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Evangeline Lilly Apologised For Refusing To Social Distance And Calling Coronavirus Worries "Pandemonium And Insanity"

"When I wrote that post 10 days ago, I thought I was infusing calm into the hysteria."

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Marvel and Lost actor Evangeline Lilly found herself at the centre of some drama last week after she admitted she was choosing not to practise social distancing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic because she "values her freedom over her life".

Pacific Press / Getty Images

On Monday last week, Evangeline posted a photo on Instagram, letting her followers know that she'd just dropped her kids off at gymnastics camp.

The post was immediately met with criticism from commenters who called her "irresponsible" and urged her to stay home, but Evangeline wasn't having any of it and definitely made her own thoughts on the matter known.

Axelle / FilmMagic

Evangeline wrote in a reply to one commenter that she was “immune compromised at the moment”, but added: “Some people value their lives over freedom, some people value freedom over their lives. We all make our choices.”

"I think we all need to slow down, take a breath, and look at the facts we are being presented with," she said, adding that she believes said facts "do not add up to the all-out, global lockdown, control, pandemonium and insanity we are experiencing".

She went on: "Where we are right now feels a lot too close to Marshall Law [sic] for my comfort already, all in the name of respiratory flu. It's unnerving."

It's safe to say people weren't too impressed by Evangeline's statement, with even fellow celeb Sophie Turner indirectly calling her out for being "fucking stupid".

"Don't be fucking stupid," Sophie said in an Instagram Live. "Even if you count your 'freedom over your health', I don't give a fuck about your freedom."

Instagram: @sophiet

She continued: "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!"

Well, now it seems Evangeline has done some reflecting, and has apologised for her previous statement in a lengthy message posted on Instagram.

In the post, she admitted she has been social distancing since March 18 — two days after she published her original post — and assured her followers that she is "doing her part" to flatten the curve.

Robyn Beck / Getty Images

"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," Evangeline said.

She concluded: "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 realise my place in all of this."

Valerie Macon / Getty Images

Here is Evangeline's statement in full:

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