又中又英——“Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.”

  When the new coronavirus first started in Wuhan in the Chinese province of Hubei, people thought it would not spread to the rest of China. But it did. It spread to other provinces, including Guangdong, and to Hong Kong and Macau. People thought the rest of the world would be a safe haven. But the virus then spread to Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and elsewhere in Asia. Now it has reached the Middle East, Europe, and the US. Every continent except Antarctica now has coronavirus cases. The rest of the world is no longer a safe haven. There is no place to run, no place to hide. So everyone should just stay put.

  A safe haven is a place where people are protected from danger or harm. To stay put means to remain where you are. The expression "Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide" is the name of a song. But used this way it means there is nowhere for you to go to find a safe haven. You can no longer run or hide from the coronavirus because it is spreading across the world. If you are a very rich person, you can, of course, buy an island and stay put there with enough food and water until scientists find a vaccine for the coronavirus. People who live in big houses, not apartments, can also buy enough food and water and stay put until the coronavirus crisis is over.

  But not everyone can afford to buy an island or a big house and stay put indefinitely. Besides, staying put for a long time can make people stir-crazy. There is a 1980 American comedy movie called Stir Crazy. But the expression "stir-crazy" also means becoming angry, upset, or psychologically disturbed if you have to stay put in a place for a long time, such as in prison. A reader asked me to explain the meaning of "stir-crazy". I want to thank this reader because it is an interesting expression. Now that the coronavirus is everywhere, stay put as much as possible but avoid being stir-crazy!

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  當新型冠狀病毒首先於中國湖北省的武漢開始爆發時,人們都認為它不會擴散至中國其他地區,但它確實有蔓延了,傳播到其他省份,包括廣東,又到了香港和澳門。人們以為世界其他地方會是安全的避難所(safe haven)。但病毒繼而擴散至台灣、南韓、日本及亞洲其他地區;現在它已到達中東、歐洲及美國。除了南極洲以外的每一個大洲,現在都有確診的新冠病毒個案。世界其餘的地方也不再是安全的避風港(safe haven)。現在是無處可逃,無處可藏(no place to run, no place to hide),因此人人都應該就這樣留在原地(stay put)。

  A safe haven就是人們不受危難所害的避風港。To stay put就是留在原地。習語“Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide”是一首歌的歌名,但在這裏則是指你已無處可逃,無法尋得安全的避難所(safe haven)。你再也不能逃離或躲過新冠病毒,因為它已擴散至全球。若你是個很有錢的人,那當然,你可以買個島,儲備足夠的食物和食水然後在那裏呆在原地(stay put),直至科學家研發出新冠病毒的疫苗。住在大屋而非單位內的人,也可以買足夠的食物和食水,留在原處(stay put),直至新冠病毒的危機過去。

  然而,不是所有人都能買得起一個島或一間大屋,並無限期地留在原處(stay put)。而且,長時間呆在一處地方(staying put)可以令人精神失常(stir-crazy)。有一齣一九八○年的美國喜劇電影就叫《 Stir Crazy》(港譯《阿叔有難》)。但習語“stir-crazy”也解作當你待在(stay put)一個地方,例如監牢,太長時間,就會變得憤怒、鬱悶、有精神困擾,或快瘋了。一位讀者請我解釋“stir-crazy”的意思,我想多謝這位讀者,因為這是個有趣的習語。現在新冠病毒已經傳到世界各處,大家盡可能留在原地(stay put),卻別瘋掉(stir-crazy)了啊!

中譯:七刻

mickchug@gmail.com



Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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