It's been a year since the lockdown of Wuhan was lifted. From an elderly patient who recovered from COVID-19, and a medical worker couple who made their car a temporary home, to a courier who managed to mobilize an incredible scale of resources to support the fight against the virus, ordinary people have shown the way forward after the pandemic.
"I want to live to 100 to see what our society will be like then."
The melodious sound of a violin echoed in a residential community in Dongxihu district in Wuhan as winter turned to spring in March. Wang Xin, 89, enjoyed the moment after recovering from COVID-19.
On Feb 11, 2020, Wang was diagnosed with COVID-19 and admitted to Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University for treatment.
Wang, an elderly man with underlying medical conditions including diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease, which caused decreased oxygen saturation, was in critical condition. Medical workers saved him from the verge of death with utmost care and attention.
During his hospital stay, a photo of him appreciating the sunset on a sickbed in the company of a doctor went viral and has become one of the iconic heartwarming moments during the pandemic.
Wang was discharged from the hospital on April 9, 2020, and his health steadily improved after months of recuperation.
Wang and Liu Kai, the doctor in the photo, met again in Wuhan on Sept 4. Leaning on a stick, Wang gave Liu an affectionate hug and thanked all the medical staff for their life-saving efforts.
"I will turn 90 in a couple months and have lived through both the old society and the new one. The people used to be starving in the old days. Now China is capable of quickly bringing the pandemic under control and life back to normal, I truly feel the strength and progress of our country," Wang said.
"I want to live to 100 to see what our society will be like then," he added.
"I'm glad that I walked out of my home and did my bit, or I will regret for it for the rest of my life."
Wang Yong never thought he, an ordinary courier, could make headlines before the pandemic.
On Jan 25, 2020, Wang, who was on Spring Festival holiday, decided to drive his car to Jinyintan Hospital to ferry medical workers who were stranded at the hospital as bus and subway services were suspended in Wuhan.
Starting with one car, the 35-year-old Wuhan native assembled a group of volunteers, who together solved many pressing problems the frontline medical workers encountered.
During the Wuhan lockdown period, he managed to mobilize an incredible scale of resources to support medical workers: organizing a volunteer car fleet to transport them to and from the hospital, coordinating restaurants to provide nearly 16,000 meals a day, allocating medical supplies and materials as well as meeting other demands from buying slippers to repairing glasses and phones.
Wang's parents said this is the most courageous thing their introverted son had done in his life.
Reflecting on the past year, Wang said that "I'm glad I walked out of my home and did my bit, or I would have regretted it for the rest of my life".
As COVID-19 is largely under control in China, Wang has set his eyes on charity. A charity project he participated in has offered tuition for 4,357 poor students affected by the pandemic in Hubei province.