> It started about a month ago, and is really annoying.
Yes, I have been encountering the same behavior. It is infuriating because it's impossible to tell when this is going to happen. This is separate from pulling up different searches I've used before, this bug seems to be something like "ignore what you type completely".
In Firefox, the hotkey "cmd-K" will put focus into the search bar at the top.
In Chrome they don't have a keybind set to this by default (though on Windows they seem to). But if you open mac System Preferences, go to Keyboard, then Keyboard Shortcuts, and add an Application Shortcut for Chrome, you set the menu item name to "Search the Web..." and the keybind to whatever you want (I used "cmd-K").
So that way regardless if I'm in Firefox or chrome, pressing cmd-K will put me in a place I can search.