Circuit Breaker Google searches by Singaporeans
As the Circuit Breaker finally draws to a close and we enter Phase One of our re-opening, let’s take a trip down memory lane with Google Trends. While it’s not surprising that searches for terms like “coronavirus”, “COVID-19 symptoms” and “Singapore COVID update” topped April and May, there were still non-COVID Circuit Breaker Google searches by Singaporeans that made the trending list.
From bubble tea to Dalgona milo and Nintendo Switch to Kim Jong Un, these are just a few of the topics and “how to’s” that Singaporeans searched for on Google during the CB.
Check out these other articles on the Circuit Breaker:
The 22nd April 2020 bubble tea spike
Image credit: Google Trends
On the fateful day that was Tuesday, 21st April 2020, the Circuit Breaker was extended, and it was announced that bubble tea stores were closing. With that news, searches for “how to make bubble tea” spiked the next day as Singaporeans were scrambling for the coveted beverage.
In the same bubble, “how to make pearls” and “tapioca pearls” also saw a huge increase in searches. If you’re still interested in learning the BBT craft, either follow some recipes online or get yourself a DIY kit.
Image credit: @kirbyquimado
Dalgona coffee already got the world whisked in a storm back in March, but April shone the spotlight on a more regional variant – Dalgona Milo. It seems like our love for the malty, chocolatey drink caused searches for “how to make Dalgona milo” to jump up, to the rejoice of non-coffee drinkers.
Interestingly enough, the calls to stay at home have actually encouraged people to exercise more. But since gyms are closed, people have been looking for “Chloe Ting workouts” and “YouTube workouts” instead. For those who don’t know, Chloe Ting is a popular fitness YouTuber who, along with many other fitness channels, upload exercise routines that you can follow from home.
Rainer cutting his own hair during TSL’s “The Quarantine” live stream
Image credit: The Smart Local
I’m sure most of us remember the recent dark days, those 3 weeks from 21st April 2020 to 12th May 2020 when barbers and hair salons were closed. Struggling, some resorted to the most extreme of measures and Googled “how to cut hair at home”. Surprisingly enough, however, the largest spike in search volume was actually recorded on 14th May 2020, after this measure was lifted.
While hairdressers are now open again, we hope that those who snipped away their locks of hair at home managed to pull it off, in style.
With all our newfound downtime, no one can blame us for spending a lil’ bit more time watching our favourite shows on “Netflix”. The latest series such as “Too Hot to Handle”, “Extracurricular” and “Never Have I Ever” were all trending across April as everyone’s binge-watching skill levelled up.
The digital treasure trove of a library has enough content to last us a hundred Circuit Breakers, with not only the latest must-watch shows but also everything from documentaries, anime and educational shows.
Image credit: skribbl.io
Social distancing may have prevented us from meeting our friends for months now, but many are looking for “online games” to help gap the distance. Whether it’s “skribbl.io” or “house party”, these games have kept us connected with our friends and made group video calls at night something to look forward to.
Sticking with the theme of games, the “Nintendo Switch” saw a resurgence in interest on April 4th 2020, a day after the Circuit Breaker was first announced. The console has helped many escape the clutches of boredom, be it with singleplayer or multiplayer games.
Image credit: Seth Hoo Kuan
And, as expected, “Animal Crossing” also reported the same increase in popularity which has lasted all the way until now. Escaping into their virtual islands, Singaporeans are hooked and sharing custom poster codes, design IDs and having a jolly good time.
Another dark period in Singapore’s Circuit Breaker chapter, people were frantically searching for “McDonalds” on 19th April 2020 as it was announced that our favourite golden arches were closing their stores. It took 3 weeks but on 11th May 2020, McDonald’s suddenly re-opened to the surprise and delight of everyone, and Singaporeans all over were filled with excitement to eat their first McSpicy and McNuggets in a month. I mean, we’ve always had an undying love for fast food chains.
Image credit: Ian Ling
The shift to working from home and home-based learning has got everyone making the same arrangements and asking the same questions, one of them being “how to use Zoom”. It’s heartening to see that many are embracing the new technologies in a collective effort to curb the spread of the virus.
And while it may be strange attending meetings or lessons from your bedroom, there are plenty of hacks to make them better and hey, it’s the new norm for everyone now.
To help households, businesses and people tide through the impacts of COVID-19, the government announced 4 budgets totalling $100 billion named Unity, Resilience, Solidarity and Fortitude. One of the most popular questions about these finances was “How to apply for SIRS”, with SIRS being the SEP Income Relief Scheme introduced in the Resilience Budget.
Similar queries such as “courage fund” or “Covid-19 support grant” were also trending as Singaporeans wrap their head around the various means of support given. Thankfully, there are plenty of guides online that go through the terms, details, who can apply and how to apply.
Schools started introducing home-based learning (HBL) for 1 day per week on 1st April 2020, before switching to full HBL a week later on 8th April 2020. And thanks to our hardworking students from home combined with their Internet presence, terms like “SLS” and “SLS login” were trending across April.
A noticeable dip every weekend
Image credit: Google Trends
The SLS, or Student Learning Space, is the platform where students across all levels access their assignments, tests and learning materials uploaded by their teachers. Funnily enough, the trend resembled a sine curve, with a rather noticeable, suspicious dip whenever the weekend came along.
Face mask made from a handkerchief
Image credit: Xin Says
Masks have been a part of our lives for a while now and are likely to stay long after the Circuit Breaker measures end completely. So besides the regular questions on where to collect “reusable masks” and “where to buy masks”, people have been looking for guides on “how to make mask” as well. From handkerchiefs to t-shirts, there are plenty of DIY methods to combat the shortage of face masks and create your own.
Image credit: Kim Jong Un
Remember that time when rumours about the North Korean leader’s health were circulating all over the Internet? People looked up “Kim Jong Un” on Google as the infamous dictator disappeared for almost 3 weeks, with some thinking that he had passed away. And while he has since resurfaced, it was nice to have a non-COVID conspiracy as a change of pace.
Looking back, we’re glad that there were still many interesting trending topics that kept us occupied while at home. It’s clear that DIY projects and home-cooking piqued the interest of many, while some turned to entertainment and games to help fill the time. And if the searches for Zoom, SLS and SIRS show anything, it’s that we’ve put in the effort to adapt to the situation.
With optimistic news becoming more and more frequent, we can’t wait to see what the trending Google searches for June are.
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