Google Trends: The Coronavirus Outbreak; The Dominance of the #MeToo Movement over the #NoDAPL Movement.

The Level of Severity of the Coronavirus as More Cases are Reported

During the week of Jan. 20th, the first reported case of an unknown disease called Coronavirus was reported in the city of Wuhan. According to officials and medics, Coronavirus has been reported to be related to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). According to Centers for Disease and Control Prevention(CDC), individuals infected with Coronavirus may show little to no symptoms. If symptoms are present they reported symptoms have been: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. 

The source is yet unconfirmed. It has been suspected that the origin can be traced back to Hunan Seafood Market were exotic animals were being sold. As some tests have shown that the pneumonia related virus first got transmitted from an animal to a human. However, not everyone is on the same boat. 

According to an analysis of Google Trends search data, the search for “coronavirus outbreak” has become extremely popular over the past week. More and more search results are popping up. This can be explained as more cases are being reported. Cases have hit outside of China such as in the U.S., Australia, South Korea, etc. The people are becoming paralyzed with fear, as the number of cases being reported have exponentially been rising and unfortunately so has the death toll. The outbreak of the Coronavirus hit China in possibly one of the worst moments when they gathered together to prepare to celebrate the lunar new year. 

China’s officials responded to the coronavirus outbreak by claiming a state of emergency, setting up quarantine, and recently locking down the affected areas as well as imposing a travel ban, cancelling school, and prohibiting public gatherings. 

However in the same way that there has been an increase in the search for “coronavirus outbreak” in google, there has also been a steady increase in the search for “cover-up” and “coronavirus quarantine.” The search isn’t as popular as the term “coronavirus outbreak” but it is still noticeable. Many individuals are skeptical about the truthfulness of the information being reported by the Chinese government. They aren’t sure whether the number of cases of Coronavirus are accurate. In particular due to a cover-up of the SARS outbreak back in 2003.

Additionally, a number of people from China are using social media platforms to show the actual severity of the situation they’re currently living. There are videos of people collapsing on the streets, fighting for food, the state of over crowdedness in hospitals, medical staff and doctors having mental break downs from overworking, and medics getting infected after treating the infected patients. 

Most recently, there was a video released of Hong Kong protestors igniting a firebomb inside of a building that the government planned to use as a quarantine zone.  So far the reasons behind the firebomb incident have been that the possible quarantine zone was near a school, and the people feared it would have been too great of a threat to the health of others. 

With that being said, it’s important to remind everyone around the world to stay calm, but be pre-cautious. For example, if you feel sick go to the doctor to get checked out, wash your hands, if you don’t have to go out stay at home, and most importantly stay up to date regarding any official statements made about the Coronavirus. 

Social Movements: #MeToo Expanding to Greater Populations versus the #NoDAPL Movement 

During the last decade, there have been a number of social movements promoting climate change, reformation, and revolution. Two of the most popular movements being #NoDAPL and the #MeToo movement. #NoDAPL was created in 2016 in response to the planned construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through the Indian reservation known as Standing Rock. #NoDAPL stood for “No Dakota Access Pipeline.” This social movement became such a controversy because it not only crossed sacred grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, but also posed a great threat to the tribe’s main water supply –The Missouri River. 

Although the builders of the pipeline reassured the protestors and tribe that the pipeline was very safe, the people claimed there was still a possibility that the pipeline could leak and cause a catastrophe. Protestors emphasized that since 2010, more than 3,300 leak incidents and ruptures had occurred. On a broader scale, environmental activist were worried about the detrimental impacts that this pipeline could have on climate change.

While the #MeToo movement started back in 2006 with founder Tarana Burke. Initially the mission of the #MeToo movement was to heal, provide resources, and establish communities of support and activism for survivors of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment. The intended audience was women from minority communities or low-income communities. However, this turned into something bigger when the hashtag #MeToo became viral on social media platform –Myspace. This hashtag wasn’t just used on MySpace but spread to other social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. 

Although these two social movements were introduced years ago, according to an analysis of Google Trends search data both of these social movements are still trending. They both are still being searched for. However, according to the graph above the #MeToo movement has dominated the google search trends compared to #NoDAPL. Some explanations behind this domination could be because the #MeToo movement has grown to be a global phenomenon. Women not just from minority communities are speaking up, but celebrities and other big people in the world of politics and government. This social movement also reached out to a broader audience without boundaries such as individuals with disabilities, the LGBTQ community, etc.  

Overall, they are both clearly very important social movements as they try to shed light and bring awareness to topics that are often not talked about enough. Both of these movements have reframed the way they are conversed about in public. They both speak on behalf of communities of minorities. Lastly, these social movements have brought so many people together, and once more have proven that coming together as one… things can change for the better. 

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