There are too many different ways to deal with the epidemic, so why do we care so much?
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Today, after reading Langzhong, Sichuan news about the self-funded nucleic acid test for new coronary pneumonia, I lost the last bit of goodwill. Everything has a cost. It doesn’t matter whether nucleic acid testing is charged or free.
We should be more concerned about whether we are the target of protection in this epidemic. From the so-called non-essential (absolute prohibition in actual implementation), non-essential prohibition from leaving the community, campus, city, non-essential out-of-province, and non-essential out-of-country. All sorts of so-called non-essentials constitute shirk, and many become the price.
Perhaps, some people feel that the so-called city closure is too scary. They have created a series of new words, such as dynamic clearing, social clearing, social control, static management, bubble management, global static… Here In the first stage, some people really have no income and need to face the cost of rising prices, so they only choose bridge holes and park seats as shelters. It’s so pitiful. While worrying about their situation, you can imagine your own future situation and feel that life is dark and hopeless.

If you are just ruled, Don’t say anything; keep silent.


At the end of April, people in Beijing lined up for nucleic acid testing. Credit Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

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Notes of Overseas Chinese – From “dynamic clearing” to “room entry and disinfecting“, can you understand the vocabulary of the epidemic?
“Pop-up window”, “control area”, “silent period”, and “dynamic clearing”… During the epidemic, Chinese “new words” emerged one after another, which made people like me feel lost in their native language. I gave myself a self-study course called “Pandemic Vocabulary 101”, but the course was more difficult than I expected.
By Rong Xiaoqing May 12, 2022
Welcome to this issue of “Notes on Overseas Chinese” I am Rong Xiaoqing, a Chinese journalist based in New York. Every Thursday, we will interpret from a Chinese perspective, discuss news hotspots, and analyze the best articles in the Times. Welcome to click here to subscribe or recommend to friends.

My undergraduate major is Chinese, and I worry most about living in the United States for many years because one day, I will not be able to speak my native language. When I returned to China in 2016, I saw a banner slogan in front of a hotel saying, “Focus on the pilot program of replacing business tax with VAT and help supply-side reform” I was “stunned” on the spot. For the first time in my life, I suspected that I might not understand Chinese. . Later, I asked my relatives and friends in China, and I was relieved to learn that they not only did not understand it but also did not intend to understand its meaning.

In the following years, I found more and more unfamiliar slogans and terms in China. Some of them are far from people’s lives and can be ignored for the time being, just like the tax reform such as the “replacement of business tax with value-added tax”. Statements—such as “cleaning up the low-end population” or calling online games a “mental opium”—could mean that tens of thousands of people will lose their homes or jobs because of them, so they have to study hard. During the epidemic, new words were “like the source of Dendrobium, coming out in random places”. Every morning when I open my eyes and open WeChat, the screen is full of “flow tune”, “pop-up window”, “control area”, “silent period”… I can’t find the north, and my anxiety begins to “want” source”. So, I set up a self-study course of “epidemic vocabulary 101″ for myself to catch up.

I almost tried my best to study this course, but I still found the course too difficult. For example, the term “time and space accompany” refers to being in a specific geographic area with a confirmed person for a specific period of time, whether it is a person or a mobile phone signal. So abstract, I had to use the popular song “I blew the evening wind you blew, so we can count as hugging” to speculate on its meaning. However, this method of relying on popular songs is not reliable. For example, using “where has the time gone” to explain the endless isolation of “14+7+7” probably does not match the definition in the official dictionary.

The word “entry to disinfect” refers to entering a room, including private houses, to spray disinfectant water, but in my language structure from childhood to adulthood, the suffix of the word “entry” has always been one of “robbery” and “murder”. class, but this preconceived impression is obviously confusing, and it can only be understood more accurately by reading pictures and reading words. However, the method of reading pictures is not reliable. For example, the “Dabai” in the picture wearing protective clothing from head to toe can easily remind people of the popular Korean drama “Squid Game” wearing almost the same red clothing. The executioner, but the latter is not holding a sprayer, but a submachine gun. And the messy scene of some houses after being sprayed with disinfectant by the “big whites” inevitably reminds people of the mess left after some houses were copied during the Cultural Revolution. But if you explain “room sanitization” in this way, you probably won’t be able to score in the test.

As for phrases like “Beijing is Shanghai” that seem to be misprinted in Chinese, perhaps the best way to understand them is to use English. “shanghai” as a verb in English means “coercion“, and it often appears in the passive form “shanghaied”. It originated in the mid-19th century when American ships bound for the Far East could not recruit sailors and relied on kidnapping to replenish new blood. This is probably in line with the feeling of ordinary people when Shanghai closed the city and other cities took similar measures.

What frustrates me the most is that despite my hard work, I still can’t figure out what “dynamic zeroing” is. Most importantly, I don’t understand what “dynamic” is. Those communities that have survived until the unblocking is still a day away and have returned to the blockade “the first day of 14 days” because one person is “yang”, do not seem to have ” dynamic” ah. It stands to reason that since even the chief executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, said she was not the “initiator” and therefore “can’t explain” the word, I don’t have to worry about it. But on Tuesday, the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said China’s zero-clearing policy was “unsustainable.” He doesn’t know Chinese but clearly knows what “dynamic clearing” means. What reason do I have for not working hard?

What made me even more stressed was that my Chinese friends who didn’t understand “replacement of business tax with VAT” went around and finally understood the meaning of these new words for the epidemic. This also proves once again that to understand the true meaning of language; there is no way to compare it with personal experience.
But none of these are actually the real reasons that have kept me awake in the middle of the night lately. Ai Xiaoming, a Chinese scholar, said when he talked about “killing in the house”: “The word “killing” is full of unprovoked hatred for the virus and full of sense of justice, which brings people to release their passion and participate in it. Opportunities for law enforcement.” This reminds me of the English writer George Orwell once said, “If thought eats language, language can eat thought”. On closer inspection, from Beijing’s “cleaning up of the low-end population” in 2017 to “indoor sterilization” in 2022, the environment and objects seem to be very different. Still, the core and ideas are probably the same.

As a graduate of the Chinese department, it is shameful not to understand my native language, but I am more worried that if this continues, I may not understand China very soon.





By Rong Xiaoqing 2022年5月12日

4月底,北京民众排队进行核酸检测。Credit…Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

我大学本科专业是中文,在美国生活多年最担心的事就是有一天会说不好母语。2016年回中国时,我在一家酒店门前看到一条横幅标语,上书“聚焦营改增试点,助力供给侧改革” ,当场“晕菜”,人生中第一次怀疑自己可能看不懂中文了。后来去问中国的亲戚朋友,得知他们不仅看不明白,也不打算弄清楚它的意思,这才放下心来。








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