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Coronavirus and Joy—Can this Be True?

I am an analyst at Cognovi Labs, an artificial intelligence company that measures emotions expressed from the public through text-based conversations via the web. On a typical day, I analyze the public’s emotions around the financial market, individual companies, industries and politics.

In the last two weeks the focus of my role has changed from business/financial markets to Coronavirus. As you would imagine, the bulk of the emotions around Coronavirus are FEAR, SADNESS and ANGER. It makes sense that FEAR is 10X the levels we have seen before. However, what surprised me is seeing JOY during these tumultuous times.

Before the North American public fully adopted the concept that life would be changing, the conversation was light, especially among the younger public.

However, on March 12, the day after the WHO declared Coronavirus a pandemic, that is the day the conversation changed. Fear was at an all time high in our system.

JOY topics trending included “cheap travel” and interestingly, JOY is detected when governmental leadership takes decisive action in order to protect citizens For example, JOY was an emotion detected in digital conversations when Ohio’s Governor and his administration took decisive actions to protect citizens. Ohio was the first state in the middle of the country to close universities, public schools and cancelling public events like “The Arnold” Sports Festival and NCAA’s “First Four.”

At Cognovi, we advise our clients that having a good balance of emotions is key in order to effectively communicate. What we’re talking about is not a new concept, it’s human behavioral science. The concept applies to every situation in life - even Coronavirus. Cognovi’s Emotion AI tool is demonstrating the unprecedented high levels of FEAR, ANGER AND SADNESS.

We have a little JOY, but we need more. Keep communicating with your loved ones and friends. Even if you are sharing a text like a funny meme OR send a quick email. Most importantly, connect. Do what you need to do in order to create balance in order to cope during these difficult times.


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