Evangeline Lilly has issued a lengthy apology in response to the backlash she received for dismissing the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lilly clarified that she and her family began social distancing on March 18, and that at the time of her original post, in which she labeled COVID-19 as nothing more than a "respiratory flu," leaders in her "small community" had not yet ramped up safety precautions.
She wrote in part, "...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," Lilly continued. "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," she wrote.
The Ant-Man star said she is "grieved" by the growing death toll as well as the "impossible decisions" healthcare workers are being asked to make, and the small business and families hit hardest by the global crisis.
"At the same time," she concluded, "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."
The 40-year-old mom of two came under fire when she told her followers that the government was exploiting the coronavirus to "grab more power."
"Where we are right now feels a lot too close to Marshall (sic) Law for my comfort already, all in the name of a respiratory flu. It's unnerving," she stated at the time.