NEW DELHI — Joefred and Ralfred Gregory moved through life as one.

新德里——乔弗雷德(Joefred)和拉尔弗雷德·格雷戈里(Ralfred Gregory)一生都像一个人一样度过。

They went to the same college. They studied the same thing. They wore matching clothes. They trimmed their beards the exact same way.

他们上的是同一所大学,学的是同样的东西。他们穿搭配的衣服。他们把胡子修剪得一模一样。

Identical twins, they were two handsome young men in northern India who above all else really loved each other. And when they both were struck by Covid-19 last month and hospitalized, it was like they shared one sick body.

这对同卵双胞胎是印度北部的两个英俊小伙子,最重要的是,他们真心关爱对方。上个月,他们都感染新冠病毒,并且住进医院,就像他们共用一个生病的身体一样。

Hours after Joefred died, Ralfred’s mother told him that his brother was still alive, to keep his spirits up.

乔弗雷德去世后几个小时,母亲告诉拉尔弗雷德,他的哥哥还活着,以便让他振作起来。

But Ralfred sensed his brother was no more and said, from his hospital bed, “Mummy, you’re lying.”

但拉尔弗雷德感觉到哥哥已经不在了,于是在病床上说:“妈妈,你说谎。”

The next day, on May 14, Ralfred died too.

第二天,也就是5月14日,拉尔弗雷德也去世了。

上周,格雷戈里·雷蒙德·拉斐尔和妻子索亚·格雷戈里以及他们的大儿子奈尔弗雷德·拉斐尔·格雷戈里在新德里附近的密拉特举行了他们的双胞胎儿子乔弗雷德和拉尔弗雷德的葬礼。 via Gregory Raymond Raphael

The touching story of the twins who lived and died together has spread fast and wide on Indian social media, puncturing this nation’s numbing statistics — the daily Covid-19 case numbers, the death counts, the infection rates.

这对同生共死的双胞胎的感人故事在印度社交媒体上迅速广泛传播,刺穿了这个国家令人麻木的统计数据——每天的新冠病例数字、死亡人数和感染率。

This is a country that has suffered so much and keeps suffering. Though India’s overall case numbers have dropped this past week, the deaths keep going up.

这个国家已经遭受太多苦难,而且还在继续遭受苦难。尽管过去一周印度的病例总数有所下降,但死亡人数仍在上升。

On Wednesday, India broke a world record for the most reported Covid deaths in a single day: 4,529. However alarming that number is — three Indians dying every minute because of the coronavirus — experts say that it is just a small fraction of the true toll and that the real numbers are far higher.

周三,印度打破了单日新冠死亡人数最多的世界纪录:4529人。这个数字意味着每分钟就有三名印度人死于新冠病毒,无论它有多么令人担忧,专家表示,这只是真实死亡人数的一小部分,实际数字还要高得多。

Joefred and Ralfred, 24, had a special bond. Though their parents gave them similar names, they said they didn’t raise the twins to copy each other. Still, neighbors said that where you saw one, you saw the other, even after they reached adulthood.

24岁的乔弗雷德和拉尔弗雷德之间有一种特殊的联系。尽管父母给他们起了相似的名字,但他们说没有刻意培养这对双胞胎模仿对方。尽管如此,邻居们说,看到其中一个人,准会看到另一个人,甚至在他们成年后也是如此。

They grew up, along with an older brother, in a one-story bungalow in Meerut, a satellite town of New Delhi. Their parents were teachers at a Christian school. The family was among the few Christians in a mixed, middle-class neighborhood.

他们和另一个哥哥一起,在新德里的卫星城密拉特的一栋平房里长大。他们的父母是一所基督教学校的老师。这家人是这个混合的中产阶级社区中为数不多的基督徒之一。

As boys, they batted cricket balls together in a vacant lot. Together they hunched over the carrom table, a popular Indian game played on a wooden board.

小时候,他们一起在一块空地上打板球。他们一起玩卡罗姆,这是一种印度流行的木板游戏。

Joefred was three minutes older. But there were none of those older brother-younger brother issues.

