Social Pulse: Readiness to Return

By: Nicole Martin, MPH

April 24, 2020

Clarabridge Analytics
Clarabridge Engage
Voice of the Customer
Social Customer Service
Social Media Analytics

To understand how ready individuals feel concerning a return to pre-pandemic life, we utilized McKinsey’s recently released matrix related to COVID-19 to assess where the pulse on reopening and other financial topics stand.

Date of Data Pull: 4/24/2020 9:25AM
Source: Twitter, API Connectors
Current Volume: 11,665,968
Date Range: March 12, 2020- April 24, 2020
Tweets Related to COVID-19 & Supplemental Topics Classification Models Used: WHO Framework Model, Emotions Model, & Industry Specific Models

Over the past weeks growing conversations about “reopening the economy” leave everyone wondering what the post pandemic normal will look like. Businesses in states such as Georgia will face the question of the financial worth of opening their store fronts. Companies must take the gamble: do their community members crave social outings or fear risking their health? Corporations need to adapt to a buyer’s market. Only consumers can decide when to open the economy, through their behaviors and spending habits. So, when will date night resume?

The Findings

State and federal governments begin to navigate what an open economy looks like as people grapple with the economic and psychological impacts of staying at home. Protests arise across the country as citizens react to stay at home orders that limit their freedoms and, some argue, challenge their American values. Collectivism, the “all in this together mentality”, has started to dwindle due to the socio-economic impacts of the virus. In order to gain a pulse on societies’ stance, we created measurements based on a matrix developed by McKinsey (see Figure 1) (1). The matrix below looks at public health preparedness, virus spread and readiness to restart the economy.


Figure One: Matrix developed by McKinsey to understand COVID-19 outbreak. 


Utilizing Clarabridge, we created a model to organize Twitter feedback into two categories: virus spread and public health preparedness. Using filtered metrics, “virus spread” and “public health readiness” received a score based on the percentage of relevant tweets divided by the total volume of tweets in the project.

    • Virus Spread: Values closer to a 100% indicate little to no conversations about the spread of COVID in relationship to the topic while values closer to 0% indicate nearly all conversations in a topic relate to the spread of COVID.
    • Public Health Readiness: Values closer to a 100% indicate public health systems are highly prepared or preparedness was not discussed; values closer to 0% indicate next to no preparedness. Below shows examples of tweets categorized in virus spread and public health preparedness.

Conversations about virus spread and public health preparedness were further filtered into discussions about the financial impacts from COVID-19, including unemployment, stimulus package, and reopening the economy. The graph below takes financial conversation topics and scores them across the matrix, specifically looking at March 24th (when the President announced intent to open the economy on Easter) through to April 11th (the day before Easter).


Figure 2: Economic Topics Across Public Health Preparedness & Virus Spread

Figure Two: Conversations about economic trends across virus spread and public health preparedness. Larger bubbles indicate higher emotional intensity. Topics like delinquency fears and housing have higher emotional intensity compared to stimulus discussions.

The scatterplot utilizes Clarabridge’s emotional intensity score to create the bubble size. Large bubbles show high-intensity conversation topics. Topics like PPP Loans score high on the scale because the loans serve as a tool to mitigate economic damages. PPP loan conversations typically focus on the denial of loans or inaccessibility to finances compared to topics such as reopening the economy. Preliminary conversations about economic reopening focus on reports about government regulations or highly-charged rhetoric on either end of the political spectrum.


The tweets above showcase news headlines on how the government will proceed with reopening the economy and strong opinions of early supporters and detractors to lifting “stay at home” restrictions.

After Easter, conversations about the new reopening announcement dominated the media. As individual states begin to make their decisions on how to reintegrate society, strong opinions on both sides (staying home or opening now) flood the news and make it challenging to gauge where the average emotions lie. The graph below shows scores related to key economic concerns from April 12th (Easter) to April 23rd.


Figure Three: Easter to April 23—Economic Topics Across Public Health Preparedness & Virus Spread

Figure Three: Conversations about economic trends across virus spread and public health preparedness. Larger bubbles indicate higher emotional intensity. Topics like reopen the economy and protests have higher emotional intensity compared to stimulus discussions.

Based on the matrix and categorization, the scatterplot showcases the clear intensity of emotions related to the conversations about reopening the economy and protests. The topic of Protests scores low on public health preparedness (indicating these discussions specifically mention how protests contribute to feeling unprepared to handle COVID). When people talk about Reopening the Economy, conversations about the about the lack of public health preparedness to open the economy increases. Emotional intensity lowers as factual tweets about public safety and individual livelihood dominate the feedback, rather than strong opinions. These conversations showcase hesitation in public discourse to lifting restrictions due to lack of public health infrastructure to protect them (such as a clear treatment for COVID-19).

As reopening approaches, more and more individuals express concern about the virus and the infrastructures in place to protect them. The concern and friction between these two perspectives ultimately will impact buyer sentiment and will make people hesitant to go out and spend money. Understanding the concern and creating customer experience to alleviate the anxiety and confusion around the pandemic will allow companies to succeed in building consumer trust and confidence.


Looking for fun things to do? Check out libraries across the globe supporting everyone in times of COVID-19:

What’s Next

We will begin to explore how reopening the economy impacts customer experience, along with tactics and strategies that support consumers in the process of readapting to going outside. I will explore emerging successes and failures and, through social media data, begin to gauge the changes in public sentiment towards normalcy and behaviors changed by the pandemic. Together, we will begin to measure and see how the COVID-19 pandemic weaves into consumer attitudes and shapes customer expectations in their customer experiences.


Other Articles in This Series:
Social Pulse: Empathy Through Action
Published April 17, 2020

Social Pulse: An Opportunity to Create Trust with Consumers
Published April 9, 2020

Social Pulse: A Craving for Understanding
Published April 2, 2020

Social Pulse: The Way We See COVID-19 Relate to CX & the Globe
Published March 26, 2020

Social Pulse: How is the World Reacting to the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Published March 20, 2020

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Nicole Martin is currently a consultant at Clarabridge. Prior to Clarabridge, Nicole received her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from The George Washington University. During her time at GW, Nicole wrote her graduate paper on sexuality, sexual behavior, and mental health. In addition, Nicole taught as a Graduate Assistant for the Biostatistics Department at The George Washington University. During her time at Clarabridge, Nicole has worked with healthcare accounts to enrich their analytic capabilities, created customer journey maps for property and casualty insurance companies, and continued to support innovation for clients across various industry verticals.



[1] Craven, M., Mysore, M., Singhal, S., & Wilson, M. (2020, April 13). COVID-19: Implications for business. Retrieved April 20, 2020, from

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About The Social Pulse Series

Clarabridge has embarked on an independent research project to actively analyze the “emotional pulse” of social media users worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. The effort’s main goal is to assess how people are feeling using Clarabridge’s Natural Language Understanding to glean insights from millions of unstructured data records. We hope to inform the public, provide insights to the scientific community and educate Clarabridge customers. The analyses in this series leverages Twitter data collected beginning March 12th using keywords such as “coronavirus,” “covid19”, and “covid-19” from Twitter. We continue to refine data collection and models as the situation evolves.

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