As people around the world continue to practice social distancing in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, Evangeline Lilly is ready to start practicing distancing herself. The Ant-Man actress sparked outrage last week when she wrote a post on Instagram suggesting that she worried that practicing social distancing in response to the crisis would lead to a loss of freedom. Now, in another Instagram post, Lilly has walked her previous comments back.
In the new post, Lilly explains that, at the time of her original post, she thought she was “injecting calm” into the hysteria that some people were feeling around the virus. The post, which is accompanied by a picture of her family in the midst of a game of Monopoly, also said that Lilly had been practicing social distancing since the authorities put an order in place in her community.
The actress also offered an apology for the “insensitivity” she showed in her previous post about the virus. In comments under that post, Lilly said that she was not personally practicing social distancing and that she was still living her life normally.
“Where we are right now feels a lot too close to Marshall Law for my comfort already, all in the name of a respiratory flu. It’s unnerving. I have two young kids. Some people value their lives over freedom, some people value freedom over their lives. We all make our choices. With love and respect,” she wrote in a comment under the original post.
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Hello everyone. I am writing you from my home where I have been social distancing since Mar 18th – when social distancing was instituted in the small community where I am currently living. At the time of my Mar 16th post, the directives from the authorities here were that we not congregate in groups of more than 250ppl and that we wash our hands regularly, which we were doing. Two days later, those directives changed and, despite my intense trepidation over the socioeconomic and political repercussions of this course of action, PLEASE KNOW I AM DOING MY PART TO FLATTEN THE CURVE, PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING AND STAYING HOME WITH MY FAMILY. I want to offer my sincere and heartfelt apology for the insensitivity I showed in my previous post to the very real suffering and fear that has gripped the world through COVID19. Grandparents, parents, children, sisters and brothers are dying, the world is rallying to find a way to stop this very real threat, and my ensuing silence has sent a dismissive, arrogant and cryptic message. My direct and special apologies to those most affected by this pandemic. I never meant to hurt you. When I wrote that post 10 days ago, I thought I was infusing calm into the hysteria. I can see now that I was projecting my own fears into an already fearful and traumatic situation. I am grieved by the ongoing loss of life, and the impossible decisions medical workers around the world must make as they treat those affected. I am concerned for our communities – small businesses and families living paycheck-to-paycheck – and I am trying to follow responsible recommendations for how to help. Like many of you, I fear for the political aftermath of this pandemic, and I am praying for us all. At the same time, I am heartened by the beauty and humanity I see so many people demonstrating toward one another in this vulnerable time. When I was grappling with my own fears over social distancing, one kind, wise and gracious person said to me “do it out of love, not fear” and it helped me to realize my place in all of this. Sending love to all of you, even if you can’t return it right now. EL
The post also offered apologies to those who had been directly impacted by the pandemic, and to all those who knew someone who had lost their lives to the virus. She said that, while she is concerned about the political and economic fallout of social distancing and the pandemic itself, she knows that she has to do her part to help those who need it.
In concluding her post, Lilly said that as she was experiencing fear about practicing social distancing, she heard from someone who said she should do it out of love instead of fear.
Lilly’s apology comes after her original post picked up pretty significant backlash online. Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner instructed her followers to stay inside.
“Even if you count your – ‘freedom over… your health.’ I don’t give a f— about your freedom. You could be infecting other people, other vulnerable people around you by doing this. So stay inside guys! It’s not cool, it’s not big, and it’s not clever… And that’s the tea,” she said in her post.
Lilly is also not the only celebrity to face a massive backlash for their suggestion that the response to the virus had been blown out of proportion. Vanessa Hudgens faced a similar amount of criticism for dismissing the virus in a video on her Instagram page.