回顧星期天LBS - 疫情相關時事趣聞 All about the pandemic

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Topic: How the Wealthy World Has Failed Poor Countries During the Pandemic

Like much of the developing world, Pakistan was alarmingly short of doctors and medical facilities long before anyone had heard of COVID-19. Then the pandemic overwhelmed hospitals, forcing some to turn away patients. As fear upended daily life, families lost livelihoods and struggled to feed themselves.

跟許多開發中國家一樣,早在人們聽聞新冠病毒一詞以前,巴基斯坦就極其缺乏醫生和醫療設施。然後,這場大流行疾情讓各醫院無力招架,迫使部分醫院拒絕收治病人。隨著恐懼顛覆了日常生活,一個個家庭失去了生計,為養活自己而掙扎。

On the other side of the world in Washington, two deep-pocketed organizations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, vowed to spare poor countries from desperation. Their economists warned that immense relief was required to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and profound damage to global prosperity. Emerging markets make up 60% of the world economy, by one IMF measure. A blow to their fortunes inflicts pain around the planet.

在世界另一頭的華盛頓,世界銀行和國際貨幣基金這兩個財力雄厚的組織誓言不讓貧窮國家陷入絕境。他們的經濟學家警告說,必須大力進行救濟,以防止人道災難和對全球繁榮的嚴重破壞。根據國際貨幣基金的一項衡量指標,新興市場占全球經濟60%。他們的財富遭受打擊,將給全球帶來痛苦。

Wages sent home to poor countries by migrant workers — a vital artery of finance — have diminished. The shutdown of tourism has punished many developing countries. So has plunging demand for oil. Billions of people have lost the wherewithal to buy food, increasing malnutrition. By next year, the pandemic could push 150 million people into extreme poverty, the World Bank has warned, in the first increase in more than two decades.

移工寄回窮國的薪水是這些國家經濟的命脈,如今已經減少。旅遊業的關閉使許多開發中國家受到重創。對石油的需求大幅下降,同樣極具殺傷力。數十億人失去購買食物的必要資金,營養不良加劇。世界銀行警告說,這場大流行疾情到明年恐將讓1.5億人陷入赤貧,是20多年來首度增加。

But the World Bank and IMF have failed to translate their concern into meaningful support, economists say. That has left less-affluent countries struggling with limited resources and untenable debts, prompting their governments to reduce spending just as it is needed to bolster health care systems and aid people suffering lost income.

而經濟學家們說,世界銀行和國際貨幣基金並未將自身的關切轉化為有意義的支持。這讓一些較不富裕國家在有限的資源與難以支應的債務中苦苦掙扎,迫使這些國家反而在必須加強醫療體系、救助收入減少的民眾之際,縮減支出。

“A lost decade of growth in large parts of the world remains a plausible prospect absent urgent, concerted and sustained policy response,” concluded a recent report from the Group of 30, a gathering of international finance experts, including Lawrence Summers, a former economic adviser to President Barack Obama, and Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration.

由曾任歐巴馬總統經濟顧問、柯林頓政府財政部長的桑默斯等國際金融專家組成的30人小組,最近在一份報告中總結道:「若無緊急、協調一致與持續的政策回應,世界大部分地區出現經濟空轉無成長的十年,仍是看來很可能的前景。」

The wealthiest nations have been cushioned by extraordinary surges of credit unleashed by central banks and government spending collectively estimated at more than $8 trillion. Developing countries have yet to receive help on such a scale.

那些最富裕的國家因有央行釋放巨額信貸,佐以政府的支出而獲得緩衝,總額合計逾8兆美元,開發中國家則未獲如此大規模的援助。

The IMF and World Bank have marshaled a relatively anemic response, in part because of the predilections of their largest shareholder, the United States.

國際貨幣基金與世界銀行做出的反應相對無力,部分原因是順應最大股東美國的意思。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5015842

Next Article

Topic: How the Wealthy World Has Failed Poor Countries During the Pandemic

Like much of the developing world, Pakistan was alarmingly short of doctors and medical facilities long before anyone had heard of COVID-19. Then the pandemic overwhelmed hospitals, forcing some to turn away patients. As fear upended daily life, families lost livelihoods and struggled to feed themselves.

跟許多開發中國家一樣,早在人們聽聞新冠病毒一詞以前,巴基斯坦就極其缺乏醫生和醫療設施。然後,這場大流行疾情讓各醫院無力招架,迫使部分醫院拒絕收治病人。隨著恐懼顛覆了日常生活,一個個家庭失去了生計,為養活自己而掙扎。

On the other side of the world in Washington, two deep-pocketed organizations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, vowed to spare poor countries from desperation. Their economists warned that immense relief was required to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and profound damage to global prosperity. Emerging markets make up 60% of the world economy, by one IMF measure. A blow to their fortunes inflicts pain around the planet.

