Chongqing – “Nucleic acid test is not horrifying. Open your mouth wide, being healthy is nice!”
This is a translation of the nursery rhymes sang by some children in Liangjiang New Area, which imitates the Chinese rhythm of five-syllable poems. And songs like this are currently sung in many primary schools here to learn about prevention measures.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is known to last longer in cold weather, and it is getting colder in the northern hemisphere once entering November. A few new cases were reported last week, cautioning the country again.
When a society meets a challenge, teamwork usually prevails individualism – the commitment to others is essential. China has strong social power that unites people together. In Liangjiang New Area, we see the warmth in humanity during a hard time of fighting COVID-19.
Voluntary Buses for over 3,000 people
Starting from November 3, the growing need for nucleic acid tests resulted in the long line in some testing sites. Some residents prefer to get tested in farther sites than to spend more time queuing up.
Over 200 buses organized by Liangjiang New Area Transportation Management Center called out to transport residents in several communities to the nucleic acid testing sites.
“After knowing the needs from the communities, we immediately made the plan and carried out the emergent allocation of the buses,” said Liao Bin, Director of the Transportation Management Center.
“We were supposed to be in line at one site for a long time, but soon the bus took us to another place which saved much time for us,” said Zhu Ke, a resident from Kangmei Street.
Besides riding passengers, hundreds of trucks were on the road to transport test samples.
Transporting nucleic acid test samples is an environmentally demanding job. Samples must be placed in a special box and delivered to the laboratory within four hours, otherwise, they will lose efficiency.
Tingyu, a retired soldier and truck driver, told the journalist that he must stand by 24 hours a day. He slept four hours a day without a regular meal and must wear protective clothing all the time. But he said: “I am a soldier even though without the uniform.”
Flowers that always face the sun
Up to November 8, Tiangongdian street of Liangjiang New Area has completed the fourth round of nucleic acid tests, costing five days, about one hundred hours of continuous work. This workload was a tricky challenge not only for emergence response capacity but also for the primary-level governance of the city.
In the afternoon, Donghu North Road community residents received unique gifts from the community workers – ginger teas and sunflowers.
“Because the sunflowers always face the sun, which symbolizes optimism and hope. We want to use this way to encourage people against the pandemic,” said one of the community workers.
“Placating our citizens is the primary step of our anti-epidemic works, and also an important job to ensure the nucleic acid tests,” said Ma Huaipin, Party Secretary of Donghu North Road. “The weather suddenly cooled down last weekend, so we decided to bring warmth to our people as thanks for them to support our job.”
Some residents wrote their wishes to community workers on the notification board. “Thank you!” “Victory will be ours!
Dumplings on the day of Lidong
Lidong, the beginning of winter on the Chinese lunar calendar, carries a great sense of ritual. Despite customs that may vary in different regions, one thing that most Chinese do is eat dumplings on that day.
This year, Lidong falls upon the vast lands of China on November 7.
The lockdown came to Wang Xiaowei’s building on November 6, followed by swift actions taken by the local community to inform each household of the situation and conduct a thorough nucleic acid testing for residents.
“During the lockdown, we kept residents in the building updated and delivered necessities to their doors to calm their nerves and maximize the side effect on their daily life,” said Xu Mei, the Party Secretary in the local community.
Wang and her family, feeling secure with all the measures promptly carried out, were surprised when the doorbell rang.
“Around 7 p.m., one of the staff came to our doorstep and gave us a bag of dumplings. That was the Lidong gift from the community, which was nothing we had expected as all the staff had been occupied organizing the test and making sure the normal life of residents,” said Wang, who held no special plan for the day due to the situation.
“Thank you messages flooded into the Wechat group of our community that day, neighbors were so touched and encouraged by the thoughtful gesture, especially during the lockdown when the going gets tough and we need to get tougher,” Wang added.
After two rounds of nucleic tests where all residents confirmed negative, the lockdown was lifted on November 8.
“The lockdown definitely changed something for our newly established community. We know we are taken good care of by the community and it gives us great confidence to beat the virus at last,” Wang said.
This article is co-produced by Shuyu Guo.