Across China: Deliveryman puts safety first as Spring Festival approaches
BEIJING, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- At a store of e-commerce giant Alibaba's retail platform Freshhema in Beijing's Daxing District, deliveryman Liu Shucai was seen nimbly stacking boxes of fruit, vegetables and meat on his motorbike.
After securing his load, Liu started his motorbike and sped forward.
"This is my 30th order of the day, which can be delivered in about 10 minutes," said Liu.
Liu, 41, from the city of Wuchang in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, has been in Beijing for 10 years. In March last year, Liu chose to join Freshhema as a deliveryman, delivering goods within a 3 km radius of the store.
After the outbreak of COVID-19, people were advised to avoid going out to reduce the risk of infection, and the delivery demand increased sharply.
"When the epidemic situation was serious, deliverymen were most needed," said Liu.
At 6:30 a.m. every day, Liu arrives at the store to begin his work -- receiving orders and then delivering packages to customers. After delivering a maximum of 100 orders in a day, he usually finishes work at 7 p.m.
Last June, shortly after Liu began his job, many communities were put under lockdown management due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases at the Xinfadi wholesale market in Beijing, and Liu felt an obligation to continue his work as a deliveryman.
At that time, he would call customers to ask whether he should place their goods in their communities' temporary storage facilities.
If he was about to come into face-to-face contact with customers, he would remind them to wear masks downstairs, and disinfection measures would also be taken to ensure safety when goods were handed over.
"We worked harder than usual so that people could avoid going out and have stable supplies during the epidemic," said Liu.
During that time, frontline delivery workers like Liu were equipped with ample protective supplies from their companies and the local government, including disposable gloves, alcohol disinfectant, disposable gels, goggles and masks.
Liu was touched by customers' understanding and help in these hard times. When delivering orders, customers often gave him N95 masks and sometimes hot soup. Once when it was raining, a customer called him and told him to take it easy, asking him to deliver the goods when the rain stopped.
Having provided his delivery service in the same area for months, Liu has become familiar with many local residents and established good relationships with them. "I have delivered orders to one customer more than 20 times and the customer now recognizes me quickly and treats me warmly," Liu said.
"Every time I deliver orders to customers, I feel like I am sending goods to my family members," Liu added.
Two weeks ago, Liu received a free COVID-19 vaccination, and will receive his second shot before the Spring Festival. "The vaccine is a protection for both our delivery workers and our customers," he said.
This year, Liu has chosen to stay in Beijing with his wife and children during the Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year which falls on Feb. 12. In addition to a triple salary stipulated by the government, he will receive extra subsidies from his company for delivering goods during the festival.
"I will call and send my greetings to my parents in my hometown over Spring Festival. They understand my work and encourage me to stay in Beijing," he said. "The holiday is very important, but safety is even more important under the epidemic situation."
"I hope my family members stay healthy, and that I can earn more money to bring us better lives," said Liu. Enditem