Research Outline

Keywords COVID-19 Healthcare Workers Research


To identify keywords found on social media channels expressing sentiment of COVID-19 front line health care workers (positive and negative) and public sentiment toward these health care workers. This information will be used to design positive message for front line healthcare workers and their contributions to the current COVID-19 crisis.

Early Findings

Keywords Associated With Front Line Health Care Workers and Social Media


  • Terms associated with staying at home, including #stayathome, #stayathome challenge (an Instagram series encouraging participants to showcase unique activities at home during the crisis).
  • In addition to staying home, social distancing, and 'wash hands' as common social media terms among those on the front lines, there are positive sentiments expressed through 'thanks' or 'thank you','shoutout', and 'salute' to fellow workers for providing 'safe' and 'best' care.


  • 'Betrayal', 'coercion' (associated with employers) and 'moral injury' are some words expressed by front-line health care workers, to express their concern about the crisis.
  • "Urgent", "critical", and "protection" are also words observed by front-line health care workers, specifically in regard to the need for personal protective equipment.
  • Sample recent Twitter posts from #GetMePPE include "We stand with our nursing home and home care workers in their demands for PPE and to protect all workers! Join me by sharing your support! Si Se Puede! #ProtectAllWorkers #GetMePPE" and "Please continue to help share our efforts as we work tirelessly to get PPE supplies to those in dire need on the frontline! #GetMePPE".

Positive Sentiments About Health Care Workers

  • Between March 12 and March 20, 2020, positive sentiment increased to 12% according to Sparkloft Media, while 30% of social mentions were neutral. "Heroic" was one of the common themes observed across over 58MM social media posts (along with 'social-distancing' and 'stay at home').
  • Some positive words expressed in the word cloud provided by Asario include 'help', 'support', 'fight', 'care"' and 'safe'.
  • 'Appreciation for healthcare workers' was a theme expressed in 7,917 posts in a recent social and web analysis of Coronavirus posts. This is contrasted with more frequently-mentioned themes, including 'Coronavirus News and Information' (246,614) and 'Quarantine and Social Distancing' (11,156).
  • A Twitter dataset of over 150 million tweets provides additional social mentions, including "stay safe", "daily thanks", "face masks", "good news", "save lives", and "New York".
  • Synthesio (and IPSOS company) also provides highlights of their social listening dataset. Themes related to preparation were trending between April 2, 2020, and April 6, 2020. While an angrier sentiment was growing across social channels, among those who are feeling hopeful or happy, social themes around community-focused efforts to boost each other was the driving sentiment.

Summary of Early Research Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • In this hour of research, we analyzed front-line health worker social posts, articles discussing social posts and general themes expressed by front-line health care workers, two recent public "word clouds" reflecting keywords and themes across millions of social and web posts, and a social listening service (Synthesio). These sources revealed sentiment currently being expressed by front-line health care workers and the public.
  • The themes expressed by the public were not necessarily explicitly focused directly on front-line health care workers, and therefore, we pulled the more positive themes from these data sets.
  • We found that some positive words being expressed by front-line health care workers are 'thank you', 'shoutout' and 'salute' to fellow health-care workers, and asking the public to "stand with" them and "share" their efforts. A broad theme continually expressed by health-care workers is 'stay at home'. Terms such as "safe" and "best care" were also noted.
  • Some more negative sentiments express related to lack of PPE equipment, with words including "urgent", "critical", "protection" or "protect", and "need." More serious terms, such as 'betrayal' and 'coercion' were also seen among some social posts by front-line health care workers.
  • Sentiments expressed by the public include words such as "heroic", "fight", "care", "safe" or "stay safe", "save lives", "good news", and "face masks", "thanks" or "daily thanks", "New York", "preparation", and community-focused themes.
  • Links to the Asario, Twitter social datasets, and the Synthesio dataset summary have been provided above.