What's Resonating With The Bustle Audience Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic

by Jessica Tarlov, Dani Thibodeau, & Angela Lee
The coronavirus pandemic has many Bustle readers worried.

It’s no secret these are weird and difficult times: It's hard to look at the news or go on social media without feeling overwhelmed and anxious by coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

At Bustle Digital Group, we strive to produce content that speaks to readers where they are — if they’re concerned, we’re concerned. To do this better, the Bustle Trends Group wanted to know how the pandemic is affecting our readers: How are they feeling? What kinds of stories are they reading during this scary period?

In a survey of nearly 600 Bustle readers, we found that 83% of our readers are either somewhat or very concerned about COVID-19. Their top five concerns are the lack of testing kits, access to healthcare, lack of information from public officials, access to food, and unpaid sick leave.

Bustle readers are changing their behaviors, too. Nearly 90% said they’ve made alterations to their daily routines, with social distancing the #1 change they've made.

Hand washing is also a big part of their new routines, and our readers are having fun with the #20SecondChallenge. Their favorite songs to wash their hands to? Lizzo’s “Good as Hell,” followed by “Happy Birthday,” Schitt’s Creek’s “A Little Bit Alexis,” and Sisqó’s “The Thong Song.”

Turning to the pandemic's political implications, only 6% of our readers believe Donald Trump is equipped to handle the situation, while 71% think COVID-19 will have an impact on the 2020 presidential election.

So, what kinds of stories are people reading amid a global pandemic, obsessive hand-washing, and social distancing?

On Bustle, Meghan Markle and Bachelor stories are maintaining their popularity, but readers also want to know about whether it’s safe to eat in restaurants and how to take your temperature without a thermometer.

Over on Romper, busy moms are hankering for content to keep them and their kids safe. They want to know which disinfectants kill coronavirus and what parents are doing for childcare during school closures. There's some room for levity, though: Other top stories include pictures of Jenna Dewan’s new baby and photos of young Prince Harry that show baby Archie is just going to keep getting cuter.

Elite Daily readers, meanwhile, are still after horoscope stories. Zodiac sign content remained popular on Nylon, too, with room for pieces on hair color and Billie Eilish calling out body shaming.

Zoe Report's top stories have nothing to do with coronavirus — think hair color trends, Meghan Markle’s latest looks, and the best spring dresses under $40 on Amazon.

Our Inverse and Input readers are all about news in their niche areas of interest. Recent hot topics include universal basic income, God of War III, 5G radiation, and why you should “subscribe” to a Volvo.

On Mic, readers are hungry for timely, politically savvy content. They’re reading about how COVID-19 could derail the 2020 election and how it will affect gig workers. Outline readers are interested in paid sick leave policy and how NBC must release all 20 seasons of Law and Order.

At Bustle Digital Group, there’s content to satiate anyone's interests. We’re keeping our stories light, real, simple, informative, and thought-provoking, because that’s what our readers are hankering for in these uncertain times.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, call NHS 111 in the UK or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.