Bethenny Frankel on Fighting Coronavirus Pandemic and How It's Brought Her Closer to Her Boyfriend (Exclusive)
By Liz Calvario
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Bethenny Frankel is doing her part in helping others amid the coronavirus outbreak.
ET's Brice Sander caught up with the reality star and entrepreneur via a face chat from her Hamptons home on Thursday to talk about how she's coping in isolation, working with B Strong and how this pandemic has brought her closer to her boyfriend, Paul Bernon.
"Paul is in Boston and I debated going to him last night but I feel -- and I've told all my friends and I've given the advice based on lockdowns and being near your kids -- we need to be at home where we feel the safest and the most comfortable," Frankel shared. "Anxieties are at a high and I need to do my own routine and I need to be closest to my child and I need to have my backyard and my dogs and my things I can touch. He's working on helping me with Mass General and Boston efforts, and what's interesting is we're not together but this has brought us closer than ever."
"You're closer to the people that you can't be with [because] you're feeling like you want to talk to them and FaceTime them and you miss them," she explained. "So we are closer than ever, but I want to go there. It's just we're both sort of panicked, if I go and I can't leave and it's not rational because I'm sure I'd be able to leave, but you want to just feel in your safe place at the moment."
And while staying in her safe place where she has the ocean nearby, Frankel is still hard at work with B Strong.
"The B Strong is an organization that specializes in disaster relief where there's actually been a crisis, where people have been devastated, where people have nothing and people are panicking," the reality star explained. "When people just want to connect with each other and they want to help, and that's where we come in and stay long after the headlines fade."
Due to the lack of sanitation products in US market places today, B Strong is working with the Global Empowerment Mission to create and disperse corona kits. These kits will consist of a tote bag with sanitation wipes, gloves, SOS Hydration and the medical community’s recommendations.
"I'm putting my money where my mouth is because my money's already going to the masks and the hand sanitizer right now," she noted. "That's where [I'm at], I've got to write these checks because, as the former director of FEMA said, we can't wait to get the money. We have to pay for these things and figure it out later, so I'm paying for these things and figuring it out later."
Frankel knows it's tough for many people around the world and is doing what she can. As for coping measures during this time of crisis, she advises that people be mindful of what they buy and leave some for the others who do need things like food, toilet paper and disinfectants.
"My note is to really take deep breaths and not live in the anxiety because we're feeding on each others anxieties," Frankel added. "I'm actually good in a crisis so you just sort of have to collect yourself. And it's hard for parents who have kids at home and are on top of each other and on top of their spouses. Find your own separate time, do a puzzle, read. I'm doing dances with my daughter. We're learning different dances together and we're talking about music and doing breathing exercises together."
But it's not all work and no play for Frankel, whose been snacking on fudgsicles, bingeing Schitt's Creek and wearing comfy clothes. As for what she's not doing is watching reality shows that are give her "anxiety" and feel like "junk food."
When asked how she feels about not being a part of the upcoming season of The Real Housewives of New York, she said she feels "very separated from Housewives."
"It did take a minute to feel that it didn't really have anything to do with me anymore," she expressed. "And it doesn't reflect or represent where I am in my life and it's just like that song, 'Somebody That I Used to Know.' So that feels good rather than loving it, hating it, being so passionate about it. It's really just somebody that I used to know."
"I'm happy for them and I wish them all the success in the world, but I'm really happy with where I am in my relationship, in my relationship with my daughter and in my work, in my work with Mark Burnett and MGM. We have sold multiple television shows," she added. "But I'm most importantly invested in B Strong and doing relief work. It feels like a real contrast to shooting reality TV, so I'm glad that I took a step back and am focusing on what's really important to me."