Evangeline Lilly has apologised for her “arrogant” comments about coronavirus, telling fans she is now doing her bit “to flatten the curve”.
The Avengers and Lost star had previously dismissed self-isolation measures and suggested the US government was overreacting to the pandemic.
Following a backlash, Lilly told her 2.3m Instagram followers that her comments came before official advice in her area changed dramatically.
Lilly wrote: “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.”
Her earlier comments had made light of those practising social distancing, saying: “Some people value their lives over freedom, some people value freedom over their lives. We all make our choices.”
Now that stricter rules are in place, the 40-year-old actress says she has modified her behaviour and is doing her part “to flatten the curve, practising social distancing and staying at home with my family”.
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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 Canadian actress has two young sons, and lives with her father who has stage four leukaemia.
They have now been social distancing for 10 days.
Lilly says she is also seeking out ways to help those struggling in the community.
Referring to her earlier dismissal of coronavirus as “respiratory flu”, which she posted with the hashtag “#businessasusual”, Lilly wrote: “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.”
Lilly became widely known after starring in fantasy series Lost, then appearing in Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker, before becoming part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Hope Van Dyne / Wasp.
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Including the medicines that helped me recover. Check out @cdcgov, @paulysong and @nextshark for more on the issues I reference above. Thank you again for all the kind words of support. Please be safe and healthy, everyone. Love and prayers to those who are sick.🙏🏼#coronavirus
Acknowledging that many may still be angry with her for her ill-judged comments, she concluded: “Sending love to all of you, even if you can’t return it right now.”