COVID-19 as Foretold by Consumer Search Activity


Search activity for COVID-19 symptoms reveal rapidly spreading active cases across Europe. However bright spots are beginning to emerge where social distancing has been taken seriously.

We employ Google search trends within each country for COVID-19 symptoms, health policy responses, and consumer activity to generate probabilities of rising active cases over the previous five days.

The number of countries with assumed rising active COVID-19 cases continues to climb, led by Europe. Italy (1,564), Netherlands (378), Germany (1,261) and Switzerland (368) continue to amass new cases, not helped by older populations. Be aware the true number are likely substantially higher

However bright spots are beginning to emerge, namely China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea. South Korea’s probabilities of rising active cases have begun to drop, while the likelihood of FALLING active cases for the others are clearly improving.

Pete’s coverage of social distancing highlights how communities and their governments should respond to the highly contagious virus. South Korea’s more rampant testing and quarantining have paid dividends with substantially less unexpected search activity for symptoms (sign of hysteria and spread). 

‘Bending the curve’ has become the new mantra of epidemiologists. The fate of the U.S.’ experience with COVID-19 will depend on how quickly social distancing becomes understood and procedures implemented. 

Financial markets have been truly irked by a sub-par response from the Trump administration. Latest hopes for getting resources and funds to impacted individuals and communities have yet to be fulfilled. A tax holiday is on the table, but will likely fail to help those most in need (under/un-employed). 

The uncertainty found in Trump’s twitter timeline concerning the virus and so-called ‘fake news’ has hit its highest on record. 

Arbor’s interactive COVID-19 dashboard available below:

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