在世界另一頭的華盛頓,世界銀行和國際貨幣基金這兩個財力雄厚的組織誓言不讓貧窮國家陷入絕境。他們的經濟學家警告說,必須大力進行救濟,以防止人道災難和對全球繁榮的嚴重破壞。根據國際貨幣基金的一項衡量指標,新興市場占全球經濟60%。他們的財富遭受打擊,將給全球帶來痛苦。

Wages sent home to poor countries by migrant workers — a vital artery of finance — have diminished. The shutdown of tourism has punished many developing countries. So has plunging demand for oil. Billions of people have lost the wherewithal to buy food, increasing malnutrition. By next year, the pandemic could push 150 million people into extreme poverty, the World Bank has warned, in the first increase in more than two decades.

移工寄回窮國的薪水是這些國家經濟的命脈,如今已經減少。旅遊業的關閉使許多開發中國家受到重創。對石油的需求大幅下降,同樣極具殺傷力。數十億人失去購買食物的必要資金,營養不良加劇。世界銀行警告說,這場大流行疾情到明年恐將讓1.5億人陷入赤貧,是20多年來首度增加。

But the World Bank and IMF have failed to translate their concern into meaningful support, economists say. That has left less-affluent countries struggling with limited resources and untenable debts, prompting their governments to reduce spending just as it is needed to bolster health care systems and aid people suffering lost income.

而經濟學家們說,世界銀行和國際貨幣基金並未將自身的關切轉化為有意義的支持。這讓一些較不富裕國家在有限的資源與難以支應的債務中苦苦掙扎,迫使這些國家反而在必須加強醫療體系、救助收入減少的民眾之際,縮減支出。

“A lost decade of growth in large parts of the world remains a plausible prospect absent urgent, concerted and sustained policy response,” concluded a recent report from the Group of 30, a gathering of international finance experts, including Lawrence Summers, a former economic adviser to President Barack Obama, and Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration.

由曾任歐巴馬總統經濟顧問、柯林頓政府財政部長的桑默斯等國際金融專家組成的30人小組,最近在一份報告中總結道:「若無緊急、協調一致與持續的政策回應,世界大部分地區出現經濟空轉無成長的十年,仍是看來很可能的前景。」

The wealthiest nations have been cushioned by extraordinary surges of credit unleashed by central banks and government spending collectively estimated at more than $8 trillion. Developing countries have yet to receive help on such a scale.

那些最富裕的國家因有央行釋放巨額信貸,佐以政府的支出而獲得緩衝,總額合計逾8兆美元,開發中國家則未獲如此大規模的援助。

The IMF and World Bank have marshaled a relatively anemic response, in part because of the predilections of their largest shareholder, the United States.

國際貨幣基金與世界銀行做出的反應相對無力,部分原因是順應最大股東美國的意思。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5015842

Next Article

Topic: Our Ever-Expanding Virus Vernacular

The coronavirus pandemic has upended all kinds of human behavior, including speech. Conversations are mediated by masks and screens, their sentences strung together with new vocabulary: medical terms, political mandates and slang devised to take the clinical edge off.

新冠肺炎大流行顛覆了包括言語在內的各種人類行為。對話中都看到口罩和螢幕,他們的句子與新的詞彙串在一起:醫學術語,政治命令和俚語,旨在讓大眾更容易吸收。

This new vernacular has many people playing virologist in the group chat, with talk of contact tracing and antibody tests; planning “socially distant” activities like Zoom birthday parties and drive-by greetings; and tweeting about life under “quar,” a pet name for “quarantine”.

這些新的俚語讓很多人在社群中聊天時可以扮演病毒學家,談論接觸者追蹤和抗體測試,以及計劃「社交距離」活動,如在Zoom生日派對和駕車遠距問候;並在推特上發佈關於“quar”下的生活,“quar”是“隔離”的暱稱。

“‘Self-isolation,’‘social distancing,’‘abundance of caution’— pairs of words I'd never seen together in a sentence back in January have become ubiquitous,” she writes. These phrases are moving “even faster than the virus, eye to mind, ear to mouth, disseminated by our iPhone screens and televisions.”

“'自我隔離','社交距離','大量的謹慎'——這些詞我在一月份時從未在一句話中看到過,現在開口兩句話些詞已經變得無處不在,”她寫道。這些片語正在以「比病毒更快,眼睛到思想,耳朵到嘴巴,通過我們的iPhone螢幕和電視傳播中。」

The proliferation of neologisms and jargon was significant enough to merit updates to the Oxford English Dictionary in April, beyond the dictionary's standard quarterly updates.

新詞和俚語的成長足以使牛津英語詞典在四月份進行更新,超出了原來該詞典的標準的季度更新。

“Social change brings about linguistic change,” said Fiona McPherson, a senior editor at the OED. “These are permanent additions to our vocabulary.”

“社會變遷帶來了語言上的改變,”OED的高級編輯菲奧娜·麥克弗森(Fiona McPherson)說。“這些都是永久的加入我們詞彙中“。

She noted, though, that many of the words aren't new; rather, their use has become more frequent, their meanings shifted in the new context of the pandemic. “Social distancing,” “self-isolation” and “coronavirus” date back decades, even centuries.

