When tested by fire, heat, pandemic and drought, Chongqing is stronger together

August 26, 2022

BEIJING – The summer of 2022 is destined to become an indelible memory for the people of Chongqing, a summer when we were tested beyond measure and a time when we came together to adapt and overcome.

Long known as the furnace of China, the summer of 2022 made Chongqing the peak of China’s relentless heatwave, up to 45°C during the day and staying in the 30s at night.

This has led to cascading problems including dried up rivers, insufficient hydropower supply, drought and forest fires in 9 districts. Add to that an epidemic resurgence, and the situation is difficult and complex. But the spirit of the people is resolute and indomitable.

What I have seen is that when the going gets tough, Chongqing rises to the challenge. Uncomplainingly, the city has taken steps to conserve electricity, reducing shopping mall and construction hours, ensuring critical power supply is safe for residents, hospitals and schools, and diverting water to where it is needed by any means necessary. To fight the fire, professionals and volunteers came forward and gave all their strength. We are fighting the epidemic as one family, cooperating to overcome any adversity.

Exhausted, sweaty and tired, we rest but don’t give up. Hemingway said, “A man can be destroyed but not defeated,” because we only lose the fight by giving up. The army has come to help fight the fires, and cold weather on the horizon promises much-needed relief from scorching temperatures by the weekend.

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth”

Local eSports champion and chess master Joamie Lin and his friends volunteered to keep Shapingba safe, fed and hydrated during their lockdown. [Photo by Joamie Lin]

When former eSports champion and current chess master and instructor Joamie Lin (林九米), 26, discovered Shapingba District was on lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19 in Chongqing, he didn’t didn’t think twice: he dressed in a hazmat suit and volunteered to protect his community.

“So it’s going pretty well. My job is to deliver supplies to the building and assist doctors with their routine COVID testing on a daily basis, said the former computer science student from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

“It’s quite warm in the suit in this weather, but otherwise it’s been quite rewarding.” He guides the doctors through his complex, knocking on doors and asking residents to provide their codes while the doctors do their tests, all in the suit.

“I also deliver supplies, mostly daily food, water, etc. door to door. People are ordering unnecessary amounts of bottled water and beers,” he laughs. “It’s so heavy to carry, and the suit is required at all times, it’s part of our safety procedure.”

Asked about the positive cases – 23 of today’s 40 cases were found in Shapingba, he replied: “Yes, there was a red case. We moved three floors of people to quarantine as a precaution. But I I’ve heard they live in a hotel with delicious food. Spirits are high. People are a little worried, but they have the doctors and us to reassure them, so they’re alert but not anxious.

When asked why he decided to spend his days sweating in a hazmat suit instead of relaxing and playing games in front of his air conditioner, he said. “Honestly, I just wanted to help. I was going to stay home and play video games anyway; I thought I might as well contribute to the community and be helpful. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth”, I remember Muhammad Ali saying that. Ali, the greatest fighter of all time, urged us to help others pay our way in life. Pay it forward. And we are fighting on all fronts.

Volunteers win people’s hearts while packing supplies needed for firefighting

Volunteer couriers, locals and motorcycle enthusiasts from all over Chongqing are helping deliver essential supplies to remote roads to fight the fires. [Photo by iChongqing]

Meanwhile, a local student from Chongqing University of Science and Technology, a 24-year-old motorcycle enthusiast and social media influencer who calls himself “Whale” on the internet, had quite the day.

Along with hundreds of others, he helped deliver supplies such as fire extinguishers, bottled water, heat medication, gloves, rubber shoes, chainsaws and other supplies to roads. land inaccessible to large vehicles.

Motorcycle enthusiasts ride through smoke and fire to deliver essential firefighting supplies to isolated roads as Chongqing residents unite to prevent further disasters. [Photo by iChongqing]

In 40-44℃ weather, they ride under direct sunlight for 20-30 minutes each way. Cars cannot access these remote areas, so their work is essential, but it is physically exhausting. Sweat and dust coat the runners in thick layers of gray, and when a runner falls or fades from exhaustion, local villagers help them back up, pack their baskets and bags full of firefighting equipment, and get them back on their way.

Whale injured his foot while driving too close to wildfires and was treated in a hospital and released. “I have to keep fighting!” he shouted and returned to the front.

