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Virus Hits Europe Harder Than China. Is That the Price of an Open Society?

来源:纽约时报    2020-03-20 01:39

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        The macabre milestones keep coming. By Wednesday, Europe had recorded more coronavirus cases and fatalities than China. On Thursday, Italy — by itself — passed China in reported deaths.        可怕的里程碑式事件不断出现。截至周三,欧洲的冠状病毒病例和死亡人数超过了中国。周四,仅意大利报告的死亡人数就超过了中国。
        While China claims to have lowered its rate of new cases essentially to zero, Europe’s numbers grow faster each day — about 100,000 confirmed infections and 5,000 deaths in all so far — suggesting that the worst is yet to come.        中国声称已将新增病例率降至几乎为零,而欧洲的数字每天都在加速增长——迄今有确诊感染病例约10万例,死亡5000例——这表明最糟糕的时刻尚未到来。
        So how is it that the new disease, Covid-19, has hit harder in Europe, which had weeks of warning that the epidemic was coming, than in China, where the virus originated and where there are twice as many people?        那么,这种名为Covid-19的新疾病在欧洲的影响为何比在中国更严重呢?病毒发源地中国的人口是欧洲的两倍,而欧洲在数周之前就收到了疫情即将到来的警告。
        To some extent, experts say, Europeans are paying a price for living in open, affluent democracies, where people are used to free movement, easy travel and independent decision-making, and where governments worry about public opinion. Governments aren’t used to giving harsh orders, and citizens aren’t used to following them.        专家说,在某种程度上,欧洲人正在为生活在开放富裕的民主国家而付出代价。在这样的国家,人们习惯于自由行动、方便的出行和独立决策。政府担心公众舆论,不习惯于下达严厉的命令,公民也不习惯于服从命令。
        But China acted with a severity and breadth that stunned the West, making unpopular moves and accepting deep economic damage as the price of containing the disease. It closed off tens of millions of people, prohibiting them from leaving their cities and even their homes, except to get food and medical care, and it imposed lesser restrictions on hundreds of millions, shutting down whole industries in the process.        但中国的行动之严厉和广泛震惊了西方,它做出了不受人欢迎的举措,接受以严重经济损失作为遏制疾病的代价。它隔离了数千万人,禁止他们离开城市,甚至是自己的家,只有在获得食物和医疗时除外,此外还对数亿人实施了相对宽松的限制,在这个过程中将许多产业完全关闭。
        “China has been willing to go to pretty extraordinary lengths, using the army, using the police, locking people in their homes, using drone technology to monitor behavior, setting up roadblocks,” said Dr. Arthur L. Reingold, head of the epidemiology division at the public health school of the University of California, Berkeley.        “中国愿意做出极大的努力,使用军队和警察把人们隔离在家中,使用无人机技术监控人们的行为,设置路障,”加州大学伯克利分校(University of California, Berkeley)公共卫生学院流行病学部门主管阿瑟·L·莱因戈尔德(Arthur L. Reingold)博士说。
        “Whatever measures have been put in place in Europe really have only been put in place recently, and frankly, and none of them has been as draconian and all-encompassing as what was done in Wuhan,” Dr. Reingold said.        “不管欧洲采取了什么措施,实际上都是最近才采取的,坦率地说,没有一项措施像在武汉采取的措施那样严厉和彻底,”莱因戈尔德说。
        The consistency and reliability of the numbers from China and some other countries have been questioned, but the overall situation and its direction are clear. While China stumbled in the early going — local and regional officials attempted to censor any talk of an outbreak, and medical gear was in critically short supply — it then addressed the crisis seriously.        来自中国和其他一些国家的数据的完整性和可靠性受到了质疑,但总体趋势及方向是明确的。尽管中国在早期的行动中磕磕绊绊——地方和地区官员试图审查有关疫情爆发的言论,医疗设备严重短缺——但它随后认真处理了这场危机。
        The coercive power of an authoritarian government was only one factor. Speed and aggressive action have been essential, and some East Asian governments have understood that better than their Western counterparts.        威权政府的强制力只是其中一个因素。速度和积极的行动至关重要,一些东亚国家的政府比西方国家政府更了解这一点。
        “They saw what SARS did” in 2003 and 2004, “and they prepared for the next one,” said Thomas R. Frieden, a former director of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.        他们看到了2003年和2004年的“SARS能造成怎样的影响,并为下一次做好了准备”,前美国疾病控制与预防中心(United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)主任托马斯·R·弗里登(Thomas R. Frieden)说。
        While China lost precious weeks in the beginning, it then moved faster and more decisively than Western countries have.        虽然一开始中国损失了几周的宝贵时间,但随后它比西方国家行动得更快、更果断。
