Giving the Gift of Mobility in a City Locked Down by Coronavirus
His days are long, 12 hours crisscrossing the city and ferrying local residents to buy groceries, get medicine and go to the hospital. And the roads he travels are mostly empty since the city was sealed off. In his blue and white car, Zhang Lei is a rare sight on the streets of Wuhan.
During normal times, Mr. Zhang, 32, is a taxi driver in this Chinese city at the epicenter of the outbreak. But after the local government abruptly locked down the city late last month, Mr. Zhang became one of the thousands of people who have volunteered to help ease the transportation woes.
Most of his passengers are poor, elderly residents who don’t have children or whose family is outside Wuhan and can’t come home because of the quarantine. “It’s heartbreaking,” he says. “There is no one to take care of them.”
The free rides are arranged by neighborhood committees, which typically serve as a go-between for residents and the local government. In the current crisis, those committees are in charge of allocating community resources and helping coordinate with hospitals.
Like other drivers, Mr. Zhang doesn’t get paid. Many Chinese have praised these volunteer drivers for donating their time and energy to help out their fellow residents.
Dedicated hearts like yours
Are not so easy to find.
It takes a special person to be
So generous and kind.
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company
1.mobility UK /məʊˈbɪləti/ US /moʊˈbɪləti/ n. the ability to move freely or be easily moved You don’t have any mobility in your arm.
2.lock down to prevent people from leaving an area, because of safety or security reasons The city has been locked down because of the coronavirus.
The school has been locked down because of the flood.
lockdown n. an emergency situation that usually prevents people from leaving an area, because of safety or security reasons
The authorities announced a lockdown in the city.
The school has been placed on lockdown this morning.
3.crisscross UK/ˈkrɪsˌkrɔs/ US /ˈkrɪsˌkrɔs/ vt. to move around in the shape of lines crossing each other, backwards and forwards n. a pattern/design with many lines crossing each other
The bus crisscrosses the city.
The city has many old canals which crisscross each other.
4.ferry UK /ˈferi/ US /ˈferi/ vt. to take people or things in a vehicle, regularly and often ferry n. a type of boat for passengers
The airline is ferrying tourists to the island.
Ambulances are ferrying casualties to local hospitals.
5.seal off to stop people from entering or leaving an area or building, because it is dangerous A bomb has been discovered. The police have sealed off the area.
The police sealed off the crime scene.
6.a rare sight sth that is not seen often or regularly Birds are a rare sight in the city nowadays.
Snow is a rare sight in this part of the country.
7.epicenter UK /ˈepɪsentə/ US /ˈepɪsentər/ n. a place that has the highest level of a certain activity London is at the epicenter of the global fashion industry.
France is at the epicenter of the European wine industry.
8.outbreak UK /ˈaʊtbreɪk/ US /ˈaʊtbreɪk/ n. a time when something suddenly begins, especially a disease or something dangerous the virus outbreak 病毒爆发
breakout n. an escape, especially by a group, from prison
There was a breakout from the country’s largest prison yesterday.
9.late last month at the end of the month
10.abruptly UK /əˈbrʌptlɪ/ US /əˈbrʌptlɪ/ adv. in a sudden, unexpected way She left the room abruptly.
The meeting ended abruptly.
He woke up abruptly when he heard the noise.
11.ease the woes make the problems better ease vt. make sth less serious
woes n. big problems or trouble
The authorities are trying to ease the pollution woes.
The company is trying to ease the financial woes.
12.heartbreaking UK /ˈhɑːtˌbreɪkɪŋ/ US /ˈhɑːrtˌbreɪkɪŋ/ adj. make sb. feel sad a heartbreaking news story 一个令人心碎的新闻故事
a heartbreaking film 一部令人心碎的电影
a heartbreaking novel 一本令人心碎的小说
13.go-between UK /ˈɡəʊbɪˌtwiːn/ US /ˈɡoʊbɪˌtwiːn/ n. sb who takes messages between people who are unable or unwilling to meet