By analyzing the most trending topics for 2020, Google peeked into the Canadian collective consciousness to come up with a list of the most pressing questions posed to the search engine.
It’s safe to say that 2020 was… unprecedented, at the very least. Even aside from the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of 1.77 million people around the world, we saw Australia devastated by wildfires, millions protesting the death of George Floyd, the dethroning of U.S. President Donald Trump, the tragic death of Kobe Bryant---many other history textbook-worthy moments.
With so much change and uncertainty, millions of Canadians took their queries to Google. As 2020 draws to a close, the search engine compiled a list of Canada’s most searched topics, people and questions.
The biggest ‘why…’
5) Why is Nevada taking so long?
It appears many Canadians were anxiously awaiting the results of the U.S. Presidential Election in November. The answer, as it turns out, is a combination of an extremely high volume of ballots and challenges presented by the emphasis on mail-in-voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
4) Why did Kobe have two numbers?
After Bryant and his daughter were killed in a helicopter crash, Canadians came across this interesting fact about the Lakers legend. The answer is Bryant began his career in the NBA wearing the No. 8 jersey and when he joined the Lakers in 1996. Then in the 2006-07 season and until his retirement in 2016, the NBA icon took up the number he wore in his earlier basketball years: No. 24. Bryant had his own personal meanings behind each number.
3) Why is it called COVID-19?
The name of the virus that has plagued headlines for most of the year is simply an abbreviated form of coronavirus 2019. According to the CDC, the ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.
2) Why was George Floyd stopped?
Before he was killed by a police officer who knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, Floyd was stopped after a convenience store employee called 911 and told the police that Floyd had bought cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. The event sparked worldwide anti-racism protests and resulted in the firing of the officers involved in Floyd's death.
1) Why are people buying toilet paper?
Back in March, grocery stores across the country were putting limits on how much TP Canadians could buy. Shelves were emptied as soon as they were filled for what experts consider are largely psychological reasons: people resort to extremes when they hear conflicting messages, some were reacting to the lack of a clear direction from officials and panic buying allows people to feel a sense of control.
The biggest ‘How to…’
5) How to cut your own hair
With lockdown restrictions stopping visits to the barbers or hair salons people got… creative.
Vancouver Is Awesome can’t compete with the thousands of beauty gurus on YouTube with full, detailed instructions on how exactly one cuts their own hair but some basic pointers are: cut less than you think and work with your natural hair texture.
4) How to make a mask
The facemask has become somewhat of a symbol for the coronavirus if not 2020 itself. The movement to create a custom mask was born out of CDC recommendations which state medical masks should be reserved for health workers. Again, there are heaps of YouTube tutorials for making your own mask but the CDC recommends that they have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric, they should completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of your face and don't have gaps.
3) How to apply for CERB
According to the Government of Canada’s website, as of Oct. 4, $81.64 billion was paid to 8.90 million Canadians through Canada Emergency Response Benefit payments. The program has since been transitioned into new employment insurance supports and COVID-19 benefits. For more information, you can check out the Government of Canada’s website.
2) How to make hand sanitizer
This was an especially hot topic since at the onset of the pandemic hand sanitizer sold out just about as fast as toilet paper for obvious pandemic-related reasons. Here’s this simple recipe:
- 2/3 cup 99 percent rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol
- 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
- 8 to 10 drops essential oil, optional
1) How to apply for EI
Closely related to number three, the answer to this can also be found on the Government of Canada’s website.
Finally, the most searched topics of 2020
On Feb. 23 the Toronto Raptors dominated the Indiana Pacers in a historic wire-to-wire victory with the final score of 127-81. The 46-point margin of victory is the largest in franchise history and was a monumental moment for the team and the rest of the country watching the game unfold.
Canadians became very familiar with the video calling application as nearly all activities related to school, work and even just seeing friends and family moved to a virtual setting. By February 2020, Zoom had gained 2.22 million users - more users than it amassed in the entirety of 2019. On one day in March 2020, the Zoom app was downloaded 2.13 million times.
Coronavirus feels like it needs no introduction. The virus has been the source of pain and hardship for millions around the world. Through the challenges the pandemic has presented it has also highlighted the indelible human spirit with stories about ‘caremongering’, strangers putting out essential items free of charge and the many ways healthcare workers have received long-due recognition for their work just to name just a few.
And now, the most searched topic of 2020 by Canadians:
1) US election
U.S. Presidential Elections have always been a bit of a show but 2020 brought the whole circus. Between the suspense of waiting for Nevada’s results, the baseless accusations of voter fraud made by President Trump and the ensuing lawsuits, the Four Seasons Total Landscaping presser and President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani melting onstage, there was plenty to Google.
And with that, here’s to 2021.