Coronavirus: Chinese turn Wuhan doctor’s last online post into digital ‘wailing wall’

Dr. Li Wenliang's last post on Weibo. (Screengrab)

Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor in the Chinese city of Wuhan, died of the coronavirus on February 6. More than a month prior to that, he went online to warn friends of a deadly virus storming his hospital, only to be reprimanded by the Chinese police for “spreading rumors.”

He became a hero in China when his warnings proved true, and thousands of Chinese consider him a ‘martyr’ after his death.

Visit our dedicated coronavirus site here for all the latest updates.

Dr. Wenliag had been a keen user of Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter. He posted his last message on February 1, saying: “Today the nucleic acid test result is positive.”

“The dust has settled, and the diagnosis is finally confirmed.”

Five days later, he died.

Li Wenliang wears a respirator mask, following the coronavirus outbreak, in Wuhan, China, February 3, 2020 in this picture obtained from social media. (Li Wenliang/Gan En Fund via Reuters)

Li Wenliang wears a respirator mask, following the coronavirus outbreak, in Wuhan, China, February 3, 2020 in this picture obtained from social media. (Li Wenliang/Gan En Fund via Reuters)

His last, almost prophetic, post has become what some call an online ‘wailing wall’ of sorts, similar to the Western Wall in Jerusalem where people leave written prayers in the cracks.

The post has amassed over 877,000 comments.

People simply posted comments writing down their thoughts, feelings, and updates from their daily lives. Since some view him as a ‘hero’ who stood up to the authorities, they also expressed their frustrations with how their government has handled the coronavirus pandemic, and their relief that the lockdown in Wuhan was lifted.

Here are a few comments on the post, as translated by the New York Times:

“Dr. Li, I’ll watch a bit of TV before going to bed. Please go to bed early too. Love you.”

“I heard this is the only place on the Chinese internet where you can say anything. So here I am.”

“Dr. Li, the lockdown is ending in Wuhan! It’s ending! It’s ending!”

“Too much stress. But what is better than being alive, right?”

“My life is a mess. I’ll probably get divorced soon.”

“Dr. Li, I have a crush on a girl.”

Read more:

Chinese doctor who warned about the coronavirus outbreak dies

Coronavirus in China: Top Wuhan official says residents should avoid going out

Coronavirus epicenter China eases travel restrictions as lockdown lifts

21 mln drop in China's mobile users may suggest higher coronavirus death toll: Report

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Tuesday, 14 April 2020 KSA 05:30 - GMT 02:30
Top