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Lockdown one year on: 10 things we've been asking Google

Turns out that most of us really want a puppy.

Lockdown one year on: 10 things we've been asking Google
Marc Chacksfield
23 March 2021

23 March marks a year since the first lockdown, and what a surreal year it has been. Currently, we are still in lockdown and, for those counting, it's the third one. Even though we've been here before, the winter months have meant that it's definitely the hardest so far.

We'll get through it. There are glimpses of what life was like on the horizon and in some strange, calming way, as it is happening collectively, there is that feeling that we are all in this together. And this is never more so apparent that when looking at what we have been Googling over the past year.

We've trawled through the Google Trends data to see just what has been on our minds for the past 12 months. If you've hit up the Big G for any of the following, then don't worry - it turns out we all have...

1. We want to know more about this Coronavirus thing

How naive we were a year ago. 'What is coronavirus?' was one of the top searches about coronavirus way back in January 2020, with 'is the coronavirus in the UK?' close behind. Skip to January 2021 and we're a lot more matter of fact, simply asking: 'How many coronavirus cases in my area?'

2. We also want lockdown to end

Apparently, 'When will lockdown end?' was the question asked most about lockdown way back in April 2020. And again in November 2020. And again in January 2021. We are noticing a pattern here.

3. We all want to go to Wales

When it came to 'Can I?' questions, the top questions read like a mini story: 'Can I drive to exercise?' was asked the most in April 2020, 'Can I travel to Wales?' in November 2020 and 'Can I move house during lockdown?' in January 2021. There's definitely some fit people selling up right now with an eye on a gaff in Aberystwyth.

4. And we want to wash the car

Okay, this one is a bit silly but it does show off just how bloody confusing the rules have been over the past year. 'Can I wash my car during lockdown?' was the fourth most searched for 'Can I?' phrase during April 2020 and the first lockdown. Unfortunately for the lazy folks, the answer was: yes.

5. McDonalds reopening is more important to us than schools

'When will McDonalds open again?' was the most searched for 'when will things open again?' term in April 2020. It was above asking about schools opening, so it's good to see that the UK still has its priorities absolutely spot on. In November 2020 this shifted to golf courses and in January 2021 it was hairdressers.

6. As are puppies and hot tubs

With us all stuck at home, our Google searches did reveal that we were pining for better things, in the form of puppies and hot tubs. Both of these search topics hit record highs, as did barbecue, books, the pub and... public toilets.

7. Our sleep and dreams are bloody weird

Searches about sleep and dreaming hit record highs so far in 2021 and it's no wonder: the phenomenon of lockdown dreaming affected many of us, with studies showing that dreaming of weird things thanks to our brains trying to process just what the hell is happening. Freud would be having a field day right now.

8. Which may be why we are Googling 'panic attacks'

It's no wonder that searches for panic attacks were also up, as were hypochondriasis (an overt worrying about health) and 'how to help' was also Googled more than any other year, which is heartwarming. 'How to support' was also a biggie, with 'how to support someone with depression' hitting the top sport in January 2021.

9. At least we still want to party... only joking

While some terms hit record highs, other search terms fell off a cliff. It turns out that no one was searching for 'party' in 2020, or 'Travel Visa' and we certainly weren't thinking about going to a festival either... which is just incredibly sad.

10. But there is hope

2021 has seen some search terms surge, with the likes of 'hope', 'hug' and 'prayer' reaching record highs already.

We really hope you get all the hugs you need soon.

If you need more information about Covid-19, then head to the government's official site. If you feel like you need help, or know someone that needs help then the Samaritans are there to do just that.

This time next month, we'll hopefully see you in the pub! If you're buying, then anything from our best craft beer list would be ace. Cheers!