Wine fridge, yoga mat, barbecue. These are three words that the Danes were particularly interested in during the closure in 2020, when compared with other countries in the world.
In other words, the interest was so great that Denmark became the country in the world that searched most for the words in the period 15 March to 15 December 2020, when adjusting for population.
The inventory comes from Google, which has identified the words that have been popular during the shutdown and for which many searches have been performed worldwide. And here Denmark is at the top with a wine fridge, yoga mat and barbecue, while patio heaters were also popular.
So how can it be that these are the words that are left as Danish trends, while Ethiopia was the country where the inhabitants searched most for hand washing and Ghana most for immune system, when you consider the words between the countries?
But can individual trends on the world’s largest search engine still say something about how the crisis has been for the individual countries?
“Not quite,” says Morten Axel Pedersen, professor of anthropology and social data science at the University of Copenhagen, and who, together with other researchers from the Copenhagen Center for Social Data Science, have investigated how the closure has affected the Danish public debate on Twitter.
He is careful to conclude anything from Google trends of this type, yet he thinks these are interesting indications when one knows the context in which they have been searched.
There is some cosiness about the trends that Denmark tops in. Have the Danes had a luxury lockdown?
“These are relative numbers. Other countries have also applied for, for example, wine refrigerators, even though Denmark tops. And we are certainly no more interested in wine refrigerators than in our health, because you also see concern and powerlessness among the Danes. But at the same time, due to welfare, Denmark has also had better opportunities than in many other countries, which may explain that we are relatively the country that has sought the most for those things. “
But whether it is exactly a luxury lockdown, Morten Axel Pedersen reflects:
‘I think that is to stretch it. Many Danes in the middle class, who have good, secure jobs in both private and public sector, have probably had a spring with more time and coziness. The words reflect a change in the consumption pattern with more time in the holiday home, not less money, «he says and at the same time acknowledges that home schooling and homework can take the breath away from most people.
But have they also felt this way in other countries – especially the least developed?
“I believe that the corona crisis is a good example of – as are all other crises – the strengthening of existing inequalities. Those who have social or economic difficulties abroad as well as at home often get worse. Those who are already well are not affected to the same degree at all. “
If you look at where the countries stand out in those Google trends, what can you deduce?
“If you stretch it a little bit, you might infer that in the countries where there is the greatest inequality and the least developed ones, the searches are more related to survival. In countries where you are in a good position, you also search for things that relate to the corona, but in an indirect way, “he says, using the USA as an example, where do-it-yourself projects have especially trended on Google.
That there may be a difference in how crises affect countries is not new to Morten Axel Pedersen, however. He emphasizes that crises only reinforce what is already known.
“There are many things that are not new to the corona crisis. It highlights some dynamics and problems, so we pay more attention to them and in many cases fortunately find ways to deal with them, “he says.
Source: www.berlingske.dk by www.berlingske.dk.
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