By the mid-March date of widespread shutdowns and quarantines, global viewership of YouTube in general started to increase and, with it, views of videos related to the aforementioned sourdough.
Widening our scope from sourdough to cooking, using that same demarcation line (which we’ve pegged to the date the US declared a national emergency) we could measure the same kinds of behavior happening in a lot of different places globally at the same time. That’s highly unusual. From Argentina to Australia to the United Arab Emirates, people were watching more videos related to making meals at home.
While it might seem fairly obvious that people stuck indoors would cook more, other, quirkier kinds of trends had the same unprecedented synchronization across the globe. That sent us in search of a framework that might help explain them all collectively.