Society

Oh, how we’ve changed: Coronavirus ups and downs by the numbers

The coronavirus index? Here is what Canada loved, gave up, made and threw out in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic

A nation in sequestration will adapt. We’re buying less lipstick, fewer flowers and more puppies. We’re obsessing over instant coffee and tapping our inner bakers and seamstresses. And we’re giving the planet a break from our shenanigans—apart from some thrill-seeking emissions on empty city streets.

Eat, play, chill out

The percentage of Canadians aged 15 and over who spent more time on certain weekly activities as the pandemic unfolded across the country

Ransomware emails are up 4,000% as criminals take advantage of people being online more often


Netflix has reduced video quality to cut data traffic by 25% in a bid to manage a surge in demand





Online alcohol sales in the U.S. soared past in-store sales, going up by a whopping 243% in late March



Where the Deer and the Antelope Play

While a puma prowls through the streets of Santiago, Chile, and goats race through Llandudno, Wales, Canadian wildlife are also enjoying having the place to themselves. Foxes, coyotes, deer, and even bears and moose have been spotted on streets across Canada as humans hunker down at home.

A herd of goats take advantage of quiet streets in Llandudno, north Wales. (Pete Byrne/PA Images/Getty Images)

A herd of goats take advantage of quiet streets in Llandudno, north Wales. (Pete Byrne/PA Images/Getty Images)


On the up

More people want pets. During a half-price promotion in late March, the B.C. SPCA found new homes for 300 animals. Demand remains high.

Good luck getting your paws on a jigsaw puzzle. Due to unprecedented demand, Ravensburger, a major games company, isn’t even taking orders on its website.

Long popular with health-care workers, Crocs, the comfortable slip-on, are now finding wider appeal—first-quarter sales in the Americas were up 14%

Thousands of kids’ dreams come true as trampolines crop up in backyards across the country. So many parents have caved that several prominent retailers are currently out of stock.

That frothy concoction that was taking over your social media feeds—with a 1,700% worldwide search increase in mid-April—is known as Dalgona Coffee (2 Tbsp sugar, 2 Tbsp instant coffee, 2 Tbsp hot water, Whisk and pour over ice and milk)

As riders shun mass transit, online bike retailer Cycling Avenue reports that it expects sales to triple

Run away: One study found people who normally run once or twice a week are running 117% more

What a drag: Police in several jurisdictions have reported a dramatic increase in street-racing incidents as city streets and highways empty due to the pandemic

There was a reported 594% increase in stunt-driving incidents in Toronto

Dumping food and slowing production

With social activities and consumer habits drastically changing due to the pandemic, many producers were forced to cut production or destroy surplus goods for which they could no longer find a market

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On the bright side

With much of industry shutting down and most commuters off the roads, pollution levels around the world decreased. Mountain ridges, monuments and buildings normally shrouded in smog are now clearly visible. Fish can be seen in Venice’s canals, which are running clean now that cruise ships and motorboats have disappeared.

Venice during lockdown

This picture taken on April 17, 2020, shows a clear canal in Venice, as the nation sought to curb the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic caused by the new coronavirus. - Italy's COVID-19 death toll stands at 22,170, although doctors say the real figure could be double the official one in some of the worst-hit provinces. Several Italian doctors have expressed fears that infected medics may have been unwittingly spreading the disease to their patients in the early weeks of the outbreak. (Andrea Pattoro/AFP/Getty Images)

This picture taken on April 17, 2020, shows a clear canal in Venice, as the nation sought to curb the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic caused by the new coronavirus. (Andrea Pattoro/AFP/Getty Images)

New Delhi before

A view of the India Gate engulfed in heavy smog due to rise in pollution on November 13, 2019 in New Delhi, India. The overall air quality index (AQI) in Delhi and NCR region today entered the severe category again with not much improvement expected for the next two days. (Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times/Getty Images)

A view of the India Gate engulfed in heavy smog due to rise in pollution on November 13, 2019 in New Delhi, India. (Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times/Getty Images)

New Delhi after

Barricades are kept by the Indian police in front of historic India Gate, as India remains under an unprecedented extended lockdown over the highly contagious coronavirus (COVID-19) on April 29, 2020 in New Delhi, India. India eased the lockdown restrictions by allowing neighbourhood shops and standalone shops in areas that havent been marked coronavirus hotspots to sell goods on the condition of 50 per cent staff strength and following other protective guidelines like wearing masks and maintaining social distance. With a total number of over 31,000 positive cases, the death toll due to coronavirus in India has reached 1008 as the country reels under a nationwide lockdown that was imposed on March 25 by the government. (Yawar Nazir/Getty Images)

Barricades are kept by the Indian police in front of historic India Gate, on April 29, 2020 in New Delhi, India. (Yawar Nazir/Getty Images)

Infographics by Lauren Cattermole

Sources: Statistics Canada, 100 Mile Free Press, Business Insider, Canadian Running, CBC, CTV, Cycling Avenue, Financial Post, Global News, Globe and Mail, MarketWatch, National Post, New York Times, Ontario Farmer, Quartz, The Canadian Press, The Conversation