又中又英——quid pro quo.

  Just two weeks ago, I was a proponent (supporter) of coronavirus vaccines. In my previous column, I urged Hong Kong people to get vaccinated. I am no longer a vaccine proponent. It’s not because I mistrust the vaccines. It’s because there is no government quid pro quo for vaccinated people. The government appealed to people to vaccinate but there was no trade-off. Why should people get vaccinated if those who do are treated no differently from those who don’t? The expression “quid pro quo” means something you receive in return for something you have done. The expression “trade-off” means you do something you don’t like or want in return for something you want.

  In countries such as Israel, the fully-vaccinated have a green pass that allows them to attend sports and other events. This is quid pro quo. But until last week, even fully-vaccinated Hong Kong people had to quarantine at a government centre for 21 days if just one mutant coronavirus case is found in the building where they live. This is ridiculous. The government quarantine centres have tiny rooms that lack bare essentials such as Wi-Fi or freshly-cooked hot meals. Even children must quarantine for 21 days. Hundreds of people, including children and fully-vaccinated people, were quarantined for 21 days in the past two weeks after just a single case of a mutant virus infection was found in a building.

  The expressions “bare essentials” or “bare necessities” mean things that are absolutely necessary such as fresh air. In today’s world, Wi-Fi is a bare essential. Last week the government relaxed its rules after quarantined people, including vaccinated ones, complained. Most experts agree vaccinated people should be treated differently. But so-called expert Leung Chi-chiu insisted even vaccinated people must quarantine for 21 days. He is a showboat. A “showboat” is a person who likes to attract attention or admiration. The government last week relaxed rules for the fully-vaccinated but they must still quarantine for a shorter period. Why? The fully-vaccinated deserve a trade-off.

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  才不過兩個星期之前,我是新冠肺炎疫苗的擁護者(proponent)。在我前一個專欄中,我力勸香港人接種疫苗。我現在不再是疫苗的擁護者(proponent)了,並不因為我不信任那些疫苗,而是因為政府對於接種疫苗人士並沒有quid pro quo。政府呼籲市民接種疫苗,卻沒有任何trade-off。若然那些接種人士跟其他沒有接種人士的待遇毫無差別,那人們又為何要接種疫苗呢?習語“quid pro quo”即你因為做某事而得到的報酬或回報;習語“trade-off”即指你權衡過後,為了抵換一樣你想要的東西,去做某些你不喜歡或不想要的事。

  在一些國家如以色列,全劑量接種疫苗者可得到綠色通行證,獲許出席賽事及其他活動——這就是等價交換的回報(quid pro quo)。然而,直至上星期,就連已接種兩劑疫苗的香港人,要是所住的大廈有一宗新冠變種病毒的確診個案,仍然要在政府的檢疫中心接受二十一天隔離。這真是荒謬至極。政府的隔離檢疫中心房間狹小,缺乏基本必需品(bare essentials),例如Wi-Fi或新鮮烹調的熱食。就連小童亦須隔離二十一天。在過去兩周,數以百計的人,包括小童與已打了兩針疫苗的人,只要所住的大廈僅發現一宗變種病毒感染,就得隔離二十一天。

  習語“bare essentials”或“bare necessities”都解作最基本的必需品,例如新鮮空氣。在今時今日的社會,Wi-Fi已是生活必需品(bare essential)。上星期,當那些接受隔離檢疫,包括已打針的市民投訴過後,政府終於放寬措施。大部份專家都認同,接種疫苗人士應享有不同的待遇。但那個所謂的專家梁子超,卻堅持相關人士即使已接種疫苗,仍必須隔離二十一天。他是個showboat。A “showboat”是指愛出風頭、愛賣弄來吸引注意的人。政府上星期就已接種兩劑疫苗人士放寬措施,但他們仍須隔離檢疫,只是為期較短。為何是這樣呢?那些全劑量接種疫苗者好應得到一個相稱的回報(trade-off)。

  中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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