'Hey, Google, how do I deal with stress?' Web searches during COVID-19 reveal Canadians' anxieties
The surge in applications for employment insurance reflects what was found in other surveys. Morneau Shepell, a Toronto-based employee benefits provider, this month launched a mental health index that compares current indicators of mental well-being with data collected in 2017, 2018 and 2019, characterized as "a period of relative social stability and steady economic growth."
That index dropped 12 points from the baseline of 75, due mostly to increased anxiety over finances and the possible death of a loved one...
...There are also more Google searches for conspiracy theories than a year ago, as the tables above showed. This suggests uncertainty around the pandemic and a thirst for definitive answers.
"This situation is so out of the ordinary, people don't have any sense of control of it," said Paula Allen, senior vice-president of research, analytics and innovation for Morneau Shepell.
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