乔弗雷德比拉尔弗雷德大三分钟。但两人之间并没有那种兄弟之间的问题。

“They were equals,” said their father, Gregory Raymond Raphael. “They argued, yes. But I never saw them hurt each other.”

“他们是平等的,”他们的父亲格雷戈里·雷蒙德·拉斐尔(Gregory Raymond Raphael)说。“是的,他们也会吵架。但我从没见过他们互相伤害。”

They went by nicknames: Joefi and Ralfi.

他们有昵称:乔菲(Joefi)和拉尔菲(Ralfi)。

As young men, they studied together: same year, same university in southern India, same subject, computer science. They wore their hair in the same style. They looked like mirror images.

年轻时,他们一起学习;同一年进了印度南部的同一所大学,学习同样的学科:计算机科学。他们留同样的发型。他们看起来像是一对镜像。

乔弗雷德和拉尔弗雷德·格雷戈里取得了计算机科学学位后,和他们的父母在聚会上。兄弟俩曾就读于印度南部的同一所大学。 via Gregory Raymond Raphael

Few people, besides their parents, could tell them apart. They were the same height, around six feet, with the same muscular build. Friends said that at weddings, birthday parties and just about all community events, Joefred and Ralfred not only dressed the same but also stuck together in a crowd.

除了父母之外,很少有人能把他们区分开来。他们一样高,大约六英尺,同样一身肌肉。朋友们说,在婚礼、生日派对和几乎所有社区活动上,乔弗雷德和拉尔弗雷德不仅穿着一样,而且在人群中也总在一起。

“It was like they were merged,” said Manoj Kumar, a neighbor and family friend.

“他们就像是合体了,”他们的邻居、家人的朋友马努基·库马尔(Manoj Kumar)说。

“There was immense love between the two of them,” he added.

“他们两个之间有着深深的爱,”他还说。

Both were computer engineers, most recently working from home in Meerut, and on April 24, they came down with fevers at the same time, their father said. The family treated them at home, with some over-the-counter medicine, but began to worry as their condition worsened.

两人都是电脑工程师,最近在密拉特的家中工作,他们的父亲说,4月24日,他们同时发烧。家人在家里用一些非处方药给他们治疗,但随着病情的恶化,他们开始担心。

In late April and early May, India was suffering the worst surge of infections that any country had seen since the pandemic began.

4月底和5月初,印度遭受了自大流行开始以来任何国家所见的最严重的感染激增

So many people were getting infected at the same time, especially in northern India, where Meerut is, that hospitals couldn’t cope. Sick people were being turned away. They were dying in the streets, in the back seats of cars parked in vain outside hospital gates, at home, gasping for air.

太多人同时遭到感染,特别是在密拉特所在的印度北部,医院无法应付。病人被拒之门外。在街头,在徒然停在医院大门外的汽车的后座上,在家里,人们喘着粗气,奄奄一息。

There was a deadly shortage of lifesaving oxygen and medicine. It was the Covid nightmare that all nations have feared since the pandemic began, exploding with a fury.

拯救生命需要的氧气和药品严重短缺。这是新冠疫情开始以来令所有国家恐惧的噩梦,就这样激烈地暴发出来。

上周,工人们在德里一家氧气补充店储存钢瓶。4月底和5月初,病毒激增使一些医院面临严重的救生氧气短缺。

A week into their sons’ illness, the family decided to seek help and found space in Anand Hospital, a private facility with a good reputation not far from their house. Both sons tested positive for Covid and a doctor at the hospital said that by that point, the disease had progressed frighteningly fast.

儿子患病一周后,这家人决定寻求帮助,在离家不远的阿南德医院(Anand Hospital)找到了床位,这是一家私人医院,名声很好。两个儿子的新冠病毒检测都呈阳性,医院的一名医生说,到那时,病情开始以惊人的速度发展。

Both sons had very dangerous lung infections. Both were put on ventilators in the intensive care unit a few beds apart, Joefred in Bed 10, Ralfred in 14.

