Michael Chugani 褚簡寧 - Dusting off the welcome mat|又中又英
Will the world return to a pre-pandemic normal now that China too has opened its borders and cancelled Covid restrictions? China was a holdout while other countries, one by one, tried to get back to normal. The word “holdout” refers to a person, organization, or country that continues to do something. As the world’s second largest economy, China’s opening-up will have a huge impact globally. Some countries popular with mainland tourists are already dusting off the welcome mat. They hope mainland tourists will return in droves.

To dust off something means to prepare something for use after it has not been used for a long time. A mat is a small piece of carpet some people put outside their front door for people to wipe their shoes before entering their home. A welcome mat is a mat with the word “welcome” written on it. It is put on the floor outside the front door to use as a mat as well as to say welcome to visitors. To return in droves means to return in large numbers. When countries dust off their welcome mats, it doesn’t mean they literally prepare a welcome mat after a long time or put out a real welcome mat.

It just means they want to welcome back people. I hope the world will return to a pre-pandemic normal, but I don’t think it will happen in the short term. Millions have died, the global economy is unstable, and many business executives are still holding meetings online instead of face to face. Countries will have to live in a new normal for now, but I think the old normal will return one day.
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現在中國亦已開放邊境,廢除新冠病毒防疫措施,世界會否重回世紀疫症前的正軌?先前,當其他國家逐一嘗試重返正常生活之時,中國還是個holdout—— holdout一字指頑固堅持去做某事、絕不妥協的一個人、機構又或國家。作為全球第二大經濟體,中國開關對全世界將帶來巨大影響。一些受中國內地旅客歡迎的國家,已摩拳擦掌,揚出那張「歡迎光臨」的門墊(dusting off the welcome mat)。他們都希望中國內地的旅客會聯群結隊地歸來(return in droves)。
To dust off something是指把某事擱置了一段長時間後,重新複習或預備。A mat就是一些人放在正門外的一塊小地毯,讓人進家門前可以擦拭鞋底。A welcome mat就是寫有「歡迎」、「welcome」字樣的門墊(mat),它是放在正門外的地上,作為門墊(mat)之用,同時也用來歡迎訪客。To return in droves是指一大群地蜂擁回來。當那些國家dust off their welcome mats,並不是指他們真的把那張塵封已久的歡迎墊(welcome mat)重新拿出來拍去灰塵,又或鋪出一張真正的「歡迎光臨」地毯(welcome mat)來。


Michael Chugani 褚簡寧