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Board games win in lockdown



COVID-19 has forced most of South Africans to stay at home. The shutdown of points of interest, workplaces, schools, and universities has made a colossal difference in our daily lives. Analysis Team investigated Google search queries and created a ranking of the activities which gained the biggest popularity in the times of pandemic. took a closer look at the most popular hobbies and activities, such as cinema, books, games, and many others. It checked the frequency of search queries connected to these activities in March 2020 and compared them with March of the previous year.

After evaluating statistics, it turned out that all activities that require leaving home have become less popular: concerts dropped by 79 per cent, theatre — 67 per cent, cinema — 58 per cent. South Africans also lost interest in photography, dancing, and home renovation.

The biggest increase of interest was noted in board games (245 per cent), home gym (223 per cent), and online courses, such as Udemy (194 per cent).. There is a possibility that the uncertain situation in the labour market has made Internet users seek opportunities to gain additional qualifications.

Various creative activities and crafts, like crocheting (88 per cent) or drawing (28 per cent) have also gained popularity.

Among activities which increased by a relatively slow margin are listening to podcasts and painting (5 and 4 per cent respectively).

The research is based on the changes in the popularity of various keywords in March 2020 compared with March of the previous year, according to Google archival data (through Google Trends).