‘The night is dark, but Li Wenliang is our light’

That’s the title of a Weibo post published on Saturday by novelist Fāng Fāng 方方, a Wuhan native. The post went viral. Shortly afterwards, Fang’s Weibo account was suspended.

Lǐ Wénliàng 李文亮, of course, is the 34-year-old doctor who was one of the earliest people to notice that the 2019-nCoV coronavirus had similarities to SARS — and whose death early Friday sparked uproar on social media. While Chinese state media was initially quick to commend and mourn Li, the government later tried to co-opt his story after the public began calling him a martyr and whistleblower. “Free speech” trended on social media before it was censored.

In Fang’s post (in Chinese) — which Pieter Velghe and Jordan Schneider have translated for SupChina — she expresses her grief over Li’s death while questioning the reported severity of the epidemic. As a quarantined resident of Wuhan, she also writes:

Those who have not been in Wuhan will not understand. We’re not suffering because we’re being confined to our homes and can’t go out. What the people of Wuhan need most is consolation and the space to get things off our chests.

Click through to read the story.

—Anthony Tao