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The coronavirus outbreak has forced hundreds of millions of Americans into their homes, including philanthropists Melinda and Bill Gates as well as their children — one of the wealthiest families in the world.
In a newly released interview, taped last Thursday, Melinda Gates said the family has spent time together at their Seattle home discussing the latest coronavirus developments at the dinner table, and otherwise sharing in leisure activities and entertainment — though family yoga isn’t one of them.
“Every night we're talking about the news, not surprisingly,” says Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has donated $300 million to organizations involved in the coronavirus response. “We're talking about the latest COVID data or what we know, [and] the kids are bringing their points of view.
“Those are very robust and ongoing conversations every single day, and then we're also just trying to have some humor at night too,” she says. “We're coming together to do puzzles or play cards at night or sometimes watch a serious show on TV or a silly show on TV.”
Bill Gates, the founder and former CEO of Microsoft (MSFT), has a net worth of $106.2 billion, according to Forbes, which makes him the second-richest person on earth after Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos. The endowment of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation exceeds $40 billion.
Bill and Melinda Gates have three children, ranging in age from 17 to 23 as of February. Melinda Gates noted the privileged position of her family, and the awareness paid to that amid a crisis that has disproportionately affected marginalized groups.
“We always are coming around to [discussing] every night, the most vulnerable particularly in our own community,” she says. “Our kids understand that we're lucky that we're not struggling to put a meal on the table.”
“It may not be the best meal right now because mom heats — she doesn't cook very well,” says Gates, who released a book last year entitled “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World.”
Gates made the remarks during a conversation that aired in an episode of Yahoo Finance’s “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.
Gates said the family spends dinners and evenings together, but exercise is not such a family affair.
Asked whether the family is taking part in group yoga, Gates responds, “I wish we were doing yoga together.”
“We seem to be a family that likes to exercise in each of our own ways in our own time,” she adds. “Luckily, it's turned to spring here in Seattle. So it's beautiful to get out and walk you know, our son’s in the gym lifting weights.”
“So we're all kind of doing our own thing,” she says.