Dedicated to Li, a little great hero of these modern times.
Li Wenliang was a Chinese doctor.
A man of science.
With great intuition.
In December 2019, he had already noticed 7 cases of a virus that somehow reminded him of SARS, which he had seen in 2003 when he was still a medical student. Though he was not an infectious disease specialist, he was a careful and curious doctor.
After noticing these recurrent and anomalous cases of pneumonia, he confided in those around him and sounded the alarm by word of mouth in a group chat between colleagues. We can only imagine the mixed emotions and feelings of concern and excitement they might have experienced in those moments.
His efforts to highlight the seriousness of the situation did not fall on deaf ears. In fact, they were perceived as a threat by the authorities, so much so that he was arrested. He was also forced to sign a document which said he admitted he made false statements that created serious disturbance to the social order.
Seven other doctors also suffered the same fate from a regimedeaf to the heartfelt appeals of those who follow the common good and blind in the face of the initial spread of the disease.
It was only when the alert for the virus spread that Dr. Li was released from prison and rehabilitated. He returned to work in the hospital and was unfortunately infected by a patient he was treating.
After the authorities presented the apology due and his name was restored in the eyes of society, he began to publish posts in social media in which he described in detail the symptoms related to the syndrome he discovered, the evolution of the picture, and the tests carried out to identify it.
If instead of suffering the harsh condemnation of the regime’s repression had he been listened to, he himself would probably still be alive today. Along with him, many people have since lost their lives, and it’s all because of a warning that was triggered too late.
Li is a hero of our times: he challenged the local authority for the cause of the community and suffered the consequences. He is an example for all of us of integrity, morals, and dedication.
We want to remember him with sorrow and admiration, and imagine that he can now live in peace among the righteous.
Marco De Nardin M.D.