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  • If you're watching this video around the time it comes out, and maybe for months after as well, then chances are you're currently stuck in your homequarantined.


  • You've also probably heard that word more in the last few months than you have in your entire life put together.


  • But what does "quarantine" actually mean, and where does the word really come from?

    但究竟 quarantine 這個字的真實含意是什麼,它又是從哪裡來的呢?

  • Let's take a break from epidemiology to instead study the etymology of this extremely popular global buzzword, and to get to the root cause of the word "quarantine."

    我們先把流行病學放一邊,來好好研究 quarantine 這個全球當紅單字的字源吧!

  • If you're going by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of the word, the two you're probably most familiar with are "a restraint upon the activities or communications of a person or the transport of goods designed to prevent the spread of disease or pests" and "a state of enforced isolation."

    quarantine 在韋氏字典中有兩個你可能比較熟悉的定義:「為防止疾病或害蟲擴散,進而限制特定活動、群體和運輸」或是「被迫隔離的狀態」。

  • But these are actually only the third and fourth definitions of the word.


  • The first and second are "a period of 40 days" and "a term during which a ship arriving in port and suspected of carrying contagious disease is held in isolation from the shore."


  • Probably not what you're expecting, right?


  • Well, let's turn back time and explore these more esoteric definitions.


  • Like a lot of English words, "quarantine" was largely plagiarized from Western Europe.

    跟很多英文單字一樣,quarantine 這個單字主要是從西歐傳過來的。

  • It's derived from the Latin word 'quadraginta' and the Italian word 'quaranta,' both of which mean "forty."

    它是由拉丁字 quadraginta 和義大利字 quaranta 演變而來,而這兩個字都是「四十」的意思。

  • The actual act that the word "quarantine" refers to has been in use since long before the word ever came into prominence.


  • Even the Bible has references to the isolation of lepers in order to prevent the spread of leprosy.


  • Prior to the 14th century when the term was coined, many cultures even had designating areas for sequestering the sick.


  • In Venice, these were called 'lazarettos,' named after Lazarus, the man Jesus was said to have brought back from the dead, and also the Catholic patron saint of lepers.

    在威尼斯,這些檢疫站被稱為 lazaretto,是以聖經中人物 Lazarus 來命名,Lazarus 死後經由耶穌而復活,他也被視為天主教的守護神。

  • And they were built outside of the city to keep the sick separate from the general population.


  • However, it was during history's deadliest pandemic, the Black Deathwhich killed around 200 million victimsthat quarantine as a term came into use.

    然而,在黑死病傳開後,quarantine 才開始廣被使用,黑死病堪稱歷史上最致命的疾病,受害者高達兩億人。

  • The Venetian-controlled port city of Ragusa, which is now Dubrovnik in modern Croatia, implemented a plague-time policy known as 'trentino.'

    Ragusa 是當時受威尼斯掌控的港口城市 ,而它現在叫 Dubrovnik,是克羅埃西亞的城市之一,在黑死病大流行期間,第一個隔離檢疫的具體法令就在此頒布。

  • Under 'trentino,' trade ships arriving from plague-infested areas were to be isolated for a period of 30 days to see if the crew presented plague symptoms before letting them mix with the general population.


  • Criminals who broke the law also faced 30 days in isolation under 'trentino.'


  • This policy turned out to be quite successful, and over the next 80 years was also adopted by Pisa, Marseilles, and a number of other cities.


  • During the next century of development, the period of isolation was moved from 30 to 40 days, meaning the name changed from 'trentino' to 'quarantino' which was then anglicized to "quarantine."

    經過一個世紀後,隔離期間從原本的三十日增加至四十日,名稱也從 trentino 改為 quarantino,後來英語化才變成 quarantine。

  • There's a lot of speculation as to why they changed the number of days from 30 to 40.


  • And some suggest it could be an extra safety precaution, others posit it might be because of the religious significance of the number 40, like Christ's Biblical 40 days fasting in the desert.


  • But, like many aspects of history, it's equally likely the change was purely arbitrary.


  • The enforcement of the 'quarantino' was often fickle and inconsistent, and often made exceptions for the rich and influential who could simply buy themselves out of isolation when the poor bore the brunt of the law.


  • And that may have been several hundred years ago, but really, some things never change.


  • Thanks for watching this bite-sized episode of the Infographics Show!

    感謝收看 Infographics Show 的這部小短片。

  • Wanna hear more perilous plague facts to get you through your 'quarantino?'


  • Why not check out "What Made The Black Death (The Plague) So Deadly?" and "Could the Black Death (The Plague) Happen Again?”


  • In the meantime, stay safe, stay quarantined, and wash your hands!


If you're watching this video around the time it comes out, and maybe for months after as well, then chances are you're currently stuck in your homequarantined.


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