Coronavirus continues to dominate the news like nothing else. The share of attention it has received in every one of the past eight weeks would have been enough to beat previous records, according to new polling by Populus.

This unprecedented level of attention appears to be tailing off slightly, but partly this is just a function of the increasingly blurred line between what relates to the all-encompassing pandemic and what does not.

Related stories – like Captain Tom Moore’s fundraiser – included in coronavirus total

Beyond updates on the outbreak itself, which individual incidents caught the public’s eye in April? The one that broke through the most, knocking the nation’s nerves, was the Prime Minister’s time in intensive care.

Later in the month, his return to work and coinciding birth of his new baby were among the most mentioned developments, along with President Trump’s very stable genius, high-IQ enquiry about the benefits of injecting disinfectant into the body.

But no one has captured the public’s imagination like Captain Tom Moore. His ¬£33m fundraiser for the NHS has been the most noticed development relating to Covid-19 for the past three weeks in a row.

Sometimes, one individual whose actions signify something broader about the mood of the nation can break through on a grand scale.

Populus interviews a nationally representative sample of at least 2,000 British adults every week, and asks what news story they have noticed most. The question is open-ended and participants can name any story. 

Will Clothier is a Senior Consultant at Populus 


Will Clothier

Will is a Senior Consultant at Populus, where he advises corporate and public sector clients on their reputation strategies with key audiences. He leads projects analysing the views of the public, key demographic groups, and senior stakeholders. He works with charities, political organisations, and household names across a range of sectors.