        China imposed its first big lockdown, of Wuhan and other cities, on Jan. 23, less than a month after local officials there conceded that they were facing a new pathogen, and barely two weeks after the virus was identified. When Wuhan was closed off, there were fewer than 600 confirmed infections worldwide, though testing had barely begun.        1月23日,中国首次对武汉和其他城市实施大规模封城,距离当地官员承认他们面临一种新的病原体还不到一个月,距离识别出病毒还不到两周。当武汉封城时,全世界其他地方只有不到600例确诊感染病例,尽管检测才刚刚开始。
        “China may have acted late. I have reservations about some measures they implemented, but they controlled the epidemic,” Francois Balloux, an epidemiologist at University College London, wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “Doing so, they gave the world a window of opportunity to prepare, which was squandered.”        “中国的行动可能晚了。我对他们实施的一些措施有所保留,但他们控制了疫情,”伦敦大学学院(University College London)流行病学家弗朗索瓦·巴洛克斯(Francois Balloux)周四在Twitter上写道。“这给世界提供了一个准备的机会,但这个机会被浪费了。”
        Europe’s first effort to rope off a broad area — Italy’s much less stringently enforced isolation of the northern region that includes Milan — took effect on March 8, when the country had reported more than 7,300 cases. Spain and France had similar caseloads the following week, when they chose to ban most public outings nationwide.        到3月8日,意大利已经报告了7300多起病例,并对包括米兰在内的北部地区实施了严格程度要低得多的隔离措施,这是欧洲首次尝试封锁一个大范围地区。在接下来的一周,西班牙和法国的病例也增至差不多的水平,并决定在全国范围内禁止大多数的民众出行。
        “You have to do strict social distancing within a week of the start of community transmission, otherwise you get an explosion, and once you get that explosion, it’s very hard to contain,” Dr. Frieden said. “The key is not to get to that point, and much of Europe is beyond that point, and New York is beyond that point.”        “你必须在社区传播开始后的一周内严格保持社交距离,否则就会暴发,一旦暴发就很难控制,”弗里登说。“关键是不要走到那个地步,而欧洲很多地方已经超出了那个地步,纽约也是。”
        Some parts of East Asia acted quickly, but with a very different strategy than China’s or Europe’s: aggressive testing and contact-tracing to stop the chain of transmission, without shutting down economic activity.        东亚部分地区行动迅速,但采取的策略与中国或欧洲截然不同:在不停止经济活动的情况下,通过积极的检测和追踪接触者来阻止传播链。
        As a result, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong have had few cases, and South Korea, which has tested more than 200,000 people, has brought a large outbreak under control.        因此,新加坡、台湾和香港的病例很少,而韩国已经对20多万人进行了检测,从而抑制了大规模疫情的暴发。
        “South Korea showed to the world that it can allow curtailing a pandemic with limited infringements to individual freedom and disruption to the economy and the fabric of society,” Dr. Balloux wrote.        “韩国向世界表明,它可以遏制一场大流行,同时把对个人自由的侵犯,以及对经济和社会结构的破坏控制在有限的程度,”巴洛克斯写道。
        But that strategy, Dr. Reingold said, is “a herculean undertaking, very resource-intensive” — and one that the United States, in particular, could not replicate. “There’s still a long way to go before testing is readily available here,” he said.        但是,莱因戈尔德说,这种战略是“一项艰巨的任务,非常耗费资源”,美国尤其无法复制。“在这里,距离随时可以检测还很遥远,”他说。
        Epidemiologists also say that wide-scale testing and contact-tracing, like social distancing, work best in containing an outbreak when they are used before the contagion is spreading out of control.        流行病学家还说,和保持社交距离一样,大规模的检测和接触追踪在疫情蔓延失控之前使用最能有效地控制疫情。
        Put another way, the best response to a serious outbreak is the one that will draw accusations, at first, that the government is overreacting. But experts say it is often impossible to know at the outset which outbreaks are serious.        换句话说,应对严重疫情的最佳方式首先会导致人们指责政府反应过度。但专家表示,通常不可能在一开始就知道哪些疫情是严重的。
        If Italy’s lockdown measures are effective at preventing new infections, it will not become evident in the numbers for a few more days, at least, experts say. In other countries, which took those measures later, the benefit will show up later.        专家们说,如果意大利的封锁措施能够有效地预防新的感染,至少在未来几天内不会在数字上显现出来。在其他国家,这些措施是后来才采取的,好处会在更晚后显现。
        At its peak in early February, China reported 3,000 to 4,000 new confirmed infections per day. Italy is now adding cases faster than that, and Europe’s caseload grows by well over 10,000 daily.        在2月初的高峰期,中国每天报告的新增感染病例为3000至4000例。意大利现在新增病例的速度比这还快,而欧洲每天增长超过1万例。
        On Thursday, Italy reported about 41,000 infections and 3,400 deaths. The country’s caseload could double by the end of March and pass China’s official tally, experts say, and other countries might follow.        周四,意大利报告了大约4.1万例感染和3400例死亡。专家说,到3月底,该国的病例数量可能会增加一倍,超过中国的官方统计数字,其他国家可能也会步其后尘。

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