Making sense of COVID-19 over time in New Zealand: Assessing the public conversation using Twitter

Hamed Jafarzadeh, David J. Pauleen, Ehsan Abedin, Kasuni Weerasinghe, Nazim Taskin, Mustafa Coskun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


COVID-19 has ruptured routines and caused breakdowns in what had been conventional practice and custom: everything from going to work and school and shopping in the supermarket to socializing with friends and taking holidays. Nonetheless, COVID-19 does provide an opportunity to study how people make sense of radically changing circumstances over time. In this paper we demonstrate how Twitter affords this opportunity by providing data in real time, and over time. In the present research, we collect a large pool of COVID-19 related tweets posted by New Zealanders–citizens of a country successful in containing the coronavirus–from the moment COVID-19 became evident to the world in the last days of 2019 until 19 August 2020. We undertake topic modeling on the tweets to foster understanding and sensemaking of the COVID-19 tweet landscape in New Zealand and its temporal development and evolution over time. This information can be valuable for those interested in how people react to emergent events, including researchers, governments, and policy makers.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0259882
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright: © 2021 Jafarzadeh et al. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


Dive into the research topics of 'Making sense of COVID-19 over time in New Zealand: Assessing the public conversation using Twitter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this