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Everyone Thinks They Are Middle Class

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This week we take a look at social class self identification in the United States.  In the US, the majority of people self-identify as middle class, regardless of how much money they actually make. This is likely due to the fact that, in general, people tend to compare themselves to those around them rather than to the country as a whole. So, even if someone is making a lot of money, if most of the people around them are also making a lot of money, they're likely to still consider themselves middle class. There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, people who are very wealthy are often more likely to identify as upper class, and people who are very poor are often more likely to identify as lower class. But, by and large, most people in America self-identify as middle class. There are a number of reasons why this might be the case. First of all, the middle class is often seen as the ideal in America. It's the class that is most associated with the American Dream, and s

COVID-19 and Search Interest On Google

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  Anosmia, or the loss of smell, is one of the most common manifestations of COVID-19, and one of the symptoms that differentiates it from other diseases with similar characteristics.  As it is clearly evident in the graph, during the first months of the pandemic when few things about COVID-19 were known and testing was scarce, many individuals noticed the loss of smell and turned to the internet to find out what was wrong. The magnitude of these searches at the end of March 2020, translated a few weeks later to hundreds of deaths.  The story repeated itself many times, throughout all COVID-19 waves. People noticed they couldn't smell, searched it on Google, and then a few days later cases were up, and a few weeks later deaths rose as well.  The average interval between the spikes on Google Search Trends (GST) and Cases is about 9 days, while between GST and Deaths is 18 days. Thus Google search interest can be considered a good indicator of future Covid-19 outbreaks. As to what li