People really aren't messing with April Fools' Day.
While April Fools’ is usually the perfect time for harmless jokes, like this dad tricking his daughters into thinking they have to go back to school, this year’s day for pranks got dragged by the internet.
"No April Fools" was trending in the United States, reflecting the common feeling that 2020 has already been enough of a joke. As the coronavirus pandemic forces people to separate from their family and friends and quarantine inside, the thought of being misled – even for a laugh – feels stressful.
Even if society was in the mood for a good prank, the K-pop star known as Jaejoong of the group JYJ would still be in hot water. On Wednesday, he made up a false story that he had been diagnosed and hospitalized with the coronavirus.
"I've been infected with COVID19," he wrote to his nearly two million Instagram followers. "This was all due to my carelessness, for ignoring the advice provided by the government and all those around me."
News sites covered the shocking revelation and fans were quick to respond with their support and concern.
But shortly after, Jaejoong, whose real name is Kim Jae-joong, confessed it was a joke gone wrong in an alleged attempt to raise awareness about the virus. Suuure.
Understandably, the outpouring of fan support was replaced with frustration and backlash.
He shared an apology post describing why he felt the urge to make up this kind of story. "While public media and internet are asking people to pay extra attention, there are still many who refuse to listen and I want to alert them on the seriousness of this situation," he wrote.
Jaejoong could face legal punishment for his misjudgment as authorities in his home country of South Korea have said misinformation related to the virus would fall under laws on obstruction of official duties and defamation, according to The Korea Herald.
Not saying this dude deserves any jail time, but hopefully he'll learn from his mistakes! 🤦♂️