Both 2020 and 2021 had far more mentions of fall than the average for the previous two years. For the 1 Jan to Sep 16 period, these were up by 26% in 2020, and 24% in 2021. But why?
It would be tempting to say that people just like discussing fall more than they did a few years ago, whether they’re pro or against. But, as with most topics, Covid-19 is influencing the data.
Note the jump in fall mentions in March 2020 as the seriousness of Covid became clearer to people. Fall was now discussed in relation to the virus, whether it was about the hope it would be gone by then, the fear that it would only get worse then, or how schools and colleges would function come the fall terms starting.
These discussions never stopped, and would change and shift as the world navigated the pandemic. Education and concerns about colder weather encouraging the spread were the main drivers, and this continued into 2021 where we see fall mentions were way above average even in January.
This more negative outlook is borne out in our emotional analysis of fall mentions. In 2019, 42% of them were joyful, while in 2020 and 2021, that number was 38% and 37% respectively.
Memes will make it better
Of course this is the internet and, no matter the significance of the tragedy or the scale of the event, people will try to get through with jokes and memes. The 2021 fall season, which is surrounded by fears of the Delta variant of Covid-19 spreading even more, is no exception.
Enter the “my fall plans” meme, which presents a positive image contrasted with a negative one which represents the Delta variant. Here’s one of the most popular examples.