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Google searches for “Corona beer virus” spike

As of today, the World Health Organization has declared a global public health emergency over the Coronavirus outbreak. If you haven’t noticed by now, the deadly virus shares a name with a certain global beer brand. Judging by Google search trends, there has been a major spike in searches for the “Corona beer virus.” It can be presumed that some believe Corona has some responsibility for the outbreak.

The two are not remotely related.

We stumbled across this interesting fact when a friend sent us a meme of a Corona bottle, with a bunch of Heineken bottles huddled behind a surgical mask. The debate that ensued shortly after dealt with the fact that no one is dumb enough to think the Coronavirus (aka 2019-nCov) is caused by, or even cured by- beer. Specifically Corona beer.

A quick trip over to Google Trends proved otherwise. As you can see from the screenshot below, the interest in “Corona Beer Virus” spikes around mid-January. Hawaii and Washington D.C. tops the charts with the most searches, followed by Nebraska, Connecticut, and Kansas. Let’s just assume it’s folks doing a little diligence before cracking open a bottle after work.

Since it’s not named after the beer, then why is it called the Coronavirus? The word corona means “crown” or “halo” in Latin. Views of the viruses using electron microscopy show projections on its round surface giving the illusion of a crown. Other Coronaviruses include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

 

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