Artificial rain-enhancing planes arrive in Chongqing to extinguish fires

Artificial rain-enhancing aircraft arrived in Chongqing on August 23. [Photo courtesy of the Municipal Meteorological Bureau]

“Captain, I can still fight,” Yao Yu shouted after waking up from passing out from exhaustion. He had fought the fire in Jieshi, Banan District, Chongqing City. Chongqing’s Blue Sky Rescue Team dispatched 176 people from 6 detachments for emergency rescue, and 26-year-old Yao Yu was one of them.

According to reports, the main task of the blue sky rescue team was to establish a 60-meter-wide forest isolation belt from the foot of the mountain to the top of the hill to prevent the fire from continuing to spread. . As the chainsaw in the team, Yao Yu was the most critical officer for this job. Sawing trees and digging trenches over and over for 12 straight hours before fainting. They had no rest until the work was finished.

Volunteer couriers, locals and motorcycle enthusiasts from all over Chongqing to help deliver essential supplies to remote roads. [Photo by iChongqing]

Meanwhile, high temperatures caused drought disasters in 778 cities (streets) in 36 districts and counties of our city, resulting in drought. More than a million people have been affected, but workers and volunteers are racing to bring in bottled water and new pipelines to make sure everyone has clean water. Of the 18 wildfires in the city, 13 have been extinguished so far, and the remaining five wildfires are in the process of being extinguished, with no casualties.

Firefighters battle a mountain fire in Chongqing. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

“Most of the mountain fires have been extinguished, the fire situation is generally under control and there are no casualties,” local representative Ran Jinhong said. Thirteen fire sites have been extinguished and five fire sites are still being extinguished.

Under the principle that “counties and counties fight early and fight small, close to each other, and support each other at the municipal level”, from August 23, the Municipal Emergency Management Bureau sent and coordinated professional emergency rescue teams, armed police and soldiers, fire teams and militias at the urban level. A total of more than 15,000 people were dispatched and a total of 8 helicopters were dispatched to fight the wildfire by combining air and ground.

Workers remove bamboo to prevent fire from spreading on a mountain in Chongqing. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Chongqing central districts conduct nucleic acid testing for everyone in 24 hours

As Chongqing struggles to save fresh water for all who need it and put out mountain fires, another fire ignites in Chongqing. This new outbreak of COVID-19 simultaneously hit major districts in Chongqing. On August 24, the city administration ordered nucleic acid testing for all residents of central urban districts to control the rapidly developing pandemic situation.

Chongqing reported 40 new positive COVID-19 cases, 21 symptomatic cases and 19 asymptomatic cases on Aug. 23. Shapingba district, where static management was applied six days ago, has reported 23 cases, more than half of the total 40. In addition, new cases have been detected in four other downtown areas, warning of the possibility of large-scale infection in an area of ​​10 million people. It was decided that a large-scale nucleic acid test would be carried out, including all residents of the nine districts of Chongqing’s urban center.

Most Chongqing residents lined up for COVID tests on Aug. 24 to keep Chongqing safe. [Photo by iChongqing]

Starting at midnight on August 24, everyone in the region received an orange pop-up notification on their health QR code UI. Some public areas will be restricted to those with orange pop-up messages. When people took a nucleic acid test on August 24, the orange pop-up notifications reverted to a healthy green. The elderly, disabled, patients with chronic illnesses and people with special needs would receive home visits for testing.

A reporter from iChongqing observed during the day that several temporary testing sites had been set up on sidewalks in Jiulongpo district. As the results come in, some smart lockdowns of XiaoQu (communities) and even entire districts will temporarily shut down to stop the spread of the virus outbreak, and most people in Chongqing have decided to stock up into basic necessities and to store until it is under control again.

Whether it’s a fire, a drought or a new epidemic, the people of Chongqing may be suffering, but they show resilience, perseverance and an indomitable spirit. in difficult times. As a community, we show humanity, kindness and generosity by working together to overcome all the obstacles we face, because we are strong enough to meet any challenge. There’s strong, and then there’s Chongqing Strong, and with the challenges ahead from China and the West, Chongqing can serve as a paragon of virtue and community spirit to inspire the rest of us that (We > I) we are better together.

About Ren Valdez

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