Google doodle thank you coronavirus helpers

Image via Google Doodle

Google searches for ‘coronavirus helpers’ skyrocket amid lockdown

The most popular search on Google in South Africa currently is ‘Thank you coronavirus helpers’. Here’s why.

Google doodle thank you coronavirus helpers

Image via Google Doodle

As we enter the third week of our five-week lockdown, South Africans are taking to Google in search of answers. One of the search terms this week was a pleasant surprise: Thank you, coronavirus helpers.

Top trending searches on Google this week

“Thank you coronavirus helpers” – 700 000 searches

The top trending search term over 21-day lockdown in South Africa was “thank you coronavirus helpers”, with more than 500 000 searches generated on 15 April, and an additional 200 000 since then.

This was also the title of a recent Google Doodle which celebrates teachers and childcare workers who put their lives on the line during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The “Thank you coronavirus helpers” series also honours grocery store workers, farmworkers, farmers, emergency service workers, food service workers, and scientific researchers, to name a few.

Thank you coronavirus helpers
“As COVID-19 continues to impact communities around the world, people are coming together to help one another now more than ever. We’re launching a Doodle series to recognize and honour many of those on the front lines. Today, we’d like to say: To all coronavirus helpers, thank you.” – Google

Boris Johnson and Tiger King

The second and third favourites this week were “lion”, which dethroned the previous popular “tiger”, related to the popular Netflix docuseries The Tiger King; as well as “Boris Johnson”.

Johnson, on the other hand, made headlines when he tested positive for COVID-19 on 27 March 2020, and again when he was moved to intensive care on 6 April 2020.

Vinolia Mashego, Zwelinzima Vavi, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

In addition, South Africans also searched for actress “Vinolia Mashego”, who recently passed away, and “Zwelinzima Vavi”, who tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus on 2 April 2020.

The Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, also made it to the list after she was sanctioned and placed on leave by the President for violating the lockdown regulations. 

The search term was especially popular among Eastern Cape residents, with Western Cape showing the least amount of interest:

Other than “Thank you, coronavirus helpers,” another top trend today is “School reopen South Africa”, after the Department of Health said schools will only resume once the department gives the green light:

“Given the high risk associated with large gatherings, the DBE is considering a phased-in approach. The most critical grades will be brought in first to start the primary and secondary schools, while the remaining learners are retained at home, and they are brought in on an incremental basis”.

Top ten trending search terms over the lockdown period:

  • Thank you coronavirus helpers
  • Lion
  • Boris Johnson
  • Tiger
  • Vinolia Mashego
  • COVID-19 news
  • Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
  • Money Heist
  • 5G
  • Zwelinzima Vavi

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second.

This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year, worldwide. Previous search term reports can be found here.