The citizens of Beijing thought they could finally get their normal lives back on track, when a new spike in COVID-19 cases emerged, which was linked to a wholesale agricultural produce market named Xinfadi. The market was immediately closed after the virus was detected on June 13.
Xinfadi supplies about 70 percent of Beijing's vegetables. The closure not only affected the city's food supply chain but also disrupted the lives of tens of millions of wholesalers, vendors, porters and cleaners employed in the market.
Feng Zhonglei is a wholesaler who has sold spring unions in the Xinfadi market for almost 20 years. Before the epidemic, he would sell about 80 tons of spring onions every day. This is why he is called "the king of spring onion" by other vendors in the market. "I never expected that such a thing would happen in Xinfadi. The epidemic came very suddenly, the market was closed for the first time in more than 20 years," said Feng.
Feng wanted to hire a van to deliver spring onions to a purchaser. But no drivers wanted his business since he used to work in the Xinfadi market. This wasn't an issue before the epidemic when vans always responded to his calls.