[時事英文] Why We Should Wear Masks

《紐約時報》的一篇觀點文章,強調了清晰的公眾傳播之必要性,以及戴口罩的好處。可以跟國外的朋友分享~

As the pandemic rages on, there will be many difficult messages for the public. Unfortunately, the top-down conversation around masks has become a case study in how not to communicate with the public, especially now that the traditional gatekeepers like media and health authorities have much less control. The message became counterproductive and may have encouraged even more hoarding because it seemed as though authorities were shaping the message around managing the scarcity rather than confronting the reality of the situation.
 
1. rage on 肆虐
2. top-down (adj.) 自上而下
3. a case study 研究案例
4. become counterproductive 變得適得其反
5. hoard food and supplies 囤積食品和日用品
6. manage the scarcity of… 管理……的稀缺
7. confront the reality of the situation 正視實際情況
 
隨著大流行病的肆虐,將會有更多不利於公眾的消息。不幸的是,由政府主導的與口罩相關的對話,已成為如何不與公眾交流的研究案例,尤其是在媒體與衛生當局等傳統守門人的控制權已大大降低的今日。該訊息反而適得其反,並可能鼓勵了更多物資的囤積,因為當局所釋出的訊息,似乎是在管制稀缺物資,而與實際情況相抗衡。
 
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First, many health experts, including the surgeon general of the United States, told the public simultaneously that masks weren’t necessary for protecting the general public and that health care workers needed the dwindling supply. This contradiction confuses an ordinary listener. How do these masks magically protect the wearers only and only if they work in a particular field?
 
8. health experts 衛生專家
9. the Surgeon General of the United States 美國衛生部部長
10. protect the general public 保護大眾
11. dwindling supply 減少的供應量
 
首先,包括美國衛生部部長在內的許多衛生專家向公眾表示,對一般民眾而言,口罩並非必要的防護措施,同時醫護人員所需的用品也愈來愈少。這矛盾的說法令聽眾困惑。難道只有特定領域的佩戴者,才能使口罩神奇地發揮效用?
 
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Second, there were attempts to bolster the first message, that ordinary people didn’t need masks, by telling people that masks, especially medical-grade respirator masks (such as the N95 masks), needed proper fitting and that ordinary people without such fitting wouldn’t benefit. This message was also deeply counterproductive. Many people also wash their hands wrong, but we don’t respond to that by telling them not to bother. Instead, we provide instructions; we post signs in bathrooms; we help people sing songs that time their hand-washing. Telling people they can’t possibly figure out how to wear a mask properly isn’t a winning message.
 
12. attempts (n.) to bolster… 試圖支持…
13. medical-grade respirator masks 醫用級的防護型口罩
14. deeply counterproductive 極其不當
15. not bother to do something 不願做某事*
16. figure out 釐清
 
*(not) bother to do something: https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/bother
 
其次,為了加強上述說法的說服力,他們更進一步指出:醫用級的防護型口罩( 如N95口罩)需搭配適當的裝備,在沒有適當裝備的情況下,此類口罩無法對普通民眾起到有效的防護作用。這簡直是一派胡言。許多人的洗手方式也是錯的,但我們並不會告訴他們不要洗手。事實上,我們提供相關指示;我們在廁所張貼宣傳標語;我們教大家唱歌以確保洗手的時間。說人們無法搞清楚配戴口罩的正確方式,並非一個有利的宣示。
 
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Third, of course masks work — maybe not perfectly and not all to the same degree, but they provide some protection. Their use has always been advised as part of the standard response to being around infected people, especially for people who may be vulnerable. World Health Organization officials wear masks during their news briefings. That was the reason I had bought a few in early January — I had been conducting research in Hong Kong, which has a lot of contact with mainland China, and expected to go back. I had studied and taught about the sociology of pandemics and knew from the SARS experience in 2003 that health officials in many high-risk Asian countries had advised wearing masks.
 
17. to the same degree 在同一程度上
18. provide some protection 提供一些保護
19. the standard response to something 對某事的標準對策
20. news briefings 新聞發布會
21. conduct research 進行研究
22. the sociology of pandemics 流行病社會學
23. advise wearing masks 建議配戴口罩
 
第三,口罩當然有用——儘管不完美,效果也不盡相同,但它們確實能提供防護。戴口罩一直是置身感染者周圍的標準對策之一,對於易感染群體更是如此。世界衛生組織的官員在新聞發布會上也戴著口罩。這就是我一月初買了些許口罩的原因——我先前在香港作研究,因此與中國大陸多所接觸。我研究過也教過流行病社會學,從2003年SARS的經驗中得知,許多高風險的亞洲國家的衛生官員都建議佩戴口罩。
 
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Fourth, the W.H.O. and the C.D.C. told the public to wear masks if they were sick. However, there is increasing evidence of asymptomatic transmission, especially through younger people who have milder cases and don’t know they are sick but are still infectious. Since the W.H.O. and the C.D.C. do say that masks lessen the chances that infected people will infect others, then everyone should use masks. If the public is told that only the sick people are to wear masks, then those who do wear them will be stigmatized and people may well avoid wearing them if it screams “I’m sick.” Further, it’s very difficult to be tested for Covid-19 in the United States. How are people supposed to know for sure when to mask up?
 
