首页  | 专栏作家

Fool proof? 万无一失

中国日报网 2020-07-21 12:03


Reader question:

Please explain "Fool proof", as in "Facial masks are not 100 percent fool proof."

My comments:

In other words, facial masks don't always work. They work most of the time, but not all the time - not always, not 100 percent always.

If you're foolish enough to wear a face mask leaving your nose out, for example, then the mask doesn't work. If you wear it by clothing your eyes instead of nose and mouth, like, Lone Ranger style as Donald Trump brags that he looks like the Lone Ranger while wearing it, then of course, it won't work as an anti-coronavirus mask. And you need to poke two holes for the eyes in order for it to fully work in the Lone Ranger style.

Lone Ranger? That's the renegade lawman in the American West, a fictional character. The Lone Ranger television series were popular in the 1950s and 60s.

Anyways, if we say something is fool proof or foolproof, one word or fool-proof, with hyphen, then it means this something is very easy to use. It's designed or set up so it would be difficult or impossible to make a mistake or an error during use. Proof in fool-proof means resistant, as in, the roof is rain proof.

In other words, it will take a real fool or dummy, metaphorically speaking, to make any kind of error.

I'm joking. In other words, the point being made is that masks work and are reliable though not totally infallible.

Not 100 percent infallible, at any rate. Do wear a mask, please, when the spread of the coronavirus locally is real. It protects you from catching it, and it helps prevent you from passing it onto others, that is, if you have caught it.

All right. Here are media examples of fool-proof:

1. Concerning a recent letter, “guns are not the problem,” I agree. But there is an implied effort to take away the guns, which is just not true. National Rifle Association publications like American Rifleman always talk about anti-gun groups, but they never call out a single group by name. Why? Because there are none.

There are no anti-gun groups, just gun violence prevention groups. And they may be called gun control, but they are not anti-gun.

The goal is to take guns out of the hands of people who should not have them using tools such as background checks, red flag laws, and protection from abuse orders. These methods are not fool-proof, so many support getting AR-15 type weapons out of the general population because they can do too much damage quickly.

The end result would be taking all the guns from some of the people, and some of the guns from all the people.

CeaseFirePA supports gun ownership for all qualified people for all lawful purpose such as hunting, target shooting, collecting and self-protection. CeaseFirePA is not against guns and respects the Second Amendment.

Ed Sokalski

Salisbury Township

- Readers React: Groups that seek gun control are not anti-gun, MCall.com, January 11, 2020.

2. A burst of basil in a summer Caprese salad. That waft of muddled mint in your frosty mojito. Nothing makes a recipe sing like a few snips of fresh herbs. But all this flavor doesn't come cheap: even at a totally nongourmet supermarket, a handful of the fresh stuff can cost up to several bucks.

The solution: Grow your own.

If your "garden" is an apartment porch, or your thumb is the opposite of green on the color wheel, listen up. "Herbs are among the easiest plants for beginning gardeners. They are disease resistant and don't take up much space," says Charlie Nardozzi, the gardening expert at gardeningwithcharlie.com.


"Spearmint and peppermint are the classics for teas, but there are tons of varieties to try. I love cinnamon mint and ginger mint. In the garden, mint is almost foolproof. I have yet to find a way to kill it."

Growing tips: Mint grows exuberantly. "It will take over the world if you let it. Growing it in a pot is actually better than putting it straight in the ground, as it keeps the roots contained."

Save for winter: Its weed-like hardiness makes it adapt well to indoor living. Divide off a small section of the plant and pot it up for a sunny windowsill. Mint is easy to dry for tea. Snip off long stems, wrap the cut ends together and tie with twine, then hang them out of direct sun. In a few weeks, the leaves will be dry enough to crumble.

- Herb Garden Ideas for Gardening Newbies, by Jennifer King Lindley, EatingWell.com, April 17, 2020.

3. If a second wave of the novel coronavirus emerges in the U.S. this fall, medical experts said patients arriving in American emergency rooms will likely have an entirely different experience than what urgently sick patients saw earlier this year -- the benefit of hard-learned lessons from the deadly disease.

“If there is a second wave in September, we will be protecting our patients and our staff in better ways, and will have the knowledge of the first wave to guide us in the best ways to treat patients,” said Dr. Bill Jaquis, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Richard M. Schwartzstein, who heads pulmonary and critical care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, predicts there will be less anecdotal medicine and more evidence-based care than the first time around.

“The difference now is that these options are better refined and being studied more carefully,” Schwartzstein said. “Care is more rational with less sense of desperation.”


As pharmaceutical companies and public health researchers toil in labs in search of additional medications, many believe even more effective treatments for those who come down with COVID-19 will be on hand at American hospitals come fall – even if a vaccine is still months away.

Azar told governors he sees a bright future for the various approaches doctors will use when confronting the virus in the months to come.

“On therapeutics, we continue to advance three strategies,” Azar said.

The first, he said, is the use of convalescent plasma, collected when someone who has recovered has donated their blood. The blood is then separated into plasma that contains virus-fighting antibodies that can be used for others who are sick.

It’s one of the few treatments showing early indications that it can help. Back in March, only a small number of facilities were able to perform convalescent plasma treatments. But in just three months, the treatment is now an option at over 2,300 hospitals across the country, according to the COVID-19 expanded access program.

Dr. Michael Joyner, an anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic, said experts are currently working on plans for how best to collect and distribute convalescent plasma if a second wave hits this fall.

“Where we are in the fall depends,” he said. If more evidence emerges showing the treatment is effective, he expects it to be more widely used.

The second strategy, Azar said, involves the use of what he called “hyper immunoglobulin,” which he said basically involves commercially processing plasma donations from multiple people to create a more consistent and powerful antibody treatment.

"You're giving thousands or millions of antibodies, but the problem is that once you need another dose you need to bleed more people and start over again,” explained Dr. James E. Crowe, who serves as the Director of Vanderbilt Vaccine Center. "Hyper immunoglobulin" treatment with standardized serum could be more effective on a mass scale.

Transferring antibodies from recovered patients to those who are actively infected is not fool-proof, though. Since everyone's antibody production following infection can slightly differ, researchers try to identify ideal donor candidates -- those with the highest levels of neutralizing antibodies.

The technique, Crowe said, is an “old school” method, but “might well be the first antibody [treatment] we see used.”

- Coronavirus care in hospitals will be different come fall -- here's how, ABCNews.com, May 29, 2020.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)


Cancel culture? 抵制文化


Body blow? 重击


Out and about 外出走动


Crystal ball 水晶球


Trump's enemies are scrubs 小人物


Taking up space? 占用空间

中国日报网 英语点津微信
中国日报网 双语小程序