不過,她指出,許多詞並不新鮮。相反,它們的使用變得更加頻繁,它們的含義在大流行的新背景下發生了變化。“社交距離”,“自我隔離”和“新冠病毒”可以追溯到幾十年前,甚至幾個世紀。

McPherson said a lexicographer's job is to be “descriptive, not prescriptive. We're telling the story of what the words mean, but they only mean that because that's how people are using them. And the stories are never completely finished.”

麥克弗森說,詞典編輯者的工作是“描述性的,而不是規範性的。我們講述的是這些詞的含義,但它們只是因為這就是人們使用它們的方式。故事永遠不會完全結束。

Gretchen McCulloch, a linguist and the author of “Because Internet,” raised the example of “face mask,” which a few months ago may have called to mind an at-home skin care treatment. Now, the phrase immediately evokes the protective mouth and nose covering people have been encouraged to wear to prevent viral transmission.

語言學家、《為何網際網路》(Why Internet)一書的作者格雷琴·麥卡洛克(Gretchen McCulloch)舉了一個“口罩”的例子,幾個月前,這種面膜可能讓人想起了一種家庭臉部護理。現在,這句話立即喚起了人們被鼓勵戴上保護性口鼻罩以防止病毒傳播的防護服。

This evolution in the language can be seen as well in the rhetoric of care providers and politicians, which varies by region. The states are“on pause”or working to“flatten the curve,”their residents told to“stay at home,”“shelter in place”or remain“healthy at home.”

這種語言的演變也可以從護理人員和政治家的言論中看到,這些言論因地區而異。各州正在「暫停」或努力「拉平曲線」,他們的居民被告知「留在家裡」,“就地避難”或保持“健康在家中”。

The World Health Organization has recommended that“physical distancing”replace“social distancing” because it more accurately describes the goal of keeping a physical distance while still encouraging safe, remote social connection, which is imperative for mental health.

世界衛生組織建議“保持身體距離”取代“社交距離”,因為它更準確地描述了保持身體距離的目標,同時仍然鼓勵安全,遠端的社交活動,這對心理健康至關重要。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/4602077

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Topic: Airlines targeting post-pandemic ‘revenge travel’

The blow caused to the airline industry by the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially felt by budget airlines, which mostly operate narrow-bodied passenger jets and have therefore been unable to develop a sideline in air freight during the pandemic. According to one academic’s analysis, when the outbreak stabilizes, businesses are targeting a trend in so-called “revenge travel.” However, she also hopes that, rather than the pre-pandemic price wars between budget airlines, the consolidation that has taken place during the pandemic will restore healthy competition in the industry.

疫情衝擊航空界,其中廉航受限於機隊多為窄體客機,無法發展貨運,受疫情衝擊更大。學者分析,業者瞄準疫情穩定後的「報復性出遊」,但也希望疫情前廉航削價競爭的情況,能因疫情重整,回歸良性競爭。

According to associate professor Melody Dai of National Cheng Kung University’s Department of Transportation and Communication Management Science, costs per flight have not changed during the pandemic, but if carriers are required to implement social-distancing seating plans, leaving empty seats between passengers, this would eat into airlines’ profit margins, causing a fresh headache for the industry. Dai says she hopes that budget airlines will manage to survive, since they help stimulate Taiwan’s domestic tourism sector as well as the wider economy.

成大交通管理學系副教授戴佐敏說,每航班成本不變、但座位未來若須採間隔座導致收入減少,確實是疫後的難題,希望廉航仍有生存空間,對促進觀光與經濟有正面幫助。

Dai says that choosing to operate flights during the pandemic is a test of airlines’ ability to sustain losses, but the crisis may also prove to be a turnaround for the industry. Dai says there are many variables to the pandemic. She says that once the outbreak stabilizes, if the demand for “revenge travel” exceeds supply, this could resolve the pre-pandemic situation of supply exceeding demand, which led to price wars among budget airlines. The consolidation that the pandemic has triggered within the airline industry could bring about a return to healthy competition, says Dai.

戴佐敏認為,選擇在疫情期間開航,考驗航空公司「虧本」的能力,不過危機也有可能是轉機,疫情仍有變數,疫情穩定後的「報復性出遊」若需求大於供給,疫情前廉航供過於求、削價競爭的情況,這次可能因疫情重整,回歸良性競爭。

One industry insider stated that, despite the lockdowns and reduced number of travelers and flights during the pandemic, the industry is bullish about post-pandemic prospects for both freight and passenger travel in the flourishing Asian region. The insider added that a trend in “revenge travel” could cause short-haul routes to become particularly busy.

業者指出,雖然國境仍然封鎖,疫情期間每週班次不多,旅客也非常少,但看好疫情後亞洲旺盛的物流、人流,預估疫情趨緩後將出現「報復性出遊」,亞洲短程航線將會更繁忙。Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2021/09/12/2003764205


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