Evangeline Lilly apologizes for 'dismissive, arrogant and cryptic message' about coronavirus following backlash

Evangeline Lilly is walking back her statements about shrugging off calls to self-isolate during the coronavirus pandemic, which she dismissed as a “respiratory flu.”

Last week, the Lost actress sparked backlash after sharing on Instagram that, despite living with her immunocompromised father with stage IV leukemia, she and her kids were still going about their usual routines. When a commenter suggested that the coronavirus outbreak was a hoax, she responded, “There’s something every election year.”

Actress Evangeline Lilly addressed backlash to her post about not self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
Actress Evangeline Lilly addressed backlash to her social media post about not self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

“Some people value their lives over freedom, some people value freedom over their lives,” she told another commenter. “We all make our choices.”

Hours after her former Lost co-star Maggie Grace implored her to “rethink” her stance — particularly in light of their fellow ex-castmate Daniel Dae Kim’s own positive diagnosis for COVID-19 — Lilly has posted an apology for her previous “dismissive, arrogant and cryptic message.” The Ant-Man and the Wasp actress told fans that she is now “doing my part to flatten the curve, practicing social distancing and staying home with my family.”

“I am writing you from my home where I have been social distancing since March 18 — when social distancing was instituted in the small community where I am currently living,” the mom of two shared. “At the time of my March 16 post, the directives from the authorities here were that we not congregate in groups of more than 250 [people] 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 COVID-19. 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.”

Many fans responded to Lilly’s post, which showed her children playing a board game, with messages thanking her for reflecting on her past comments.

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides.

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