By James Hibberd
March 26, 2020 at 05:05 PM EDT

Evangeline Lilly has reconsidered her controversial COVID-19 stance.

The Lost and Ant-Man actress drew heavy fire for an Instagram post earlier this month in which she declared it was "business as usual" and suggested she wouldn't self-isolate as her personal freedom was more important than the pandemic.

On Thursday, Lilly shared a new post walking that way back and explaining how she thought she was "infusing calm into the hysteria."

"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," she wrote. "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.

George Pimentel/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," she 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," Lilly wrote. "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."

Lilly's original post drew strong reactions online, including some shade from Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner, who seemingly referenced the post in her own Instagram post: "Stay inside," Turner said. "Don’t be f—ing stupid. Even if you count your – "[does air quotes] 'freedom over… your health.' I don’t give a f— about your freedom. 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."

Lilly is not the only celebrity to draw criticism for their virus outbreak response. High School Musical actress Vanessa Hudgens was slammed for a video dismissing the crisis. "Yeah, people are gonna die, which is terrible, but like, inevitable?" Hudgens later issued an apology.

For the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19), including how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick, please visit coronavirus.gov.

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