The pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has gained extensive coverage in public media and global news, generated international and national communication campaigns to educate the communities worldwide and raised the attention of everyone. The coronavirus has caused viral pneumonia in tens of thousands of people around the world, and the COVID-19 outbreak changed most countries’ routines and concerns and transformed social behaviour. This study explores the potential use of Google Trends (GT) in monitoring interest in the COVID-19 outbreak and, specifically, in personal protective equipment and hand hygiene, since these have been promoted by official health care bodies as two of the most protective measures. GT was chosen as a source of reverse engineering data, given the interest in the topic and the novelty of the research. Current data on COVID-19 are retrieved from GT using keywords in two languages—Portuguese and Polish. The geographical settings for GT are two countries: Poland and Portugal. The period under analysis is 20 January 2020, when the first cases outside China were known, to 15 June 2020. The results show that there is a correlation between the spread of COVID-19 and the search for personal protective equipment and hand hygiene and that GT can help, to a certain extent, understand people’s concerns, behaviour and reactions to sanitary problems and protection recommendations.
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