People need to eat, and delivery riders are making it possible.
When your country’s on lockdown and you’re told to stay indoors at home, what do you do about food? In areas of China where movement is restricted due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation, but healthy delivery riders are still able to function within small areas, those riders are fast becoming trusted heroes in their communities.
While Wuhan may be under the strictest lockdown, other parts of China have been under varying degrees of lockdown as well. As some motorcycle manufacturers have already mentioned, the federal government’s extension of the Chinese New Year holiday to help keep 2019-nCoV from spreading has impacted production even in plants located outside the province.
Gallery: KFC China Contactless Delivery System
Still, life continues. That’s precisely why delivery riders are in high demand, according to the South China Morning Post. While dining out has obviously taken a hit, some restaurant workers have found new delivery rider jobs with online grocery delivery services. They’re in such high demand, grocery delivery companies are offering bonuses to riders who work overtime.
It’s unclear how supplies are getting into Wuhan, but in places like Shanghai, which is 500 miles away, grocery stores still remain stocked with plentiful supplies, wrote Frankie Huang in the New York Times. Huang is an American citizen currently living through the lockdown with her husband. They could leave, and have debated leaving, but don’t relish the idea of traveling in crowded airports and planes when staying holed up in their apartment and getting food and groceries delivered seems much safer.
To assuage fears over delivery riders potentially spreading the virus, massively popular chicken chain KFC has a whole series of ads on Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter) advertising “contactless delivery.”
Here’s how it works: Delivery riders have their temperatures taken to ensure they’re not feverish, wash their hands thoroughly, and wear protective masks. Then, they deliver food at an agreed-upon point that’s at least two meters (or 6.5 feet) away from both the delivery person and the recipient. In other words, both people end up around 13 feet away from one another, and 6.5 feet away from the food in between them.
Then, the recipient grabs the food, checks that everything is right, and goes on their way with their tasty meal. The ads for this are some brief spots of hilarity during an otherwise worrying situation. It’s unclear what effect they’ve had on the minds of people ordering food, but beyond a bit of clever marketing during a terrible situation, it also seems like a reasonably good idea.