Google Trends shows shift in Australia’s attitude towards COVID-19

7 May 2020

Written by: Madeline Donis

A change in Google searches may show Australians becoming less concerned with the coronavirus, despite lockdown restrictions

While COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, Australians questions and fears about the virus seem to be shifting, according to Google Trends.

Australia’s trending search results over the past week include whether Kim Jong Un is dead or alive and whether Victorians are allowed to play tennis during the coronavirus.

This is in stark contrast to just a few weeks ago when Upstart published a story about how Google Trends showed Australians were primarily concerned with what self-isolation means and how to do it properly.

Recent trends may suggest a shift in Australia’s fears and concerns around the virus, despite an increase in Victorian cases this week and 14 reported overnight.

This shift in attitude is also evident as foot-traffic increases in Melbourne’s CBD, with foot traffic reports from the City of Melbourne showing an increase of 15 percent since the state of emergency was first announced on 16 March 2020.

“It’s still abnormally low, but we’ve started to see an uptick,” Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp told ABC News.

In Victoria, residents are still only permitted to leave home for essential reasons however the National Cabinet will meet on Friday to discuss the ease of restrictions.

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said that each state will have its own response in tomorrow’s cabinet meeting based on their current situation.

“What we hope comes out of national cabinet tomorrow, and what I expect, is a clear road map out, with clear stages and then each state will be able to judge and we’ll support each of the states as they make their judgements of their own circumstances and readiness to go to easing restrictions,” he said.

Data source: Google Trends (https://www.google.com/trends)