The COVID-19 Twitter map includes charts detailing sentiment, symptoms reported, state-by-state data cuts, and border data on the COVID-19 outbreak. Beyond the physical effects of the pandemic, the research team notes how this dashboard can illustrate the emotional impacts of the pandemic, as well.
“The language people across the US are using in Tweets in 2020 indicates much higher levels of stress, anxiety, and loneliness when compared to language of Tweets in the previous year,” shares Dr. Lyle Ungar, World Well-Being Project’s Principal Investigator and Professor of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania. "This provides empirical evidence of the psycho-social effects of the pandemic. You have to stop the chain of transmission and provide testing and intensive medical care to all who need it, but we can also start thinking about how we provide for the mental health and social needs of a nation undergoing a stressful, long-term health care emergency.”
Beyond population-level insight and understanding, the team is particularly interested in how this data can help communities and individuals rapidly receive local, relevant information and resources to cope with a major public health crisis. A recently launched initiative, Penn Medicine With You, uses aggregate regional information from Twitter to inform their website and text-messaging service. The service uses this information to disseminate relevant and timely resources.