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Lookups spiked 9,900% on March 12, 2020
Lockdown sprang to the top of our lookups on March 12th, 2020, amid increasing speculation that areas of the the United States would begin implementing increasing restrictions on travel and other activities.
What Aggressive Coronavirus Lockdown Might Look Like in the U.S.
— The Daily Beast (thedailybeast.com), 12 Mar. 2020
We define lockdown in two ways: “the confinement of prisoners to their cells for all or most of the day as a temporary security measure” and “an emergency measure or condition in which people are temporarily prevented from entering or leaving a restricted area or building (such as a school) during a threat of danger.” The word has been in print use since the early 1970s.
In an unprecedented move, Procunier last Friday ordered four of the state’s largest institutions — San Quentin, Folsom, Soledad and the Deuel Vocational Institute near Tracy — placed on immediate general security “lockdowns.”
— Robert Kistler, the Los Angeles Times, 4 Dec. 1973
Trend Watch is a data-driven report on words people are looking up at much higher search rates than normal. While most trends can be traced back to the news or popular culture, our focus is on the lookup data rather than the events themselves.