Communities helping each other in crisis
With more than 20 million residents, Shanghai is finding that prevention of the new coronavirus is complicated and strenuous. Governments at all levels, volunteers and ordinary citizens in about 13,000 communities have joined in the effort. Shanghai Daily reporters visited several communities to see how people are coping in the battle to control the virus at the grassroots.
Masks are flying off the shelves in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. For those isolated in designated places, masks have become a luxury.
However, that’s not a problem now for Yu and his family living in Jing’an’s Zhijiang Road W. subdistrict, thanks to warm-hearted neighbors.
Yu was on a business trip to Wuhan on January 16, when the coronavirus was reported to be well contained. But when he returned home, it had grown to a nationwide outbreak, and he and his family followed the order to stay in quarantine at home.
Though at home, Yu’s family members have to wear masks to prevent possible cross-infection. But they hadn’t enough masks to last the 14-day observation period.
Through WeChat, Yu asked neighborhood committee officials to buy 30 masks for him and they turned to local people for help. The message soon spread throughout the neighborhood.
Senior citizen Ma was the first to respond.
“I want to donate five masks,” she said. “When I was sick, my neighbors and local officials really cared about me. Now, it’s time for me to make contributions to the neighborhood.”
In about 10 minutes, the neighborhood had collected 30 masks for Yu’s family. Later, a local dental clinic donated 20 masks.
“I don’t know how to express our gratitude to all of you,” Yu said on WeChat. “Thank you very much for making me feel the warmth of this big family.”
A young entrepreneur in north Baoshan District has given thousands of masks to his neighbors.
Guo Jigang, founder of startup firm Yicai, has been nicknamed "Good Neighbor" by other residents in the Shangheyuan neighborhood.
Following the coronavirus outbreak, Guo donated 5,000 N95 masks, one of the most effective against the virus, and another 300 pairs of goggles stored in his warehouse to medical workers in Wuhan.
He then gave all the rest of the masks in the store to his neighbors. The neighborhood committee has helped distribute masks to each household in the neighborhood.
"Shanghai is also at the key stage of the coronavirus prevention and I'd like to contribute to my community," Guo said.
He later donated another 15,000 masks.