Evangeline Lilly took a stand against self-quarantining amid the coronavirus pandemic — and found herself on the receiving end of immense backlash in the process.
“#morningtea Just dropped my kids off at gymnastics camp,” the Lost alum, 40, wrote via Instagram on Monday, March 16. “They all washed their hands before going in. They are playing and laughing. #businessasusual.”
In the comments section, several fans questioned why Lilly’s children were still participating in extracurricular activities while much of the country practiced social distancing in an effort to halt spreading the fatal disease.
“I am living with my father at the moment, who has stage four leukemia. I am also immune compromised at the moment,” the actress responded to one Instagram user. “I have two young kids. Some people value their lives over freedom, some people value freedom over their lives. We all make our choices.”
Lilly dismissed COVID-19 as a type of “respiratory flu” in another comment and argued that the U.S. government is overreacting in response to the global crisis.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
She further claimed, “There’s ‘something’ every election year.”
The Ant-Man and the Wasp star’s comments sparked a debate between several Instagram users. While one critic urged Lilly to “please stay at home with your family,” another seemingly sided with her, writing, “Wish things were normal here [again].” In response to the latter, the Golden Globe nominee wrote, “I think we all need to slow down, take a breath and look at the facts we are being presented with.”
Lilly, who shares her children with longtime partner Norman Kali, is not the first celebrity to come under fire for her thoughts on the coronavirus. Earlier this week, Vanessa Hudgens was slammed for saying on Instagram Live, “People are gonna die, which is terrible but, like, inevitable?” The High School Musical star, 31, later claimed that her remarks were “taken out of context” before issuing a formal apology.
“I realize my words were insensitive and not at all appropriate for the situation our country and the world are in right now,” she said in part. “This has been a huge wake up call about the significance my words have.”
Since December 2019, more than 230,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, with the death toll nearing 10,000.
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