Google searches for ‘hope' and ‘prayer' peak while ‘party' and ‘festival' slump

Google Trends search data gives an insight into the public's interests and mood over the past 12 months of the pandemic.

Terms such as “hope”, “hug” and “prayer” reached a record high on Google search in 2020, offering a snapshot of the national mood a year on from the UK’s first lockdown.

Searches for “panic attack”, “hypochondriasis” and “how to help” also saw a new high, according to Google Trends data, while interest in “party”, “travel visa” and “festival” dipped to a record low as a result of lockdown restrictions.

A surge in people looking up “puppy”, “barbecue”, “books” and “hot tub” gives a sense of the types of things users sought out to cope during the pandemic.

‘When will McDonald’s open again?’ was the most searched reopening question in April 2020 (Joe Giddens/PA)

“Public toilet” and “pub” experienced a boost in the summer months of 2020 as the first lockdown started to ease.

Over the past 12 months, Google found that “when will lockdown end?” was searched 165% more in the UK than “when will coronavirus end?”.

The data also gives an insight into what people missed most during the three lockdowns, with “when will McDonald’s open again?” coming top in April, “when will golf courses open?” for November, and “when will hairdressers open?” for January 2021.

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