JYJ’s Kim Jaejoong Announced He Tested Positive For COVID-19, Turns Out It Was A Bad April Fools' Day Joke
With COVID-19 numbers escalating by the day, people are getting more and more paranoid about the outbreak and whether they are infected. And that's why netizens have not taken kindly to an April Fools' Day prank by Korean singer Kim Jaejoong.
The JYJ member updated his Instagram today (Apr 1) with a post that said he tested positive for COVID-19, and that he was currently warded in a hospital. The 34-year-old added that he was “too careless” and disregarded warnings given by the government. He also apologised in advance in the event that he had infected anyone else. He then ended the post with, “There’s a lot I want to say. There’s so many people that I want to see…”
The news came as a huge shock as he appeared on a weekly Japanese music show, NHK Utacon, just a day before his announcement. Although there were no audience during the recording due to COVID-19 restrictions, other artistes, including popular idol group Nogizaka46, were present at the studio. His agency quickly responded to media inquiries and said that they would clarify the details.
Soon after, Jaejoong edited his original post with an apology. “To have someone you love infected with a virus is heartbreaking. Despite that, there are still a lot of people who are on the streets, acting as though [nothing bad] will ever happen to them. Because of such people, many are worried that their families and loved ones will fall sick,” he began.
“Among the people I know, there are also many whose loved ones have tested positive [for COVID-19]. This isn’t happening far away from us. Tears aren’t enough if carelessness causes this to become a reality. Let’s all be alert as ever.”
Jaejoong continued, “The prank was out of hand for an April Fools' Day joke. Within a short period of time, many people voiced their concern for me (…) I want to tell everyone that protecting yourself is how you can also protect others. I will be punished accordingly for [my previous] post. I hope everyone will stay healthy.”
He has since deleted his post, but not before it was widely translated and circulated all over the Internet, with many criticising him for causing undue concern and panic.
“It’s not like he was staying at home like what we’re supposed to be doing,” one netizen wrote. “He’s been in Japan working and going on with his every day life. How is anyone going to take him seriously after this?” Others agreed, adding that his post did nothing to raise awareness on the importance of safe distancing, and that his fans were likely to have been under a lot of stress and anxiety about his health before his clarification.