Wang Yibin, a 24-year-old Shanxi native, has been labeled "the king of the deliverymen" for continuing to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wang works for the Beijing subsidiary of Eleme, China's food delivery empire. During a usual day, he will receive an average of 50 orders a day, which equals about 10 minutes per order.
His hard-working spirit is motivated partly by his desire to make a better life for his father and paternal grandmother who raised him since his parents divorced when he was six; and partly by his resolve to prepare for an exam leading to continued education.
"I didn't know the importance of knowledge until now. Without higher education, I can't achieve everything I want to achieve," he explained. Wang aims to receive a diploma in business operation and management.
However, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic delayed his dream.
"The number of orders has fallen from about 50 to 40 or 30 a day and we have to sprint to people's doors before the time limit runs out as our motorcycles are being denied accesses to communities," Wang said.
"The pandemic also affects my study plan, as the college entrance exam, which should have been held in April, has been suspended this year," the young man added.
However, instead of giving up his plan, Wang worked even harder. Despite his strenuous eight-to-ten-hour shifts, he continued to study as though the exam had never been cancelled.
"So long as I have chosen the way heading to my future, I will persist in it, no matter how difficult it would be," he said, stressing that he won't abandon his dream to improve his family's life and make a larger contribution to society.
While living in Beijing, Wang has never told his family what he is doing now, but it has always been kept in his mind that he wants to return love to his father and his grandmother.
"The way in which my father educated me still impresses me a lot. He taught me how to be a man when I made mistakes, but never beat me. My grandmother educated me as well, hoping that I could grow up to be an honest and upright man," he recalled.
With a new wave of the highly infectious virus being spotted in Beijing, delivery people are at high risk of contracting the disease. Nevertheless, Wang said he and his teammates have no time to be scared.
"The busy working hours leave us little time to be scared since we are duty-bound to deliver meals to our customers, without keeping them waiting for long," he elaborated, "But, sometimes we worry at night."
However, as with many of his counterparts, Wang understands life must continue even during the pandemic. But despite all adversities, what impresses Wang most remains his helpful colleagues and kind-hearted customers.
"When I lost my way as a novice, my teammates, no matter how busy they are, would show me the correct route. And sometimes, when I was ready to compensate for a portion of soup spilt because of a bumpy road, my customers wouldn't ask for it and comfort me because they understand how challenging my job is," he said.
"These examples really make me feel so sweet."