NEW YORK (AP) - Sara Haines looked into an iPhone from her living room couch and delivered a live message to millions about grief, compassion and loneliness.
“My heart goes out to people right now that are battling this alone,” she said.
Her heart was with her viewers and those fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
But her head was drifting. Three young children waited just offscreen, her husband doing everything possible to keep them from rushing into the shot.
“There are people that are really scared and watching from home, people are dying,” she said. “You don’t want it to be interrupted by a toddler.”
The Associated Press followed 10 New York City residents on Monday, April 6, as they tried to survive another day in the city assailed by the new coronavirus. For more, read 24 Hours: The Fight for New York.
Haines is a co-host for ABC’s “Strahan, Sara and Keke,” but SSK has gone on hiatus due to the outbreak. Stuck in her Brooklyn home with her husband and children, she’s returned to “The View” - she hosted there from 2016-18 - as a guest co-host a few days per week.
With remote help, she has built her own studio in the living room - a smartphone, three lights, a mic and a makeshift earpiece. It takes about 40 minutes to set up.
“I’ve become an I.T. expert,” she said.
The shot shows a clean table behind her, a family photo on a shelf. Meanwhile, off camera, the room is cluttered by toys, play stations and three child-sized armchairs - a melange that nicely captures the chaos that is life right now for Haines and husband Max Shifrin.
The couple was stirred Monday morning at 4:30 by a set of eyes peering over the edge of the bed. Sandra, 2, is having trouble sleeping, and this has become routine.
They have breakfast early, and by 7:30, they’re ready to shift into daytime mode.
After finishing “The View” at noon, Haines records an interview with Dr. Deepak Chopra on mindfulness and meditation, a digital piece airing on SSK platforms. She does another interview for her personal social media, a discussion with a couple about coping with quarantine.
Her one escape: a 30-minute high-intensity workout in her bedroom while the kids took afternoon naps. She’s been public about her struggles with anxiety and depression, and exercise is a preferred medicine.
The kids go to bed around 7:30, and that’s when Haines and Shifrin step onto the terrace for a few deep breaths.
It was about as busy a workday as Haines has had in quarantine, and she’s sensing “mommy guilt.”
There’s only so much the children can grasp right now, Haines knows. She does wonder how it will affect the rest of their lives.
“If by any chance we have to now raise our kids in a world where they don’t embrace other humans, like a handshake I can let go of, but a hug? Really hurts my heart,” she said.
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