The coronavirus out of China is no laughing matter. While some are making jokes about it or putting it down because it hasn’t killed as many people as the yearly flu, the truth is that people have still died from it and entire cities are getting turned upside down in an effort to stop the virus from spreading more.
That is why even joking about having the coronavirus can cause great panic. It has already spread to the US in several cases as well as many other countries and passengers especially are nervous about the spread of this virus.
Yet, one passenger thought it would be just that – a joke – to stand up and announced he had been in China had contracted coronavirus. This was on WestJet 2702 from Toronto to Montego Bay, Jamaica. It was apparently over two hours into the flight (passengers said they were over Florida at the time).
The captain, when hearing this, decided it was best to return to Toronto. The cabin crew gave him a mask and gloves and moved him to the back of the plane. Apparently, the captain believed it to be a hoax but certainly wasn’t going to take any chances.
The man was arrested and charged and will be due to appear in court next month. The 243 passengers inconvenienced by this “joke” will still get down to Jamaica but it would take an extra day. WestJet added an additional flight yesterday (Tuesday) to make sure they got them there.
I know that an airline has been successful for suing a passenger for damages when the passenger caused the plane to be delayed similar to this. I hope the same thing happens here as well since this certainly cost WestJet a lot of money and cost the passengers one day of their vacation away from the snowy north.