两人的肺部感染都非常危险。两人都住进了重症监护室,上了呼吸机,相隔只有几张病床,乔弗雷德在10号床,拉尔弗雷德在14号床。

On the morning of May 13, Joefred, the older twin, was losing his battle. His blood oxygen levels dropped to 48 percent, his father said. Nothing could save him.

5月13日早上,双胞胎中的哥哥乔弗雷德在战斗中败下阵来。父亲说,他的血氧水平下降到48%。什么也救不了他。

The twins’ mother, Soja, was visiting the I.C.U. at that moment. The doctors told her to leave. A few minutes later, around noon, they broke the news that Joefred had died.

那一刻,双胞胎的母亲索娅(Soja)正在重症监护室。医生让她离开。几分钟后,大约中午时分,他们宣布了乔弗雷德去世的消息。

The mother, overwhelmed with grief, then went back into the I.C.U. to check on Ralfred, who kept asking, “Where is Joefred? Where is Joefred?”

母亲悲痛欲绝,然后回到重症监护病房去看拉尔弗雷德, 拉尔弗雷德不停地问:“乔弗雷德在哪里?乔弗雷德在哪里?”

His mother told him that his brother had been transferred to a bigger hospital. “We thought his condition would get worse if we told him what happened,” his father said.

母亲告诉他,哥哥已经转到一家更大的医院。“我们认为如果告诉他发生了什么,他的情况会更糟,”父亲说。

But Ralfred knew.

但是拉尔弗雷德知道。

He said to his mom, “Mummy, you lied. You tell me the truth.”

他对妈妈说:“妈妈,你说谎。你告诉我实话。”

But she didn’t.

但是她没有。

Ralfred then went into depression, his doctor said. And the next morning, less than 24 hours after his brother died, so did he.

医生说,拉尔弗雷德随后陷入抑郁。第二天早上,在哥哥去世后不到24小时,他也去世了。

As word spread, leading Indian newspapers ran stories, showing the two brothers side by side in identical suits. Television stations jumped in as well, with their doctor talking about how thoroughly the virus had destroyed their lungs.

随着消息的传开,印度各大报纸纷纷做了报道,登出两兄弟穿着相同的西装并肩站在一起的照片。电视台也加入进来,他们的医生讲述了病毒如何彻底摧毁了他们的肺部。

乔弗雷德和拉尔弗雷德穿着相同的西装。 via Gregory Raymond Raphael

Of all the thousands of deaths in recent days, these two seemed to really unsettle people, perhaps because the twins were just in their 20s and had looked so healthy, or maybe it was simply their closeness. Their story is as much about love as it is about death. Across social media, people exchanged messages such as “This is so heartbreaking!” and “How devastating it must be for the parents. So young …”

在最近几天成千上万的死亡事件中,这对双胞胎似乎真的让人感到不安,或许是因为他们才20多岁,而且看起来很健康,或许只是因为他们的亲密关系。他们的故事既是关于死亡的,也是关于爱的。在社交媒体上,人们互发信息,比如“这太令人心碎了!”以及“这对父母来说一定是毁灭性的打击。这么年轻……”

Their father says he feels as if his heart has been torn from his body.

他们的父亲说,他感觉自己的心好像从身体里被掏出来。

“I keep thinking that maybe I shouldn’t have brought them to the hospital,” he said. “Maybe I should have kept them at home. There is a parental love that the hospital can’t give.”

“我一直在想,也许我不应该带他们去医院,”他说。“也许我应该把他们留在家里。有一种父母的爱是医院无法给予的。”

“But there’s no use of saying, ‘If this could have happened, or that could happened,’” he said. “My children are gone now.”

“但是,总说‘如果这样就好了,如果那样就好了’是没有用的,”他说。“我的孩子们现在都走了。”

Every day, he said, he visits the graveyard.

他说,他每天都会去墓地。

Beneath a young neem tree, Joefred and Ralfred Gregory are buried in two coffins but one grave.

在一棵印度楝树下,乔弗雷德和拉尔弗雷德·格雷戈里被殓入两口棺材,葬进同一个坟墓里。