Deliveryman caught up in lockdown

2021-02-04 12:03:48

Yu Jian helps deliver goods for residents in home quarantine in a community in Harbin, Heilongjiang province. PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY What was meant to be a quick delivery to a residential community turned into a stay of several days for Yu Jian, a deliveryman in Harbin, Heilongjiang province. Yu, 33, started work in the early morning on Jan 20 by delivering flowers to a customer in Xincheng Residential Community. "I drove my car into the community and finished the order within just six minutes, but my car was stopped at the exit the moment I was about to leave," he said. When he saw ambulances and police vans coming, Yu immediately realized it must be related to the COVID-19 epidemic. A 67-year-old woman in the community was transferred to hospital and diagnosed as a confirmed patient. Nobody was allowed to leave the community and medical workers began to conduct nucleic acid testing. "Residents who were also stopped at the gate went back to their homes, but I could only stay in my car," Yu said. "When I found staff members were beginning to prepare for the test, I helped them place the tables and chairs. "I had no other idea but hoping to finish the test earlier and return to work as soon as possible." However, he was told the community would be locked down for at least seven days. "With nowhere to go, I signed up to be a volunteer after getting approval from the community officers," he said. "At least, I could do something." So he became a deliveryman again, transporting goods for those in quarantine. "To prevent possible cross infections, residents living in the same building with the confirmed case were prevented from any outdoor activities," Yu said. "After I sent their daily necessities to the building, staff members in protective suits would send them to their doors. "Almost everybody asked me the same question about how I entered the community during the lockdown. I had to repeat my unique story. Some people were sympathetic with my experience, but it was not too bad for me to help others during such a special time." People in the community also made Yu feel welcome. "The community provided me a spare room to rest and a table tennis table became my bed," he said. "A community worker also sent me a quilt for the night. "The residents always expressed their gratitude for my help." Yu was able to leave the community on Jan 24, but couldn't return home. Because two new asymptomatic carriers were detected in the community on Jan 24, Yu was put under centralized quarantine as a close contact. "It is a good chance for me to enjoy such a long rest," he said, optimistic as ever. "However, I would rather continue my volunteer work, which could help the community workers share their burden."