• The COVID-19 crisis has a significant influence on the frequency and impact of mentions for the geopolitical actors surveyed in the present analysis – in most cases, we are talking about an increase (sometimes substantial) in both fields. All the actors surveyed here generate mentions in connection to the current health crisis.
  • Moreover, the ongoing crisis also influences the age and geographical distribution of mentions. The number of mentions in the 30-34 range increases for almost all actors surveyed by the analysis, just as the percent of mentions in Transylvania increases. These evolutions can be determined by a shift in behavioral patterns, following the restrictions imposed during the past month – a larger share of the active population sits home and follows the evolution of the crisis.
  • The online media’s impact has increased, consolidating its position as the main source of information throughout this interval.
  • At the same time, with the exception of the Russian Federation and Germany, for all the actors surveyed in the analysis, the peak of the number of mentions concerns the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the specific case of the Russian Federation, the most important peak of mentions, at the beginning of March, concerns the proposals advanced by Vladimir Putin concerning the amendment of the country’s Constitution. In the case of Germany, the peak concerns the death of a former competitor in a cooking TV-show in a German hospital. Nevertheless, a large number of mentions are in connection to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • As for the rest of the actors surveyed by the analysis, the peak number of mentions concerns:
    • China – the 9th of March, when China is mentioned in the context of canceling of all flights between Romania and Italy; the 19th of March, when the number of victims in Italy surpassed the Chinese high mark; the 23rd of March, when a group of researchers in Timişoara launched accusations regarding China’s purported taking of credits for a vaccine developed by them.
    • France – the 25th of March, when the information about Paul Goma’s death, in a French hospital, due to the coronavirus, hit the news cycle.
    • USA – 12th of March, when the US president announced the cancellation of all flights between the US and Europe; the 17th of March, when a number of additional information concerning the spread of the epidemic within the US were released; the 27th of March, concerning news about a lawsuit against China, accused of concealing information concerning the spread of the epidemic on its own territory helped spread the global pandemic.
    • The European Union – 16th of March, when the EU decided to close its frontiers to non-EU citizens; the 23rd of March, when the first coronavirus linked death within the EU institutions’ personnel was announced; 26-27th of March, when the EU summit was held, and the news insisted on the disagreement between the solutions envisaged by different EU leaders.
    • Great Britain – 18th of March, when the authorities announced the decision to close down the schools in Wales and Scotland; the 20th of March, when the testing in Romania of an experimental vaccine developed in the United Kingdom was announced; 30th of March, when the news covered the story of Romanians returning home from the United Kingdom and the development of a device to be used as an alternative to medical ventilators.
    • NATO – 13th of March, when PNL senator Virgil Chiţac, tested positive after attending a NATO reunion where other attendees were confirmed as having tested positive with COVID-19; 16th of March, when the presidential decree instating a state of emergency was enacted and a criminal case was started against senator – NATO was mentioned in both cases; the 26th and 28th of March, when medical supplies from South Korea are brought in with a NATO plane (these are also the moments generating most Facebook mentions).
    • Israel – the 11th of March. Both the peak and the mentions in the days immediately following it are connected with the situation of the Gerota Hospital, where a patient infected with COVID-19 had misled the doctors about a trip he had made to Israel, which resulted in the infection of several medical personnel and the quarantining of the entire hospital.

The full study (in Romanian) is available here