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December 7, 2022

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A cup that cheers: community spirit in testing times

A cup of hot tea may not cost much, but it becomes food of love when it’s made with a spirit of caring for others.

“What’s in this cup of tea?” a neighbor of mine asked a young lady on Sunday night at our residential quarters in suburban Shanghai.

“It is made of dates, wolfberries and ginger slices,” the young lady replied, handing a cup of the freshly made brew to my neighbor. According to traditional Chinese medicine, a combination of dates, wolfberries and ginger helps restore people’s energy, especially in winter.

As they chatted, more and more neighbors came to take a cup of hot tea from the young lady named Long Zhu, a staffer with the property management office of our residential compound in Qingpu District on the western outskirts. The neighbors had been queuing up in an orderly manner for nucleic acid testing. I was also in the line.

After finishing the test, I also went for a cup of tea and asked Li Shulei, our property manager: “How did you come up with this idea of serving neighbors tea?”

With a shy smile, Li replied: “We began planning it in the morning, because we knew there would be many people queuing up tonight and the weather might be a little bit bleak.”

A prudent policy

Shanghai has been pursuing a prudent policy in preventing the spread of COVID-19 variants. The city announced on Sunday that from this week, citizens would no longer need to show a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test report when taking Metro, buses, ferries and other means of in-city public transportation. But, a negative PCR test report is still required for access to such public spaces as restaurants.

Such a staggered policy serves to safeguard people’s life and work as best as possible.

The pandemic will eventually leave us. A spirit of mutual understanding and help, as shown in the offering of a cup of tea on a frigid winter night, is what moves us forward in our determined and well-measured fight against the virus.


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