (such as at work).
The best bet is to ignore these type of emails. Also, sometimes imposters use your company's identity or a friend's identity to get you to do something that they need. Always verify the actual email address is coming from the person you expect, and not a fake email address with someone's name you know attached to it.
Do not open email attachments or links that purport to warn about Coronavirus in your area, or other things related to the Coronavirus—like the Coronavirus at ISE 2020 (opens in new tab).
If you want to learn more about Coronavirus, you can search Google and find a safe site that can advise you on the matter.