又中又英——It is what it is.

  Many people are still trying to come to grips with the coronavirus, which has already killed about 300,000 people and infected over 4 million around the world. US President Donald Trump calls the coronavirus the invisible enemy that has killed more Americans than the Vietnam War. A study by US experts found sunlight and humidity can easily kill the coronavirus. This has raised hopes the global pandemic may slow down during the summer but University of Hong Kong microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung said on my TV show last week he was certain the virus will return in the winter. Many experts say the virus will return with a vengeance in the winter unless scientists create an effective vaccine.

  An expression many US health experts now say when asked by reporters about the killer virus is "it is what it is". This is an expression I seldom used before but I have often used it nowadays not just for the deaths caused by the virus but also for Hong Kong's current political situation. The expression "it is what it is" is used when something very bad has happened or is happening and people must accept it because there is nothing they can do about it. The coronavirus is killing and infecting people around the world. There is very little we can do to stop it without a vaccine and so we must accept it as a fact. It is what it is.

  When people ask me if the central government is getting more involved in local political issues, I say it definitely is but there is little we can do about it. It is what it is. The expression "come to grips with" means to try to understand a difficult problem or situation and deal with it. If something returns "with a vengeance", it means it comes back with great force. I am sure everyone hopes the coronavirus won't come back "with a vengeance" in the winter.

*****

  許多人仍在嘗試理解並着手處理(come to grips with)新型冠狀病毒,此疫症已殺了超過三十萬人,感染全球逾四百萬人。美國總統特朗普將這新冠病毒稱為隱形敵人,它所殺的美國人比越戰時期還要多。美國專家做的一份研究發現,陽光與濕度能輕易殺死新冠病毒。這帶來了希望,全球大流行疫情或可在夏季放緩,但香港大學微生物學家袁國勇上周在我的節目上說,他肯定這病毒在冬季會重來。許多專家都說,病毒會在冬季猛烈地(with a vengeance)捲土重來,除非科學家能研製出有效的疫苗。

  許多美國衞生專家被記者問及這殺人病毒之時,一個他們現在會用到的習語是“it is what it is”。這是一個我以往很少用到的習語,但到今天我都常用到了,不但是指病毒所引致的死亡,也是指香港現時的政治狀況。當某樣糟透的事已發生或正在發生,而人們只能無可奈何地接受,因他們實在無能為力時,就會用到習語“it is what it is”。這新冠病毒正在殺掉和感染全球各地的人,在沒有疫苗之下我們實在沒有甚麼方法可以制止它,因此我們只能接受現實。事情就是這樣,不然要怎辦?(It is what it is.)

  當人們問我,中央政府會否更為干涉本地的政治議題,我說那肯定是的,但我們可以做的事實在很少。It is what it is. 習語“come to grips with”意即嘗試理解一項複雜的難題或處境並解決它。若某事物returns“with a vengeance”,意即它會更猛烈地回來。我肯定,人人也希望這新冠病毒不會在冬季更兇猛地(with a vengeance)重來。中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


hd