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Being a volunteer in Wuhan: I feel deeply moved every day

2020-02-20 395 browsing

"It snowed heavily last night and the delivery was not over until 3 a.m. the next day." Over the past 20 days, Wang Chao has been shuttling between Wuhan's major hospitals and transportation hubs day and night despite rain and wind. Wang Chao, born in 1987, is a market supervisor of the Xiangyang Office of Wanglaoji Health Company. After entering the epidemic area, he joined the social organization called "Shadow Dream Team" in Wuhan and took charge of delivering medical supplies and performing handing over procedure every day.


"I don't have time to feel frightened since I often work until 2 or 3 a.m.". "Every volunteer has written a suicide note, and I will not be frightened even if I am infected one day". "N95 masks are in short supply. I am wearing ordinary medical mask." What Wang Chao has been done is strenuous and risky, and it has never occurred to him that one day he will fight against the epidemic in the frontline.



Wang Chao, who is fighting the epidemic in the frontline in Wuhan


"After Wuhan was closed, I stayed in the city as a volunteer."


On January 23, COVID-19 epidemic attracted national attention. That night, Wang Chao drove from Shiyan to Wuhan to return the vehicle he borrowed. On that day, "Wuhan is closed," and Wang was unable to leave Wuhan.


"Many friends know that I am in Wuhan and that I work in the pharmaceutical industry, so they would ask me which hospital to go to if they have any symptom." Wang Chao told the reporter that since his job was to solicit information about medical treatment for others, he had acquired more and more information in the process, and he knew that some places were recruiting volunteers. "At first, all the volunteer organizations were in chaos and I was drawn into various WeChat groups. Later, I joined a professional volunteer organization supported by the Wuhan municipal government called ‘Shadow Dream Team’.” Then, Wang Chao's volunteer career began.


"I work around the clock to deliver the materials to the frontline.”


"I often work until 2 or 3 a.m." Since the outbreak of the epidemic, Wuhan's medical resources have been extremely tight. The "Shadow Dream Team" is responsible for receiving donated materials, purchasing and distributing medical materials, and transporting materials to and from medical teams in Zhejiang. Wang Chao is responsible for dispatching vehicles of the volunteer team. He usually starts to receive goods early in the morning and then distributes them to major hospitals, public security systems, fire-fighting systems and major communities. "Even if I often feel tired, I will forget about it when I am busy. Besides, we are not as busy as doctors in Wuhan." Wang Chao said that the most comforting thing every day was to see that the most urgently needed supplies were smoothly delivered to the frontline.




Wang Chao's volunteer team is receiving and dispatching supplies from all over the country.


Wang Chao is fully aware of the shortage of materials in the frontline. Unless when he goes to a hospital, he will not wear protective clothing provided by the volunteer team. "I usually wear ordinary medical masks. N95 masks and protective clothing should be reserved to medical staff who need them more than we do."


"I dare not tell my family members that I have a fever, and I am afraid that even if I die, nobody will know."


In addition to being pressed for time and under tremendous pressure, Wang Chao stands on the brink of danger every day. "A batch of goods has arrived at Wuhan Railway Station. Please send someone to unload the goods." Late at night on February 18, after receiving the task, Wang Chao rushed to the railway station and worked as usual. The wind was strong and the temperature was low that night. Wang Chao felt cold all over. "I was worried that I had a fever." Fearing that he might be infected and bring trouble to others, Wang Chao hurriedly asked his teammates to take his temperature. "38 degrees!" When seeing this figure, Wang Chao realized how serious the thing was and immediately called the police and reported to the local epidemic prevention station and then went home for self-quarantine.


"At that time, I was afraid that my family would be worried, so I dared not tell my family that I was volunteering." At the mention of the situation at that night, Wang Chao still feels scared, "I was worried that even if I died during self-quarantine, nobody would know.” Fortunately, Wang Chao recovered the next day and his body temperature returned to normal. Wang Chao said, "Perhaps it was because I had worked long hours.” Regardless of others’ dissuasion, Wang Chao resumed his work the next day.


"What if you were really infected?" The reporter asked. In Wang Chao's team, one volunteer was unfortunately infected and died due to insufficient protective materials. "For the first time, I felt that death was so close to me, but even if I was infected, I would not regret it. Each of us volunteers had written a suicide note."


"I can't go back home. I just want to try my best to make contribution to the society."


In fact, what worried Wang Chao most was not being infected but infection to his family members. Because of the fear of cross infection, Wang Chao, who had an apartment in Wu Han, had not gone back home for more than 20 days but lived alone in a friend's vacant apartment. After the closure of Wuhan, there were very few shops still open for business there. Sometimes it cost almost 50 yuan to order a take-out. Wang Chao has been working as a volunteer without getting paid, so more often than not, he chooses to eat noodles or bread for lunch or supper.


"Why didn't you volunteer for the municipal government? You would get paid.” The reporter was curious. Wang Chao replied: "I think at that urgent moment, I should consider what I could do to others instead of what I could get from others." Wang Chao didn't think much when he filled out the volunteer information form. He said that he just did what he should do: making contribution to the society.




Wang Chao is transporting materials distributed to the anti-epidemic frontline


As of the time of the reporter’s writing, the closure of Wuhan has not been lifted, and Wang Chao has to continue his volunteer work there. He sent a message to the reporter: "I don't know how long it will take, but I have left my footprints in Wuhan. As a Hubei native, when my hometown is in trouble, I am extremely worried. But I strongly believe that everything will be fine and I will return home soon, right?"