Program makes connection with unsung heroes

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Chef Zhu Gaopeng's team volunteered to provide catering support in Wuhan.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"To be honest, I was very scared because the pandemic was spreading, but I signed up without hesitation. Although we can't go to the front line to serve patients like the medical staff do, we can warm their stomachs and bring them safe, delicious and healthy food. Let them eat well and they can treat patients more effectively," Zhu said.

Zhu led the chefs on a 9-hour drive to reach Wuhan, and the Henan medical team was so excited that some burst out in applause. Every morning, Zhu woke up at 4 am and started to prepare meals for the medical team. He recorded his experiences in a diary he shared with his daughter.

Since its launch in 2019, the reality show sought to find authentic Chinese cuisine and explore the true taste of life.

Take-away delivery rider Wu Hui read in the newspaper that the medical staff was eating instant noodles. He thought he could do something for them, and he chose to stick to his post and became a "ferryman" in Wuhan.

In addition, he helped buy food and medicine for the citizens. Wu also has to act as a psychological counselor from time to time, chatting with Wuhan residents who were worried and under pressure. No matter how severe the situation was, Wu persisted in going out to work every day.

He shared his experience, and every meal he ate, on Weibo in order to encourage more people that life was still going on, and hope was always present.

It was also through this process that Wu benefited from the care and encouragement of many people. Wu said: "I feel that I am doing something meaningful. This encouragement and support has made me rediscover my own value and confidence."

For Wu and thousands like him, this interaction is an invisible, but healing power that transcends time.

Liu Jiayu, a watchman at the Intelligent Control Center for Landscape Lighting in Wuhan's Jiang'an district, has been responsible for the control of the light shows on both sides of the Yangtze River since Jan 23. Liu recalled that on Jan 27, he responded to the pandemic for the first time with a light show to pay tribute to the citizens of Wuhan and heroes of the epidemic.

He felt honored to be involved in the act. The brightly lit messages "Wuhan's gonna win" and "China's gonna win" reflected the perseverance of the city and the cohesion of the Chinese people.

When he learned that Liu's wish after the pandemic was a hotpot feast, the host of the program Jia Nailiang personally ordered a hotpot take-out for him. "Isolation is needed during the pandemic, but people's hearts are united," the civilian hero said on the program.

Next week, the special program will continue to probe deep into Wuhan's streets and alleys, looking for more real stories that will warm the heart.

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