The Hobbit actress Evangeline Lilly sparked fury online after posting an update on her Instagram reading: “Just dropped my kids off at gymnastics camp. They all washed their hands before going in. They are playing and laughing. #businessasusual.”
It’s a turbulent old time isn’t it? People are trying to make their way through an unprecedented global health crisis and follow the advice laid out by experts to keep us safe and prevent contagion. Well, some. Not all.
Cue fervent replies from raging followers: “I’ve always been a fan of yours. But I’m sorry, you are being extremely selfish and irresponsible with people’s lives. Screw the experts and the world health organization,” one user replied. “Seriously? What is wrong with you?” said another.
Explaining her decision, Evangeline returned to Instagram to clarify her situation further: “I am living with my father at the moment, who has stage four lukemia [sic]. 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. With love and respect.”
She continued: “Where we are right now feels a lot too close to Marshall Law [sic] for my comfort already [Martial law is the imposition of direct military control on civilian lives], all in the name of a respiratory flu. It’s unnerving. I appreciate your engagement and the meaningful discourse. 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, but gracious with each other as we try to navigate the unknown dangers of a modern, global world and power structure. Stay in touch. We’re in this together. Thank you for listening. I have heard you.”
While some respected Lilly’s right to ignore government advice, noting “Peacefully, tranquilly continuing to do life”, many have criticised her justification. “You value your “freedom” above the lives of other people?” one probed, while another warned “Evangeline, you and your kids can become carriers and pass it to other more vulnerable people who will die from this.” Another simply wrote: “The privilege. The idiocy. The danger to society. Wow”.
So what do you think? Should we live and let live, or has Coronavirus forced us to be more accountable for the impact our actions could have on ourselves and the lives of others?