Dr. Lee: In their botched handling of the tragic death of Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who sounded the alarm on the Wuhan coronavirus, authorities in Beijing seem to want it both ways.
On the one hand, officials have expressed their sorrow over his death and encouraged people to tell the truth about the outbreak. On the other hand, government censors are hard at work scrubbing online posts that call for freedom of speech in the wake of Li’s death.
When millions of people are denied the opportunity to grieve collectively over someone widely regarded as a hero, their trust in government can only further erode. As Li recently told the Chinese magazine Caixin before his death: “I think a healthy society should not only have one kind of voice.”
Li is credited with being the first medical professional to sound the alarm on the Wuhan coronavirus weeks before he contracted the illness himself and died. In late December, he messaged his medical school alumni group on WeChat, informing them that seven people from a local seafood market who showed signs of a SARS-like illness were quarantined in his hospital in Wuhan. When screenshots of his post went viral with his name in plain view, Li said, “I realized it was out of my control and I would probably be punished.”
As he told CNN, “I only wanted to remind my university classmates to be careful.”
Li was later called to a police station, reprimanded for spreading rumors online, and forced to sign a statement acknowledging his “misdemeanor” before he was allowed to leave. Weeks later, China’s Supreme Court vindicated him and other “rumormongers” by saying, “It might have been a fortunate thing … if the public had listened to this ‘rumor’ at the time…”
Imperial College, London making a mark for humanity
Summary Report 10
On Monday 16th March 2020 the UK government announced new actions to control COVID-19. These recommendations directly affected the entire UK population and included the following: stop non-essential contact with others; stop all unnecessary travel; start working from home where possible; avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues, and to isolate at home for 14 days if anyone in the household has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough.
To capture public sentiment towards these recommendations, a YouGov survey was commissioned by the Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC), Imperial College London. The survey was completed by 2,108 UK adults between the dates of 17th – 18th March 2020. The survey results show the following:
77% reported being worried about the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK.
48% of adults who have not tested positive for COVID-19 believe it is likely they will be infected at some point in the future.
93% of adults reported personally taking at least one measure to protect themselves from COVID-19 infection, including:
83% washed their hands more frequently;
52% avoided crowded areas;
50% avoided social events;
36% avoided public transport;
31% avoided going out;
11% avoided going to work;
28% avoided travel to areas outside the UK.
There is a high reported ability and willingness to self-isolate for 7 days* if advised to do so by a health professional (88%).
However, only 44% reported being able to work from home. This was higher among managerial and professional workers (60%) than manual, semi-skilled, and casual workers (19%)^, reflecting less flexible job roles for manual and lower grade workers.
71% reported changing behavior in response to government guidance. The figure (53%) was lower for young adults (18-24 year-olds).
Hand washing (63%), avoiding persons with symptoms (61%), and covering your sneeze (53%) were more likely to be perceived as ‘very effective’ measures to prevent COVID-19 spread than common social distancing measures (avoiding going out (31%), to work (23%), to shops (16%) or to schools (19%)).
Dr. Chne played a vital role. She had also played a most meaningful role in the past. Especially, during the days of the Ebola virus. This time, she is playing the most effective and meaningful role.