|Gui Xiaomei talks with an elderly resident in Qingheju Community.|
Qingheju Community, with more than 8,000 residents in 5,235 households, is the largest public-rental community in Wuhan, in Central China's Hubei Province. After the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in China, at the beginning of this year, Gui Xiaomei, secretary of the general Party (Communist Party of China) branch of the community, led workers, volunteers and residents in efforts to overcome difficulties caused by the pandemic, and in making remarkable contributions to the prevention and control of the epidemic.
The Chinese Government held a meeting, on September 8, in Beijing, to commend role models in the country's fight against COVID-19. Gui Xiaomei, a representative of the nation's grassroots Party organizations, gave a speech during the meeting.
"Our general Party branch was honored as one of the national advanced grassroots Party organizations during the fight against the epidemic. It is my great honor to report the anti-epidemic work of our community at the Great Hall of the People," Gui says.
|Gui Xiaomei delivers a speech during the meeting to commend role models in China's fight against COVID-19. The meeting was held September 8 in Beijing.|
Guardian of Community
"Communities have played a key role in China's epidemic prevention and control work. In our community, many of the residents are seniors, low-income people and people with disabilities. We established 15 teams, each including a community worker, a Party member and three volunteers. We visited each household to check the temperatures of residents, we sent patients to hospitals, and we bought and delivered food, medicines, epidemic-prevention materials and daily necessities for residents," Gui said.
Gui and her colleagues initially received many phone calls from residents, as the residents were nervous about the epidemic. Gui and her colleagues always talked patiently with the residents, to help ease their concerns and anxiety. "To protect our common home, we almost worked more than 10 hours a day at that time. We did our best to meet the residents' needs, and we helped solve various problems for them," Gui adds.
Tong Qian, one of Gui's colleagues, shed tears as she watched Gui speak during the national meeting, which was broadcast live on television. "It was like we also stood on the rostrum with her. We felt very proud," Tong said. She and her team were responsible for serving 366 households.
"People often asked me, 'Aren't you afraid of being infected with the virus?' I replied, 'We are also human beings, how could we not be afraid?' But, when we heard residents say 'thanks' to us, we felt that nothing could stop us from protecting our community and our residents," Gui says.
"However, the residents are the ones to be thanked. We really appreciate them for their support, cooperation and understanding during the epidemic prevention and control period. They kept staying at home when the situation was most serious in Wuhan. They trusted our Party, government and community workers. When Wuhan lifted the 76-day lockdown, on April 8, the residents sang the song, My Motherland and Me, together. My colleagues and I shed tears," Gui adds.
|Gui Xiaomei helps a woman volunteer deliver daily necessities to residents in Qingheju Community.|
Responsible and Thoughtful
"You don't have to come to our office personally. Please call us, and we will go to your home to help you," Gui told an elderly woman, in her 80s, on September 9. The elderly woman was accompanied by her daughter, who was helping her apply for the old-age allowance, at the community service center that day.
Within a few minutes, the application procedure was finished. Gui asked about the elderly woman's health, and she also asked both the woman and her daughter if they were coping with any difficulties in their daily lives, and if the center could help them solve those difficulties. Gui is always thoughtful when performing her duties.
When Gui walks through the community, she likes to chat with the elderly residents, who enjoy themselves outdoors. Gui always asks about their health and their daily lives. "The community is like a big family. Our community workers and volunteers have developed the good habit of taking the initiative to offer assistance before people come to us for help. We should always care about the safety and well-being of our people, and we must serve every resident well," Gui says.
Residents have nothing but praise for Gui and her team. "Gui is a good person. She is responsible at work, and she is always kind and friendly to us," says one elderly resident.
Another resident says, "I am one of the volunteers in the community. Our team is responsible for regularly visiting elderly people, especially those who live alone, to care about them and to find out whether they need our help or not. Gui is thoughtful to all the residents in our community, and we are influenced by her dedication to her post. She is not just a community worker. She is like one of our family members."
Says Gui: "I feel that we have a closer and deeper bond with our residents as a result of fighting together against the epidemic. I have more confidence in leading our community workers, volunteers and residents in building a more harmonious community, and in participating in grassroots governance."
Photos Supplied by Gui Xiaomei and Xie Yajing
(Women of China English Monthly November 2020 issue)
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