The 10 Most Popular Google Searches During Coronavirus

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt daily life around the world, millions of people are turning to Google to answer questions about the virus and the economy. And while the first American was diagnosed with COVID-19 on January 20, it wasn’t until March 2 that the topic really began picking up steam in U.S. Google searches. 

Source: Google Trends on Coronavirus

But what exactly are American searching for? We crunched the data. Here are the 10 most popular Google searches related to the coronavirus over the last week (plus a surprising bonus).

Health-related searches

Not surprisingly, health concerns topped the list. Americans who are hopefully taking the CDC’s advice seriously have been searching for information on hand sanitizer, face masks, social distancing and hand washing.

Source: Google Trends, week of March 18 – March 25, 2020 on Hand Sanitizer, Face mask, Social Distancing and Handwashing.

“Sewing face masks”

Many DIY Americans are also looking for ways to sew their own face masks, not only for their own protection but also for donating to healthcare workers who are facing shortages. The regions with the most common face-mask searches are Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Iowa and Washington.

Source: Google Trends, week of March 18-25, 2020 on sewing face masks.

“Jobs hiring right now”

As thousands of Americans were furloughed or laid off, searches for “jobs hiring right now” began spiking in mid-March.

Source: Google Trends, week of March 18-25, 2020, on Jobs hiring right now.


Similarly, searches like “unemployment”, “unemployment on steroids”, “pandemic unemployment assistance” and “unemployment numbers release” have grown more than 400% and continued rising. Experts now expect the unemployment rate to be as high as 30% in the second quarter thanks to all the businesses shutting down.

Source: Google Trends, week of March 18 – March 25, 2020 on Unemployment.

“Who will receive stimulus checks?”

“Who will receive stimulus checks?” has spiked since lawmakers announced a $2 trillion stimulus deal earlier this week.

Source: Google Trends, week of March 18 – March 25, 2020 on Who will receive stimulus checks.


Several states such as New York, Washington and California have now mandated shelter-in-place lockdowns, while others won’t be far behind. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expects most will last 10 to 12 weeks, or until early June.

Source: Google Trends, week of March 18 – March 25, 2020 on Lockdown. 

“How to self-isolate in a shared house”

Finally, Google has seen a 700% increase in “how to self-isolate in a shared house” as families wrestle with ways to protect one another from potential COVID-19 infections.

Source: Google Trends, week of March 18 – March 25, 2020 on How to self-isolate in a shared house.

Bread? Really? 

Surprisingly, “bread” is one of the top searches so far during the coronavirus pandemic. Why? Homebound people like to bake. Emily Heil, a Washington Post food reporter, says “the coronavirus has created the perfect environment for a surge in bread-baking. […] Some are looking for a fulfilling hobby, or for sustenance for their families.” 

Source: Google Trends, January- March, 2020 on Bread.

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Nina Rodríguez Staff Writer