As expected, people aren’t as vocal about handwashing online as they were mid-pandemic. Instead, we’ve settled into a more steady rhythm of handwashing commentary. Interestingly, the handwashing conversation is now lower than it was pre-pandemic. In 2019, a monthly average of 131k unique authors discussed washing hands on social media. In 2022, that average was 122k authors.
All that said, there are still thousands of conversations about handwashing online every day. Looking into the themes arising in the conversation can tell us more about how the public is feeling.
Disgust and judgment
When looking at sentiment within the handwashing conversation, disgust is the most prevalent emotion. It accounted for almost 70% of emotion-categorized mentions in 2022. This is understandable, as we’re all more conscious of how a lack of hygiene impacts our health.
This disgust translates into heavy judgment on people who don’t wash their hands properly.