“What Google search trends can tell us about Covid-19 - Times of India” plus 2 more

“What Google search trends can tell us about Covid-19 - Times of India” plus 2 more

What Google search trends can tell us about Covid-19 - Times of India

Posted: 13 Apr 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Tracking internet searches can tell us more about the pandemic than you think. They reflect how people are reacting to the outbreak but can also offer valuable insight into the nature of the disease. A look at Google search trends around the world and what we can learn from them.
'Loss of smell' trended online before it was a known symptom
There is now strong evidence that anosmia, or loss of smell, is a symptom of Covid-19, with some estimates suggesting that 30% to 60% of patients experience this symptom.
In the US, the four states that saw the highest searches for 'I can't smell' last week had also reported the highest Covid-19 cases. In Italy, for example, searches for "I can't smell" spiked several days before a study was published reporting evidence of anosmiam as a symptom. Now, a loss of smell is among the most common symptoms.

Search trends for symptoms have helped track outbreaks in the past. In places that lack testing infrastructure, such data can help identify hotspots, and help understand the spread. They can also help researchers identify previously unidentified symptoms. For instance, a popular search in relation to Covid-19 was 'my eyes hurt'. Eye pain has not been a prominently reported symptom but data suggests there might be a link to the coronavirus. In a 38-patient study in China, a third reported eye-related discomfort.


What are Indians most curious about?

* How many cases of coronavirus in India?

* What is Covid-19 or coronavirus?

* When will coronavirus end in India?

* Will lockdown get extended in India?

* How China controlled coronavirus

In addition, with authorities urging the use of face masks, sanitisers and regular washing of hands with soap to prevent the spread of Covid-19, these terms saw a spike in search.

Search trends also show how our lives have changed
With people confined to their homes world-over, these searches reflect how search trends have changed pre and post-corona -- interest in gym membership has declined from January to April while searches for online yoga have shot up.


In India, dalgona coffee was trending on April 8 with more than 20,000 searches. The drink has become a social media sensation after it was popularised by a Korean actor, and a TikTok video on it garnered more than a million views.


Searches for 'cooking' and 'instant noodles' reached an all time high on April 7.


Meanwhile, these searches spiked significantly in the past week.


The outbreak has also added new words to our daily vocabulary
These words weren't anywhere in our radar a year ago. Now, they're uppermost on our minds.


Graphics: Sajeev Kumarapuram
Source: Google Trends, NYT

The top trending “how to” searches paint a picture of quarantine life - Considerable

Posted: 31 Mar 2020 10:53 AM PDT

As we head into April and another month of social distancing, many of us have turned to Google to learn new skills. A few weeks ago, perhaps we were a bit optimistic, talking about learning a new language or instrument.

Now we just want the hair out of our eyes.

According to Google Trends, the five top "how to" searches this week were how to cut men's hair at home, how to make face masks from fabric, how to make sanitizer wipes at home, how to make Rice Krispie treats, and how to solve Rubik's Cube. Sounds like a party.

More Google search spikes

Requests for what to binge-watch hit an all-time high. Searches by kids (or parents sick of homeschooling) for "when is school opening back up?" spiked 4050% yesterday. Perhaps after learning schools weren't opening anytime soon, searches for "free learning website for kids" are also way up.

One more popular search recently: "condom shortage due to pandemic."

Other coronavirus-related search queries

Should you bring Mom home from assisted living during the pandemic?


Why does COVID-19 testing take so long?


Does life insurance cover coronavirus deaths?


Are anosmia and ageusia early signs of COVID-19 infection?

You can see more Google Trends here.

Fiona Apple Fans Have Cut Our Bolts With These Memes - Vulture

Posted: 17 Apr 2020 02:23 PM PDT

Clock the tat. Photo: Courtesy of Fiona Apple

Pop stans launching entire Twitter putsches over a new release from their chosen idols is nothing new. Hell hath no fury like a Barb scorned. BTS Army will take over any and all trending search terms. But /r/indieheads, and Fiona Apple fans, specifically (what do we call them? Idler Wheels?) are operating on a whole other plane of existence. If you've noticed a whole lot of talk of bolt cutters and the act of fetching them on your timeline today, that's because Fiona Apple just released her fifth studio album, commandingly named Fetch the Bolt Cutters. Her first album in eight years, and the first new album to score a perfect ten on Pitchfork since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, this album drop caused the sort of flurry of ecstatic fan output normally reserved for more traditionally commercial acts. We've rounded up the best, funniest, and most relatable meme reactions to Apple's new album. It's Apple szn!

Cutters? For bolts? Groundbreaking.


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