Chinese netizens memorialize 'whistleblower' doctor Li Wenliang

By Global Times Published: 2020/3/13 4:10:54

A photo of Li Wenliang is among the flowers people sent to the Central Hospital of Wuhan on Saturday. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Thirty-five days after Wuhan doctor Li Wenliang, who is believed one of the first "whistleblowers" for the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China, and who later died from the disease, Chinese netizens are still mourning the loss of a hero, flooding Li's social media account where they have expressed their feelings for him.

"Someone died but he will never be forgotten," a famous Chinese proverb, is unarguably the best footnote explaining public sentiment toward Li, said one netizen, whose feelings represent the views of many Chinese.

The Global Times found many netizens had rushed to post comments under Li's final Weibo post on February 1, where they have shared their daily life stories and feelings for Li as if the doctor was alive.

"Today my nucleic acid test was positive. Dust has settled down. I am finally confirmed with the infection [of COVID-19]," read Li's final Weibo post.

Comments on Li's post reached nearly 600,000 by Thursday night. 

Comments were posted on February 6-7 close to the announcement of Li's death. Many said they were praying for him after reading the news that he was in intensive care.

"Please update the post, tell us you are safe!" "Cheer up! You surely will get through this!" read many comments.

Following Li's death, netizens have commented on the doctor's earlier posts. Some netizens have claimed to have met the doctor in their dreams.

One Weibo user uploaded a picture of fried chicken legs and cherries, which were Li's favorite food according to his earlier posts, and said, "I bring you what you like, thank you for your early warnings! Thanks!"

"Zhong Nanshan [China's top respiratory specialist] cried today when talking about you during an interview. He said you are a hero, He is proud of you! We respect you both!"

Others shared with Li good news as the country is gradually moving away from the COVID-19 epidemic.

"Hey, buddy, what are you doing? The news reported that recovered patients' plasma has been used in treatment, and medical workers across the country are flooding to Wuhan to help. Confirmed cases had been declining for eight consecutive days. Is the Spring coming? Will everything improve from now on? When the Sakura flowers bloom, promise me you will come back and see your beloved land and people!" said one netizen on February 14,  Valentine's Day

Li was one of the eight "whistleblowers" who tried to warn other medics about COVID-19 but was reprimanded by local authorities. On February 7, Li died from the disease, which sparked grief and anger across the country. Since then, many paid their respects to his integrity and honesty, hailing him as a heroic whistleblower who tried to save lives.

The Global Times went through Li's Weibo account and found that he often shared his daily life stories on subjects including food, jokes, starts, and TV dramas. 

On January 7, Li said he was hoping a sequel would be made for the popular Chinese TV series "Qing Yu Nian."  

Zhang Ruoyun, the drama's lead actor commented under Li's final post and said, "Stay strong! Wish you recover soon!"

Posted in: SOCIETY

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