The next time you go to the Google search page to enter something like “will the Covid-19 vaccine make my keys stick to my forehead,” you may find a Google Doodle that includes the words “Get vaccinated. Wear a mask. Save lives.”
That’s because today’s Google Doodle indicates those words when you scroll over the graphic on the main Google search page. The graphic is actually an animated version of the letters that spell out the name “Google.” Each of the first four letters, which combined is “Goog,” wears a face mask and sports what looks like a post-vaccination bandage on its arm. As the animation progresses, each letter gives a celebratory gesture. Then the letter “e”, dressed like a health care professional wearing a face mask, gets a vaccine from a table and administers the vaccine to the letter “l”, which is also wearing a mask. The “l” subsequently celebrates, followed by a group cheer, along with a heart emoji.
Here’s a tweet from Google Doodles showing the animation:
According to 9to5Google, this Doodle is similar in design to previous Doodles rolled out in August 2020 and April 2021. Clicking on the Doodle leads to a “covid vaccine near me” search that helps you find nearby Covid-19 vaccination locations.
With 49.8% of the entire U.S. population, 58.3% of those 12 years and older, and 60.7% of adults 18 years and older fully vaccinated, those six letters in today’s Google Doodle probably aren’t exactly representative of the U.S. population. The U.S. population is a lot more diverse that just six letters or groups. Even a longer word like “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” would still not have enough letters to capture the true diversity of the U.S.
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Unfortunately, if you really wanted to represent what’s going on right now in the U.S., you’d have to have at least one letter throwing around misinformation and disinformation about the Covid-19 coronavirus, vaccination, and face mask wearing. The letter might be yelling “Covid is a hoax” or “ignore all those statistics and stories about death and suffering.” That letter could be urging other letter “don’t get a vaccine or wear a face mask. Instead, buy the supplements or whatever treatment that I am trying to sell.” Heck, who knows what’s really happening? That letter railing against vaccination could even be fully vaccinated itself yet not want to admit it for political or money-making reasons. The letter may instead declare, “you can’t ask me if I am vaccinated because of HIPA or HIPPO or HIP HIP HOORAY or something like that,” even though HIPAA doesn’t have anything to do with people asking you if you’ve been fully vaccinated, as I described previously for Forbes.
Perhaps this letter might insist that “the vaccine will make you into a giant magnet or a 5G receptor” or “will prevent you from making little letters” or “will turn you into, gasp, a number,” without providing any real, verifiable scientific evidence behind its claims. That letter could be insisting that face masks have 5G receptors in them, cause carbon dioxide to build up in you, or are being used to control you, even though they are, after all, just face masks that you purchased.
As a result, some of the other letters out there may be a bit confused and not know what to believe. With so much misinformation and disinformation floating around from political leaders, television personalities, and anonymous social media accounts, they may not realize that getting vaccinated and wearing a face mask would protect not only them but the entire word as well.