Evangeline Lilly Apologized For Dismissing Social Distancing Amid Coronavirus

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After receiving backlash for her apparent disregard of social distancing, Evangeline Lilly has apologized for her coronavirus comments. On Monday, March 16, Lilly claimed that it was "#businessasusual" for her family after she dropped her children off at gymnastics camp. As people took to the comments to question why she wasn't practicing social distancing or self-quarantining, the Lost and Ant-Man actor defended her actions. But with the global pandemic continuing, Lilly returned to Instagram on Thursday, March 26, to announce that she and her family have been social distancing and to offer a "sincere and heartfelt apology."

According to the actor, she and her family have been social distancing since March 18, when it was instituted in the "small community" where she lives. "PLEASE KNOW I AM DOING MY PART TO FLATTEN THE CURVE, PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING AND STAYING HOME WITH MY FAMILY," she wrote. Lilly, who has two children with her partner Norman Kali, included a photo of her family playing a board game at home.

"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," she added, saying her silence since her original post "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."

Right around the time that some celebrities were getting ready to serenade the world with "Imagine," Lilly had posted her controversial response to the coronavirus pandemic. People took to the comments to criticize Lilly's behavior since, even if she's healthy, her decision could impact the welfare of people more vulnerable to the virus and social distancing helps stop the spread. In response to the comments of her March 16 post, she wrote, "Some people value their lives over freedom, some people value freedom over their lives." She also revealed that she's immune-compromised and that her father, who has stage four leukemia, lives with her family — which only led to more outrage.

Lilly also addressed how she had "intense trepidation over the socioeconomic and political repercussions" over the concept of social distancing in her apology. Within the comments of her previous post, the Canadian-born actor expressed concerns over how people must make sure political leaders "don't abuse this moment to steal away more freedoms and grab more power." But in the new post, despite her politics, she recognized the seriousness of the pandemic and how social distancing can lessen the burden on the medical community.

"I am trying to follow responsible recommendations for how to help," Lilly wrote. "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."

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC or NHS 111 in the UK for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.