Monday, March 2, 2020

Coronavirus is more popular than sex (except in South Africa)

I was wanting a way of judging just how serious the coronavirus outbreak is in Iran. Alas government figures are not to be trusted. And figures from other sources - mostly anti-government blogs and the like - are also not to be trusted (as they have an agenda).

I went for the old fall-back. Google Trends.

Here is the google trends for coronavirus in Iran. It is clearly skyrocketing.

Okay - but this does not help me. I needed something to judge it against.

I figured that it would need to be something that was searched for a lot. So I went for the staple: sex.

Here is coronavirus vs sex in Iran.

I am beginning to conclude that coronavirus is more popular than sex (at least as a search topic).

It sounds pretty serious.

So I thought I should benchmark it.

I figured the British are likely to be big searchers of sex. Maybe I am mistaken - but there seems something desperately English-schoolboy about googling "sex".

Yep - coronavirus is more popular than sex in the UK too.

And so it was with almost every jurisdiction I tried.

Except South Africa.

Sex is more popular than coronavirus in South Africa.

Is that because the South Africans are really into sex or that they are not scared of coronavirus?

I have no idea.

Not all research is productive.



  1. Stocks being effected indirectly related to the corona virus would include travel, have you shorted anything like $WEB or $FLT. As I know flight centre is struggling with knowledge from my brother, that works at flight centre recently working overtime just refunding people travel that are continuously cancelling.

  2. Great work and good to have you back John. More blogging please!

  3. I was living in South Africa when this was written and can confirm that prior to March 15th, when the president announced a state of emergency, South Africans definitely cared more about sex than coronavirus. If you check now, I bet that they have caught up with the rest of the world.

  4. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases is affecting more
    than 195 countries and territories, authorities have confirmed more than 600,000 cases of the coronavirus, 140,186
    recovereds and more than 22,000 deaths