The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic could be seen in how people used Google Search during 2020.
Representative image. Reuters
The year 2020 has been unique in the way the novel coronavirus the pandemic upset people’s lives. From changing the way we interact with people, to ending regular activities like visiting the gym or the movie theater, COVID-19 has left hundreds of people in India confined behind closed doors after the shutdown was announced to contain the virus.
The effect of the pandemic could also be seen in how we used Google Search during the year. People in India have searched for nearby food shelters more than any other location-based search, Google’s annual ‘Year in Search’ report recently revealed. In the “Near Me” subsection, “Food Shelters Near Me” has received the most searches in the nation.
According to Google, after the unprecedented lockdown, local searches increased with ‘Near Me’ queries, with the first place being taken by ‘Food Shelters Near Me’, followed by ‘COVID Test Near Me’. Topics targeting a large-scale work-from-home scenario, such as “Broadband connection near me” and “Laptop store near me,” also had a prominent trend.
Searches for food and shelter give an idea of the large number of people who depended on shelters for food during the pandemic. Many migrant workers, day gamblers, and the homeless had to rely on government and NGO-run food shelters during the shutdown period to support themselves.
Several people across India tried to help people stranded during the lockdown, with food and shelter. For example, a woman living in Kashmir in Delhi helped stranded passengers access food and accommodation.
The Center also provided three meals a day to Shelters for Urban Homeless residents during the shutdown.
According to the list, the maximum number of searches for ‘Food Shelters Near Me’ was between April 19 and 25, 2020. When viewed by terms of interest in sub-regions, Odisha topped the search list, followed from Manipur. , Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Assam. The data shows that in early May, the intensity of the search began to plummet.
With people practicing self-isolation due to the pandemic, they also searched nearby stores for item delivery, with ‘near me’ inquiries for grocery store trends. Amazon also launched a ‘Local Stores on Amazon’ program aimed at helping local merchants and Kirana store owners sell online so products could be delivered home without people having to set foot outside.
The Indians also searched for “Cookie Store Near Me”, “Liquor Store Near Me” and “Night Shelter Near Me” in the “Near Me” section.
Google trends for the year 2020 in terms of personalities have shown that singer Kanika Kapoor, actors Amitabh Bachchan, Rhea Chakraborty, Ankita Lokhande and Kangana Ranaut are among the most sought after celebrities. In general, the Indian Premier League, coronavirus and the US presidential elections were among the most popular topics.
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