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Scott Thompson: What kind of person fakes a case of coronavirus aboard a packed aircraft?

Click to play video 'Toronto-Jamaica flight returns to airport after fake coronavirus claim' Toronto-Jamaica flight returns to airport after fake coronavirus claim
WATCH: (Feb. 4, 2020) Tom Hayes speaks with the passenger at the centre of the story – Feb 4, 2020

What kind of person stands up on a plane filled with 243 travellers on their way to Jamaica and proclaims he’s been infected with the coronavirus after a trip to Hunan Province, saying to stay away from him?

Someone who is infected? Someone who’s sick? Somebody who’s in need of help?

No, it’s simply someone looking for attention in the form of hits, likes, shares or friends on social media, that’s all. And that’s what happened when a person faked the illness aboard WestJet Flight 2702 on Feb. 3, forcing a return to Toronto.

For that reason, I refuse to mention the person’s name here.

READ MORE: Man who made fake coronavirus claim causing Toronto-Jamaica flight to return wanted to make viral video

Why would one do this? “I figured it would invoke some type of reaction,” the individual in question said of his shallow quest for fame via viral video.

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The person thought viewers would think, “‘Wow, this kid’s got some balls,’ or, ‘This kid is crazy.'”

However, it appears he never thought through the repercussions — in this case, the actual, financial cost — might be for turning a plane around mid-flight, not to mention the effect on the travellers whose vacations he spoiled by delaying their departure to the next day.

Click to play video 'Jamaica- bound WestJet flight forced to go back to Toronto after man claims he has coronavirus' Jamaica- bound WestJet flight forced to go back to Toronto after man claims he has coronavirus
Jamaica- bound WestJet flight forced to go back to Toronto after man claims he has coronavirus – Feb 4, 2020

The person told a reporter he was an “artist,” saying, “any publicity for myself is good publicity.”

I guess if your art is being a jerk, it would appear he’s quite successful.

“There’s all types of positions — people that are happy, people that are upset,” he said. “But in the end, I ruined the people on the plane’s trip — so I’m extremely apologetic.”

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READ MORE: Air China seeks to reduce flights, offer unusual routes to U.S. due to coronavirus

Who would be happy after all of this, other than the person who caused so many so much trouble?

The only positive I can see out of his 15 minutes of fame is perhaps others will learn from this person’s arrogance — especially considering he isn’t a kid. He’s 28.

Not the kind of guy you want in the car while crossing a border.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML — Hamilton.​​​​