Analysis of International Interests and Emotional Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic

  • Satoshi Fukuda Chuo University
  • Hidetsugu Nanba Chuo University
  • Hiroko Shoji Chuo University
Keywords: Twitter, Sentiment Analysis, COVID-19


The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in December 2019 is still exerting a global impact in 2022, with various media outlets reporting related news items on a daily basis. We analyzed the interest in, and emotional reactions to, COVID-19 of people around the world, as expressed on Twitter. As a measure of interest, we examined replies to news tweets posted by four news outlets (Yahoo! News, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and The Times of India), and classified the emotional content of each reply tweet using Plutchik’s wheel of emotion. The analysis suggested that negative sentiment prevailed worldwide between January 2020 and May 2022; fear-related tweets were significantly more common from January to February 2020 than in the other months in all news reports. However, anticipation-related tweets were more common than those in all other emotion categories in October–November 2021 in Japan. We also analyzed the factors that contributed to the rise of a particular emotion by tracing the news to which tweets with the emotion replied. Our approach that used the news and reply tweets was useful in approximating the factors of the emotional reactions of people in different countries to COVID-19.


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Technical Papers (Data Science & Institutional Research)