Actress Evangeline Lilly is apologizing after she received backlash for comments she made on Instagram that made it seem as though she wasn't social distancing and was instead going about "business as usual."
In one reply to a concerned fan, she called COVID-19 a "respiratory flu" and downplayed the virus. Comments on the post have since been turned off.
On Friday, Lilly clarified that her family has been practicing social distancing since March 18, two days after her controversial post. She said authorities in the "small community where I am currently living" had not yet directed people to stay home.
"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," she wrote.
Lilly, 40, shared the apology along with a photo of her family playing a board game.
"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 said. "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."
The actress ended her lengthy apology on an optimistic note.
"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," she said.
"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."