Dr. Zhong Nanshan is a household name in China. In January 2020, while many were taking a precious annual holiday and traveling home for the Spring Festival, the 84-year-old Zhong was shuttling between Wuhan and Beijing investigating a potential virus outbreak. He confirmed on January 20 that the new coronavirus could spread from human to human, sounding the alarm about what is now known as COVID-19.
The COVID-19 outbreak is not Dr. Zhong’s first time battling a deadly respiratory disease. He made his name for his work during the SARS epidemic of 2002–2004. He is universally loved as a selfless and dutiful medic, and is called a hero by the Chinese public. He always says he is just doing his job as a doctor.