又中又英——Cut Someone Some Slack

  In my previous column I wrote briefly about Hong Kong’s “daft” quarantine rules. The British slang word “daft” means nonsensical, absurd, or idiotic. I wrote that Hong Kong’s quarantine rules are a joke. People must quarantine for 21 days, 14 days, or seven days depending on which country they are returning from and if they have been fully vaccinated. Even fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents returning from low-risk or medium-risk countries must quarantine for seven days but only if they can show proof of a positive antibody test. If they haven’t taken an antibody test, they must quarantine for 14 days. This test must be taken in Hong Kong before departure and is valid for only three months.

  This means fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents who are overseas for more than three months must still quarantine for 14 days when they return. Our government will not accept antibody tests taken even in developed countries. During seven days of quarantine and after that, residents must still test negative for the coronavirus several times. Our government needs to cut Hong Kong residents some slack. The expression “cut someone some slack” means to make things easier than normal for someone because of special circumstances. The global coronavirus epidemic has created many special circumstances. Some Hong Kong people may want to visit their families overseas for more than three months. The government should cut them some slack by recognizing antibody tests taken in developed countries.

  It boggles the mind that the government does not trust antibody tests done in the US yet trusts a coronavirus vaccine jointly developed by US firm Pfizer and German firm Biontech. The expression “boggle the mind” means to cause someone to have a difficult time understanding something, especially something that is considered stupid. Nearly two million locals have received the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine. If the government trusts the vaccine, it is stupid to quarantine fully vaccinated people who test negative upon arrival and have a positive antibody result.



  在上一個專欄中我約莫寫過香港那些愚笨(daft)的隔離檢疫規例。英式俚語“daft”是指荒謬無意義、荒唐或愚蠢的。我寫道香港的隔離檢疫規例是個笑話。人們必須隔離檢疫二十一天、十四天或七天,視乎他們從哪個國家返港,以及是否已全劑量接種疫苗。即使香港居民已全劑接種疫苗,從低風險或中風險國家返港時也必須隔離七天,而且他們必須出示抗體測試結果呈陽性的證明。要是他們未有接受抗體測試,就必須隔離十四天。這個測試必須在離境前於香港進行,結果有效期只得三個月。

  那即是說,已全劑量接種疫苗的香港居民,要是在海外逗留超過三個月,返港時也必須隔離十四天。我們的政府不會接受海外的抗體測試結果,即使該測試在已發展國家進行。在七天隔離期間及其後,居民仍須數次取得新冠肺炎檢測的陰性證明。我們的政府實在需要給香港人行個方便(cut Hong Kong residents some slack)。習語“cut someone some slack”是指基於特殊情況,給某人行個方便,不那麼嚴苛。全球新冠肺炎疫情已製造了諸多特殊的狀況,一些香港居民會想探望海外的親友,在當地逗留多於三個月。政府好應該網開一面(cut them some slack),認可在已發展國家接受抗體測試的結果。

  政府不信任在美國進行的抗體測試,卻又信任由美國公司輝瑞及德國生物新科技公司BioNTech共同研發的新冠肺炎疫苗,實在令人摸不着頭腦(boggles the mind)。習語“boggle the mind”解作某事令人費解、感到不可思議、難以置信,尤其當那事被視為愚不可及的。近二百萬本地人已接種了復必泰疫苗,若政府信任疫苗,卻又去隔離那些已全劑量接種疫苗、抵港檢測時呈陰性、擁有抗體測試陽性結果的人士,這就真是愚蠢至極。

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中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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