Lockdown-fuelled demand for take-out meals has brought throngs of new delivery riders onto streets around the world, but in Australia the boom has also seen tragedy with a spate of road deaths highlighting the plight of couriers. As many industries ground to a halt last year, millions lost their jobs and others were asked to work from home, 43-year-old Xiaojun Chen was among the legions of couriers who rushed out on the job. The work was hard, the hours were long, and most of Chen’s pay went back home to China — but he was driven by a dream to send his 15-year-old daughter to university. Food riders doubled the time they spent zipping around Australia’s streets in April and May last year as lockdowns were in force, according to data from one delivery service, Deliveroo. Then on September 29, Chen collided with a bus while delivering food in Sydney. He later passed away in hospital — one of five couriers to die on Australian roads in just three months of 2020. “My husband loved his life, looked forward to the future, and was kindhearted,” his wife Lihong Wei told AFP through tears.