SCIO briefing on stories of frontline workers fighting against COVID-19

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on Sunday afternoon in Wuhan, epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, to tell the stories of workers on the frontline of the epidemic prevention and control. February 24, 2020


All walks of life contribute to the epidemic control battle this time. My question is: what impresses you most as a person working at the frontline?

Zhang Xiaohong: 

What impresses me most is the spirit of the police embodied by the grassroots policemen during the battle. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, they have dealt with patients every day, with a risk of becoming infected anytime. Being director of a branch bureau, I'm worried about their safety. But our policemen have bravely joined in the fight despite the risk of being infected. Our policemen are stationed at 47 hospitals and quarantine sites. At one improvised hospital, six CPC-member police officers wrote applications to work in the hospital for 28 days in a row without going back home. Together with nurses, they help and comfort patients, patrol the place, and mediate disputes. They could be infected anytime.

I asked team leader Peng Cong, "Are you afraid working at the hospital?" He replied: "Yes. But when people are all afraid, if the police do not go to the front, who will?" I can only say to them: "Call you family every day and give them a message of safety."

"The police force will never pull back from the battle against COVID-19." These are not only the words written in our letter of volunteering, but also truly represents our duty as police officers. 

My colleagues who drive patients to hospital in a police car are also at high risk of infection. So far, we have convoyed more than 1,200 patients to hospital. Last week, there was a patient living in Zongguan Street unable to care for themselves. As this patient was suddenly in critical condition and had to go to hospital, a call was made to the police. Yi Xin, a 24-year-old colleague of mine at Zongguan Police Station, hurried to the patient's house. It was on the sixth floor in an old-fashioned residential building with no elevator. Yi Xin rushed to the sixth floor and carried the patient on his back to go downstairs. As this patient was vomiting a lot, Yi had to move step by step to help relieve the obvious discomfort. Finally, Yi carried this patient to the ground floor, and brought this person to the pulmonary care department by car. The patient's family members were very grateful. "Thank you so much," they kept saying to Yi Xin.

Where there are difficulties there are policemen to help. Where there is epidemic spreading, there are policemen engaged in the fight. Although there are still many challenges facing us, we have faith that the victory against COVID-19 in Wuhan will finally be achieved with nationwide support. Never once did I doubt the arrival of a beautiful spring. This harsh winter of COVID-19 will be over soon. Thank you.

Xi Yanchun:

Anyone else want to say a few words?

Hua Yuchen:

I would like to add a few words. What strikes me most these days is probably the struggle I feel every night before I go home. I am a volunteer working amid an epidemic. I was born in the 1990s, and now I live with my parents, so I go home every night. At first, I was afraid to tell my parents that I had volunteered to help tackle the COVID-19 outbreak. I lied and told them that I was on my shift. I was afraid that they would become overly-worried about me. I was terrified that they might stop me from volunteering. I felt bad, and I struggled a lot every night before going home. I was afraid that I might carry home the virus, and I might put my parents in danger. It's true. I never scared of anything when picking up frontline medical staff or walking into temporary hospitals. But I really struggled when stepping into my parents' house.

I finally confessed to my parents because I was afraid they would neglect protecting themselves if they had no idea about what I was doing. I still remember my mother's reflection after hearing my words. She sat on the couch with her eyes wide open, looking very upset. Then she asked me why I didn't talk it over with them before making such a big decision. She asked, "Don't you know how dangerous it is outside?" It was a long time before my father asked where I was working. I replied, "On the Erqi Bridge." He said he would like to work there instead of me. I refused and said, "You're now with a high risk, my immunity is stronger than yours." He faltered, "Does your team still need some person? I just want to go with you together. I won't worry only if I see your working environment." 

Now, they know I'm a volunteer. However, they have said neither "we support you" nor "don't go out." Every night, no matter how late I come home, they are waiting for me, helping me with disinfection, and bringing me chicken soup after I take a shower. They always tell me to eat more, drink more, so as to improve my immunity. I know in my deep heart that they are supporting and protecting me in their own way.

Just like thousands of volunteers, we work hard outside every day, but are afraid to go back home every night. Because at home, there are our parents and children; we are worried bringing danger there.

Just few days ago, one of our friends sacrificed his life when delivering supplies. He told his son that he went to Wuhan to beat monsters instead of working as a volunteer. We prefer white lies because we are really afraid our families will feel scared when they know the truth. In fact, we are struggling with our own choices every day, but we still insist on what we chose to do. We hope to stay with Wuhan all through the fight. We vow to advance and retreat with Wuhan together. Thank you.

Zhao Peiyu:

I would also like to say a few more words. The support and encouragement we've received have deeply moved me. We have heard messages of reassurance from our families that everything is well at home; wishes of a triumphant victory from our colleagues in Beijing; as well as messages of gratitude from local people in Wuhan, who have greatly supported us and guaranteed our supplies of necessities. These are all so touching and inspiring for us. I believe that the efforts of people across the country will allow us to overcome the epidemic. Thank you.

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