BEIJING -- Chinese youths from all walks of life have risen to challenges and played an important role in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.
Monday was China's Youth Day, a time to reflect on the heroic roles young Chinese played in history. This year, the celebration took on special significance since many ordinary youths acted as heroes and showed high responsibility amid the epidemic fight.
"Virus detective" walking on knife-edge
Hao Yingge, 22, never thought her internship in a medical testing company in the city of Wuhan, hard hit by the COVID-19 epidemic in central China, would let her have "face-to-face" contact with the virus for over two months.
Hao is a senior student majoring in medical testing in a college in central China's Henan Province. She was about to return home from Wuhan before the Spring Festival.
However, the epidemic disrupted her schedule. On hearing the lab undertook part of the nucleic acid testing tasks, she decided to cancel her ticket home immediately and stay at the company to act as a real "virus detective."
"As a medical student, I've learned how to detect the virus. Staying in Wuhan, that is my responsibility," Hao said.
Dressed head to toe in protective clothing, Hao has been working around the clock to extract nucleic acid from throat swab samples, prepare detection reagents and analyze the results with specific equipment.
Her hands would be icy cold after a long operation in the safety cabinet, while her body was drenched in sweat by wearing thick protective gear.
During the busiest time, the company tested more than 8,000 samples a day on average. "I need to be responsible for each sample, which is to be responsible for each patient. I must be extremely cautious," Hao said.
Guardian of people's food baskets
Tao Zui, 27, is among an up-and-coming younger generation, who has become a guardian of people's food baskets in northern China's Tianjin Municipality since the epidemic outbreak.
As a local market regulator, Tao puts on a mask and wears a red band around his arm, shuffling around the markets and malls every day. His jobs include taking customers' body temperatures, reminding people to show their health codes and keep social distance and checking the product labels on the shelves.
"The epidemic needs prevention and control, but people's lives still move on. We must make sure they can buy the necessities safely as usual," he said.
Tianjin downgraded its public health emergency response for the COVID-19 epidemic from the top level to the second-highest level last week.
More than 200 stores in markets and malls supervised by Tao have resumed operation. He needs to investigate the reopened stores on site one by one, inquire about the staff's health conditions and send them guide books for work resumption.
"I feel more involved in this job and get even closer to more local residents. Their kind words and thanks offer me great power," he said.
Turnip donor busy as a bee
Zhu Haiyang got the nickname "turnip brother" during the epidemic as the 30-year-old man donated over 100 tonnes of turnips to the frontlines of novel coronavirus fight in Henan, such as residential communities, nursing institutions for the aged and hospitals.
Zhu started an intelligent agriculture company in 2015. "My company benefits from many preferential policies. When our country is in difficulty, we should do our best to do something for it," he said.
In early February, Zhu decided to pick up the first batch of turnips from the company's planting base. Many villagers voluntarily helped him and loaded over 15,000 kg turnips on the trucks in the cold wind.
Then, Zhu donated some fresh turnips to a hospital construction site. "We were very touched. With these turnips, we cooked several delicious meals," said Ma Hongli who worked here.
Now, Zhu is busy promoting unsalable agricultural products via livestreaming platforms to help local villagers expand their markets amid the epidemic.
"We post-90s have grown up, and we hope to take more responsibilities and contribute more to the society," Zhu said.