It turns out measuring online reports of hangovers is an effective way to track major events. In March we see a big drop off in people saying they’re hungover online, just as the pandemic was declared. Levels began a slow recovery shortly after as we started to adjust to Covid-19 and people began to find new, often online ways to socialize with alcohol.
Just as mentions got back to ‘normal’ levels, there was an even bigger drop off in late May/early June. We cannot be 100% sure this was the cause, but this decrease coincides with the Black Lives Matter movement coming into the spotlight after the death of George Floyd. This mirrors similar drops we’ve seen, such as a fall in Covid-19 article engagements at the same time.
The recovery in hangover levels after this period was quick and we can see a big spike in the week of 4 July. This will have been driven by Americans celebrating Independence Day and taking to social media on the 5th to complain about headaches and poor choices.
Levels returned to normal in the following week and have now generally stabilized, although last week saw a small jump. This could be a sign people are increasingly comfortable with returning to bars and pubs. That, or world events, such as new outbreaks and the looming US presidential election, have people turning to drink.
We also looked at what alcoholic drinks have been most popular during the pandemic by analyzing images posted to social media.