Food, Virus, and “A Little Soldier”

When it comes to food, the list of famous Chinese dishes, from Peking duck, to Mapo tofu, to Chongqing hot pot, to Dongpo pork belly and more, is nearly endless.

However, with so many foods imported from abroad to meet the demands of Chinese diners, the importance (and subsequent trending online) of nucleic acid testing has skyrocketed in the age of the coronavirus. While this has been implemented at all levels of food inspection, the food itself is not the only thing being “tested,” as evidenced by a social media post by food inspector Hou Ying that went viral:
“Dealing with these fish, shrimp, pigs, cattle, and sheep – just makes you hungrier and hungrier.” Her friends remarked that her nucleic acid test list was starting to look suspiciously like the menu at a hot pot restaurant menu.

Finding joy in sorrow

In late May of this year, Hou Ying joined the laboratory nucleic acid detection project team. While the work is rigorous, this young woman has managed to find the fun in it.
According to Hou Ying, most of the recent test specimens were sent by front-line sampling colleagues to major seafood markets and seafood shops. Both human and food testing are available.

Hou Ying worked with her colleagues in a group of three: one person checked the specimen information while the other two people inspected. “In the laboratory test specimens, the ingredients are not visible, but the name of the specimen is on the sample list. The names of the ingredients are the names of various meats. You’ll definitely get hungry if you watch them late at night.”
Tellingly, the night she wrote her famous social post was a night that that she was responsible for the information verification, where she finished work at 1:00 (after starting at 1:00pm) after inspecting 298 specimens. This kind of work rhythm may seem out of the ordinary for most people, but by then it was the norm for her – it had been her schedule for 40 days.

Despite the stressful working conditions and high-pressure demands of her job, Hou Ying still finds the little things that make the work fun, gently coaxing turtles and crabs to open their mouths as if they were little children at the doctor’s office.

Feeling social responsibility for the first time in 22 years

“At the beginning, I did not expect that I could contribute to, or even participate in the project. The new coronavirus nucleic acid test requires a high degree of professionalism! However, after the laboratory was designated as an institution where the test would be carried out, the boss transferred me to the project team.”
Hou Ying took her roles in administering the test seriously. “At that moment, it was the first time in 22 years that I felt that social responsibility was on my shoulders, and I had to carry it.” Hou Ying positioned himself as, “a little soldier on the front line of nucleic acid testing of the new coronavirus,” and producing the result, “as soon as possible to ensure speed and quality.” Hou Ying said.
Thumbs up for the young lady who is fighting hard against the epidemic!

PS:Some of the material in this article was sourced from news reports. If there are any concerns about usage rights infringement, please contact us.

New words:
核酸检测 (hésuān jiǎncè):

Nucleic acid testing


jìnkǒu hǎixiān xūyào jìnxíng hésuān jiǎncè
Imported seafood must undergo nucleic acid testing.


hot pot


wǒ hěn xǐhuān chī chóngqìng huǒguō
I like to eat Chongqing hot pot.

打交道 (dǎjiāodào):

deal with


和……打交道: to deal with sb./sth.


wǒ de gōngzuò shì hé měishí dǎjiāodào.
My job is to deal with food.

wǒ hěn xǐhuān hé nǐ dǎjiāodào.
I really like dealing with you.

苦中做乐 (kǔ zhōng zuòlè):

to find joy in sorrow / to enjoy sth. in spite of the situation


yígè rén yào yǒu kǔ zhōng zuòlè de yǒngqì.
One must have the courage to find the joy in sorrow.

wǒmen yào xuéhuì kǔ zhōng zuòlè.
We have to learn to enjoy ourselves no matter how bad the situation is.

You May Want to Know More:

“An “Interesting” Explanation of “有趣(yǒuqù)” and “有意思(yǒuyìsi)””
“New High-Tech Safety Measures for China’s Flood Season”
Chinese Vocabulary for a Fitness Lifestyle”

HSK 1 quiz

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