Google can paint a picture of almost any topic in the world and show you in seconds how the world views something. Is there global interest in a topic, where does that interest lie, and what concerns us most about a topic? It’s a treasure trove of real-time engagement that covers, quite literally, everything that affects us as humans, and anyone can access it in seconds. It’s called Google trends and it shows us exactly what America thinks of Covid-19.
How the US fell out of love with Coronavirus searches
Perhaps the most telling data is the graph above. It shows a range of data searched on Google over the last year, including weather, news, music, and sport. Coronavirus hits a heady high in early March and then plummets with a slight resurgence in June and July. Now, it’s all but disappeared off the graph as people search for weather and news related events.
Covid is no longer news. What happened? Did Americans simply get fed up with the 24/7 coverage of Covid? Are they desensitized or did their focus turn elsewhere?
It turns out the consequences of the pandemic and the lockdown, financial and otherwise, are of far more importance to the average American. They are searching for topics that matter to them, a clear indicator of how the pandemic has affected the average American family. It is no longer about the fear of dying from an invisible virus, it’s about how those that survive the virus are going to cope. It’s about finances.
You can explore the top current coronavirus search trends using the interactive table below.
The American Coronavirus Educational Fail
Nearly a year later and Trump’s handling of Covid may as well be entitled ” A case study in how not to provide basic education to the public”. The average American still has questions, even the most basic, about their health and Covid-19. Here is a list of health-related queries that shows where their real concerns lie and where gaps in public education still exist.
President-Elect Biden’s Coronavirus team has the perfect tool at their disposal for formulating a campaign moving forward that addresses the actual needs of the public.
You can keep an eye on which regions are really worried about Covid by checking Google’s area-specific searches, arranged by state within the US. This may even be a more accurate predictor of surges within states. It definitely shows us how people on the ground are reacting and that is often the most telling indicator of real-time events.
On the Economy and an uncertain Financial Future
Here are the latest trends on those topics and the search incidence over the last weeks.
Will Strip Clubs in the U.S. survive a Covid Vaccine?
You have to smile. Despite all the sickness and despair, the worlds oldest trade still flourishes, no keeping a good stripper down apparently. Hope she remembered her mask.
What does all this data mean?
Essentially, the data paints a picture of a population that has becomes desensitized to the dangers of the coronavirus. Beyond its broader impact on their way of life, financial and otherwise, most Americans now chose to go about their “normal” lives. The danger in this is that containing the virus in any meaningful way becomes impossible. The fear and novelty of the novel virus has come and gone in most American minds.
Coping with peak after peak of a new wave of infections hasn’t affected the general public’s activity online. Biden is going to be faced with an uphill battle. The media needs to take a more proactive role in re-educating the public, properly this time. Real and present dangers need to be stressed, containment protocols needs to be enforced and the spread of misinformation needs to be actively combatted. It isn’t going to be an easy path forward for Americans who, if search terms are to be believed, are more interested in vaccines (potentially months away for the public) than the very real threat that now permeates every corner of their country.