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“What I deliver isn’t packages, but people who save lives”: deliveryman braves virus to help medics in Wuhan

(People's Daily Online)    19:00, March 10, 2020

Wang Yong, a 35-year-old deliveryman, ferries medical staff at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan to and from work.(Photo/cjn.cn)

The best of men is like water;

Water benefits all things,

And does not compete with them.

                                                                           ——Lao Tzu, The Tao Teh Ching

This year’s Spring Festival was a particularly busy one for Wang Yong. Although his company had temporarily halted operations, the 35-year-old deliveryman decided to resume “work”. This time, however, he wasn’t delivering packages, but frontline medics.

It all started on New Year’s Eve. At 10 p.m., a WeChat post from a nurse requesting help drew his attention. The message read “Please help! We have traffic controls here. Buses and metros aren’t running. I can't go home. It takes me 4 hours to walk home.” It was posted at 6 p.m. and nobody responded. After a little hesitation, Wang decided to go.

Ever since then, Wang has been driving through the streets of Wuhan, ferrying medical staff at Jinyintan Hospital to and from work and buying daily necessities for them. To reduce the risk of infection, Wang decided to live alone in one of his company warehouses.

"If I can do anything, I must do something,” Wang said, adding that what he delivers isn’t packages, but people who save lives.

(Photo/cjn.cn)

As “more hands produce a stronger flame”, Wang went through his circle of friends and soon formed a team made up of more than 20 volunteers. Besides helping medics go to work and return home, they also try to meet their daily needs, such as finding a barber, buying slippers and fixing mobile phones.

When he learnt that the arms of a doctor’s eyeglasses were both broken, he bought her a new pair and refused to take any money for it. When he saw a post from a nurse in her WeChat Moments saying she wanted to eat rice, he spent two days searching for a restaurant whose boss agreed to prepare rice for medical staff.

Fearing that the medics were being inundated with online news about the outbreak when off duty, Wang donated a bunch of books for them to read in order to escape from their daily stress.

Wang’s actions have touched not only medics, but also people all over the country. His story was soon reported by Chinese mainstream media and he was hailed as the ‘Most Beautiful Deliveryman’. Wang refuses to take all the credit himself, but believes it should also go to the countless volunteers like him whose efforts have been crucial at this testing time.

“I’m not what they call a ‘civilian hero’,” he said. “I just did what I had to do.”

(Photo/cjn.cn)

With the epidemic now being brought under control, Wang has returned to his job, but his volunteer work continues. Every morning, he clocks in at the office after delivering breakfast to the hotel where the medics are staying.

In late February, he moved out of the warehouse. When he went back home, his young daughter rushed to hug and kiss him, even though both were wearing masks.

Now, Wang cherishes the quality time he gets to spend with his family. He hopes that his daughter will remember what he did during this Spring Festival, and follow in his footsteps as an adult if she is needed to do so in a time of crisis. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Bianji)

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