UPDATE: Actress Evangeline Lilly has shared a new Instagram post offering her "sincere and heartfelt apology" for her previous comments about refusing to self-isolate herself. Her full statement can be read below:
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.
The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is continuing to affect individuals around the globe, as new cases increase on a daily basis. Regulations and advice have varied from country to country, but in general, people have been recommended to 'self-isolate' themselves if they have the luxury to do so. It is also suggested to avoid any large crowds or gatherings and to frequently wash your hands to prevent the spread of the disease. In the US, these are heavily suggested by health officials, but not compulsory as of this point.
Those who are immunocompromised or in elderly age brackets are at much higher risk of the disease. However, even though the majority of people may not be as heavily affected by the coronavirus, the danger is that there is potential to pass on the disease to someone who is. Whilst many celebrities, such as Kristen Bell and Kumail Najiani, have heeded these recommendations and made efforts to implore others to follow suit, it seems that others have decided to reject them in favor of carrying on as normal.
Evangeline Lilly, who stars as The Wasp in the MCU, posted this to Instagram along with the caption "#morningtea ☕️ Just dropped my kids off at gymnastics camp. They all washed their hands before going in. They are playing and laughing. #businessasusual"
As reported by ComicBookMovie.com, she later doubled downed on her stance by saying:
“I am also immune compromised at the moment. I have two young kids. Some people value their lives over freedom, some people value freedom over their lives. We all make our choices.
“Where we are right now feels a lot too close to Marshall Law [sic] for my comfort already, all in the name of a respiratory flu. It’s unnerving…Let’s be vigilant right now. And kind. Watchful and gracious — keeping a close eye on our leaders, making sure they don’t abuse this moment to steal away more freedoms and grab more power.”
WHAT THIS MEANS
Many could infer Lilly's stance as quite concerning for both her own safety as well as the safety of her follower base. Lilly being immunocompromised would put her at great risk of COVID-19, so it is troubling that she is not being more cautious of the potential consequences of contracting this disease. Her children being outside could lead to them picking up the disease and bringing it back to her. In addition to this, Evangeline Lilly has quite a sizeable following on her Instagram alone.
With 2.3 million followers and at least 25k of these actively engaging with the post, these are potentially dangerous comments that downplay the seriousness of the virus. This could lead to others following in Lilly's footsteps, thus irresponsibly putting others at risk. Lilly's attribution of her stance to the lack of freedom that the coronavirus is permitting seems unwise at this time, especially considering this freedom will presumably be returned to her once the worst of the pandemic hopefully passes.