trends in the time of coronavirus

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Shelter-in-place and quarantine orders have given a lot of us unprecedented amounts of free time. So what are people doing with the time not spent on long commutes, dining out, and social gatherings? It turns out, lots of interesting stuff. Here are some trends that have emerged while much of the world is sheltering in place. Some are pretty mundane, some you’ve already heard about, and some… well, they might surprise you.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is the most-watched original show on Netflix—people like to watch people self-destruct. Interestingly, The Office still reigns as the most-watched show on the platform. Maybe it’s because people who are fortunate enough to work remotely are reflecting on all the tomfoolery and office drama they’re missing. 🗂📎

The most-streamed show across all platforms right now is the animated series Steven Universe Future, a critically acclaimed, limited series on the Cartoon Network. The characters are self-appointed guardians of the universe—heroes we crave during these uncertain times. 🏵

From the Heartwarming Department… Pet adoptions are up 100% from last year. And fostering pets is even more popular, up 197% from the year before. Seems the coronavirus is giving us all a case of the warm fuzzies for our furry friends. 😸🐶

Want a few earworms (catchy songs stuck in your head)? Listen to Ed Sheeran’s “The Shape of You” (longtime chart-topper and the most-streamed on Spotify this week) or the newly released “The Box” rapper Roddy Ricch (Pandora’s most-played song this week). Meanwhile, Billboard’s chart-topper this week is “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd. 🎵

Retail sales of certain items skyrocketed (it’s still pretty tough to find toilet paper). Understandably, sales of aerosol disinfectants (like Lysol) were up 519%. Thermometers, in the number two slot, were flying off the shelves 498% more than before. Intriguingly though, sales of oat (not goat) milk increased 477%. Non-dairy milk alternatives don’t spoil as quickly as cow’s milk, but it seems like other non-dairy options would be more popular than oat milk, which is relatively new in the US. 🤷‍♀️

Existentialism is striking the hearts of the populace, as sales of the book The Plague by Albert Camus (the “s” is silent) have spiked. People who read The Plague during, well, an actual plague might be the same kind of people who like haunted houses. Or maybe they’re just looking for tips on how to ride this out. 😷

On the tech front, some surprising insights have surfaced. Some of the world’s most popular apps, particularly Facebook, Netflix, and YouTube have seen just a small uptick in traffic (and in a couple of cases, even less traffic), but visits to those companies’ websites have shot up since shelter-in-place. Guess that makes sense, since we’re all home and using our computers more than usual. Well… the experts were saying we needed to use our phones less. 😂

Meanwhile, gamers are opting for titles that were already pretty popular on the gaming service Steam. The ominously named Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has seen a 12% increase in play—with a peak of 1.2 million players over the last 30 days (and 542 million hours of play!) to clinch the title of the most popular game. 🎮

What interesting trends are you seeing during these unusual times? Tweet us about it. We’d love to hear from you! Use the hashtags #covid19 and #illumylife


Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

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