Roughly eight months since the country reported its first case of the coronavirus,
more people in South Korea are working from home, canceling big gatherings,
and hunkering down.
Instead of going out to eat, they’re ordering food, drinks, and snacks online.
So for people in the delivery business – like myself today – that means a lot more work.
But how much more that’s what I’m about to find out.

My first task.. is to choose an order.
After checking dozens of requests, I choose my first pickup five orders of fried rice.
As I wait, I have a chance to speak with the owner.

“Have you seen more delivery orders lately?”
“Yes, we’ve been getting more since COVID-19 started up again.”

According to a study by local analyst ‘Wise App’, total
spending on delivery services online in July was nearly 800-million U.S. dollars.
A lot of this is from offices and businesses, like our first customer of the day.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has put pressure on us. Our team has been getting food delivered more often since then.”

Five hours, and only three orders delivered.
It’s harder than it looks.
You have to find your route, ride up big hills, walk up and down the stairs carrying a bike, and all while wearing a mask.
At one of my stops, I met a fellow driver who was in a big hurry.

“From morning to evening, I usually do about 40 deliveries a day.
“So 40 to 50 deliveries a day?”
“But some people do as many as a hundred a day.”

The pandemic has also changed the way drivers and customers interact.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, it was common for delivery workers to hand over items directly to the customer, but in order to avoid any face-to-face contact, people are now asking for their items to be left in front of their doors.

At the beginning of the year, one of the leading delivery apps had around 21-hundred drivers nationwide, but in the pandemic it’s added another thousand.

So that’s the end of my shift.
I’ve got to say it was a long one, but for those who do this for a living, their days are even more intense.
Delivery orders are up more than 175 percent compared to last year, so the ranks of South Korea’s delivery workers are expected to grow.
Signing off now. Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.

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