Google trends 2020: Indians have searched for nearby food shelters more than COVID testing centres

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic could be seen in how people used Google Search through the year 2020

FP Trending December 12, 2020 15:55:14 IST
Google trends 2020: Indians have searched for nearby food shelters more than COVID testing centres

Representational image. Reuters

The year 2020 has been unique in the way that the novel coronavirus pandemic upended people's lives. From changing the way we interact with people, to putting a stop to regular activities like visiting the gym or the cinema hall, COVID-19 has left hundreds of people in India confined behind closed doors after the lockdown to contain the virus was announced.

The effect of the pandemic could also be seen in how we used Google Search through the year. People in India have searched for nearby food shelters more than any other location-based search, the annual Google 'Year in Search' report revealed recently. Under the ‘near me’ subsection, ‘Food shelters near me’ has received the most number of searches in the nation.

As per Google, following the unprecedented lockdown, local searches surged with 'Near me' queries, with the top spot being taken up by 'Food shelters near me', followed by 'COVID test near me'. Topics pointing towards a large-scale work from home scenario like 'Broadband connection near me' and 'Laptop shop near me' trended prominently as well.

The searches for food and shelter give a glimpse into the large number of people who depended on shelters for food during the pandemic. Many migrant workers, daily wagers and homeless people had to depend on the food shelters being run by the government and NGOs during the lockdown period to sustain themselves.

A number of people across India tried to help stranded people during the lockdown, with food and shelter. For example, a Kashmir-based woman in Delhi helped stranded passengers access food and accomodation.

The Centre also provided three meals a day for residents of Shelters for Urban Homeless during the lockdown.

As per the list, the maximum number of searches for ‘Food shelters near me’ were done in between 19 to 25 April, 2020. When seen by terms of interest in sub-regions, Odisha topped the list for the search, followed by Manipur, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Assam. The data shows that by early May, the search intensity started plummeting down.

With people practicing self-isolation due to the pandemic, they also searched for shops nearby for delivery of items, with 'near me' queries for Grocery stores trending. Amazon also launched a 'Local Shops on Amazon' programme aimed at helping local shopkeepers and kirana store owners to sell online so that products could be delivered home without people having to set foot outside.

Indians also searched for ‘Crackers shop near me’, ‘Liquor shops 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 were among the most-searched celebrities. On the whole, Indian Premier League, coronavirus and US Presidential elections were among the most trending topics.

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