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