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News | 1st May 2020

What a boring survey


ANOTHER Clap for Carers is coming up tonight. It’s strangely emotional, a sincere and deeply-felt expression of gratitude and solidarity for NHS and all care workers.
It gets bigger and noisier in Langholm every week. As well as the message it sends to our heroes, it’s the highlight of the week.
Keeping clear of the virus by staying at home takes no strenuous effort but, let’s be honest, social distancing is boring.
Tables and graphs on the news may help to make sense of what’s happening but they aren’t much of a spectacle.
Despite the geek-factor, there is growing interest in interpreting and presenting statistics, which are playing such a massive part in current events.
Desperate boredom was the driver behind a survey in the Muckle Toon. One couple, who asked to remain anonymous, decided to get a sense of the impact of the lockdown by measuring the Thursday morning rush-hour traffic.

All vehicles on Langholm’s High Street were relentlessly and meticulously listed and categorised. Starting at 7.45am every north and southbound vehicle was noted. By 9am, a clear impression was emerging.
It can now be revealed, exclusively in the E&L Advertiser that, in 75 minutes, there were 29 northbound HGVs, 36 vans 45 cars, no buses or bikes. Southbound, the A7 carried nine HGVs, 30 vans, 64 cars, three buses, one motorbike, one cyclist.

It isn’t easy to see what we can make of these figures; more goods going north, more people in cars going south. That’s about it.
The surveyors plan to repeat the exercise, saying: “It means more than an hour effortlessly filled in. We stayed away from COVID-19 disaster news on TV. We didn’t order anything on line. Best of all, we avoided raiding the fridge again.” They added: “Of course, there’s still tonight’s clapping to look forward to.
What’s not to enjoy?”

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