Thousands of Chinese people have paid tribute to Li Wenliang, one of the first doctors to publicly alarm about the coronavirus outbreak and died of Covid-19 a year ago. Li and a number of other doctors posted online in December 2019 warning of a virus similar to SARS. They were then warned by the police about spreading “rumors.”
Li‘s death in February last year plunged many Chinese into mourning. There was also a lot of anger towards the government because it would not have dealt with the corona outbreak sufficiently decisively. The call for reforms also sounded.
Since then, the Chinese government has been working to create the image of an efficient response to the corona outbreak. Critical statements by Chinese on the Internet are extensively censored.
However, on Li’s personal page on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, Chinese freely share their traumas of the outbreak in the metropolis of Wuhan and the subsequent lockdown. “Dr. Li, the weather is wonderful today where I live… everyone around me is doing their best in life, everything is going well, happy Chinese New Year”, wrote a visitor in response to Li‘s very last message.
There are still few signs of mourning or remembrance in public in Wuhan. At the hospital where the 24-year-old ophthalmologist warned colleagues for the first time, almost nothing pointed to the first commemoration of Li’s death, a great contrast to the sea of flowers a year ago.