24. there is increasing evidence of 愈來愈多的證據表明
25. asymptomatic transmission 無症狀傳染
26. mild cases 輕微的案例
27. be stigmatized 被羞辱, 被侮辱
28. be supposed to 應該*
 
 
第四,世界衛生組織與疾控中心都曾告訴民眾,如果生病了就要戴口罩。然而,已有愈來愈多的證據顯示無症狀的傳播,尤其是輕症的年輕人並不知道自己生病了,卻仍具有傳染性。鑑於世界衛生組織與疾控中心都已明確說過,口罩會降低人傳人的機會,那麼每個人都該戴口罩。如果大眾被告知,只有病人才需要戴口罩,那麼戴口罩的人就會被污名化,人們或許會盡可能地避免戴口罩,畢竟戴著口罩就像在街上大喊——「我生病了」。更無消說在美國檢測新型冠狀病毒已是件非常困難的事了。民眾到底要怎麼確定何時該戴起口罩?
 
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Fifth, places like Hong Kong and Taiwan that jumped to action early with social distancing and universal mask wearing have the pandemic under much greater control, despite having significant travel from mainland China. In fact, Taiwan responded to the coronavirus by immediately ramping up mask production.
 
29. jump to action 即刻行動
30. have something under control 使某事在掌控之中
31. ramp up 提升
32. mask production 口罩產量
 
第五,像及早採取行動的香港與臺灣,保持社交距離並讓全民戴著口罩,而使疫情得到極大的控制,即便有不少中國大陸的旅客前往。事實上,臺灣在第一時間就提升口罩的產量以應對武漢肺炎。
 
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Sixth, masks are an important signal that it’s not business as usual as well as an act of solidarity. Pandemics require us to change our behavior — our socialization, hygiene, work and more — collectively, and knowing our fellow citizens are on board is important for all efforts.
 
33. an important signal 一個重要的訊號
34. business as usual 一切照舊
35. an act of solidarity 團結行動
36. be on board 參與*
 
*be on board: be a part of a group or team, especially for a special purpose
 
第六,口罩是一個重要的訊號,表明情況一反常態,需要全民團結行動。疫情使我們集體改變行為——社交、環境衛生與工作等,並了解每位同胞的參與對所有努力都至關重要。
 
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Finally, providing top-down guidance with such obvious contradictions backfires exactly because lack of trust is what fuels hoarding and misinformation. It used to be said that back in the Soviet Union, if there was a line, you first got in line and then figured out what the line was for — people knew that there were going to be shortages and that the authorities often lied, so they hoarded. And when people feel as though they may not be getting the full truth from the authorities, snake-oil sellers and price gougers have an easier time.
 
37. an obvious contradiction 一個明顯的矛盾
38. backfire (計劃)產生適得其反的結果;產生反效果
39. the lack of trust 缺乏信任
40. fuel (v.) 刺激;激起
41. get the full truth 得到全部的真相
42. snake oil salesman 黑心推銷員(19世紀時「snake-oil」號稱有治百病的功效,後引申作「誇大不實的廣告」,故「snake oil salesman」係指「黑心推銷員」。)
43. price gouger 哄抬價格者
44. have an easy time 日子過得輕鬆舒坦;好過
 
最後,政府提供如此矛盾的指引,必會適得其反,因為缺乏信任反倒會助長囤糧與假消息。曾有人說,在蘇聯,如果看見一條人龍,你要先排進隊伍,然後再弄清楚大家是在排什麼——人們知道物資將會短缺,而當局經常撒謊,所以他們必須囤糧。當人們察覺當局似乎沒有給出全部的真相時,黑心推銷員與哄抬價格者的日子將過得較以往滋潤。
 
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Given that there is indeed a mask shortage and that medical workers absolutely do need these masks more, what should the authorities have said? The full painful truth. Despite warnings from experts for decades, especially after the near miss of SARS, we still weren’t prepared for this pandemic, and we did not ramp up domestic production when we could, and now there’s a mask shortage — and that’s disastrous because our front line health care workers deserve the best protection. Besides, if they fall ill, we will all be doomed.
 
45. the painful truth 殘酷的真相
46. frontline healthcare workers 第一線的醫護人員
47. deserve the best 值得最好的
 
鑑於口罩確實短缺而醫護人員也絕對更需要口罩,那麼當局該怎麼說?當然是要吐出所有的真相。儘管數十年來一直有專家發出的警告,尤其是在SARS消失後,我們依舊沒有為這種全球性的大流行病做好準備,當我們還有餘裕時,我們也沒有提升國內的產量,如今口罩短缺——那是災難性的,因為我們的前線醫護人員應該得到最好的防護。 況且,如果他們病倒了,我們將必死無疑。
 
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Research shows that during disasters, people can show strikingly altruistic behavior, but interventions by authorities can backfire if they fuel mistrust or treat the public as an adversary rather than people who will step up if treated with respect. Given that even homemade masks may work better than no masks, wearing them might be something to direct people to do while they stay at home more, as we all should. We will no doubt face many challenges as the pandemic moves through our societies, and people will need to cooperate. The sooner we create the conditions under which such cooperation can bloom, the better off we all will be.
 
48. research shows that… 研究表明……
49. altruistic behavior 利他的行為
50. fuel mistrust 激起不信任
51. treat…as an adversary 如敵人般對待……
52. be treated with respect 受到尊敬
53. no doubt 毫無疑問
 
研究表明,在災難期間,人們會呈現出顯著的利他行為,但若當局的干預助長了不信任,或者如敵人般地對待公眾,那麼將會適得其反。有鑑於自製的口罩可能都好過沒有口罩,所以戴著口罩可能是人們待在家裡時更要做的事,我們也該如此。毫無疑問,隨著疫情在社會的蔓延,我們將面臨許多挑戰,人們將需要合作。我們愈早為合作創造出有利的條件,就能愈早走出困境。
 
 
 
 
 
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