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With two weeks to the end of quarantine, here’s how Bill Gates is keeping busy

Washington State has extended the stay-home order until May 31, so Bill Gates is spending his time reading, watching TV and playing bridge with Warren Buffett.

With two weeks to the end of quarantine, here’s how Bill Gates is keeping busy

FILE PHOTO: Microsoft founder Bill Gates smiles while playing bridge with Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, as part of the company annual meeting weekend in Omaha, Nebraska U.S. May 6, 2018. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

Billionaire Bill Gates predicted a coronavirus-like pandemic five years ago, and now that his predictions have come true, the philanthropist is spending millions in the race to find a vaccine

In a new Gates Notes blog post, Gates admits that COVID-19 occupies a big deal of the conversations and meetings he has these days as he helps to find a cure. "But I’m also often asked about what I am reading and watching – either because people want to learn more about pandemics, or because they are looking for a distraction,” he added.

Thus, in the blog post, Gates included some insights into how he spends his free time. Here’s what the billionaire philanthropist is doing to fill up his time in lockdown.

SUMMER READS

Every year, Gates, who is a prolific reader, releases his annual list of summer reads. In addition to his usual list of five books, Gates recommended an additional eight titles. 

The list includes The Choice by Dr Edith Eva Eger, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, The Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger, The Great Influenza by John M Barry and Good Economics for Hard Times by Abhijit V Banerjee and Esther Duflo.

Gates also recommended The Best We Could Do, a graphic novel by Thi Bui, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees who came to America after the fall of Saigon. “I don’t read a lot of comics or graphic novels, but I’ve really enjoyed the few that I have picked up. The best ones combine amazing storytelling with striking visuals,” Gates wrote.

“I don’t read a lot of comics or graphic novels, but I’ve really enjoyed the few that I have picked up." – Bill Gates

KEEPING UP WITH TV SHOWS

Gates may be famous for his reading habit, but he does turn to the goggle box to decompress as well. In his blog post, Gates recommended the Netflix documentary, Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak. 

“Since the series was filmed some time ago, the episodes are focused not on the coronavirus but on influenza – which was widely regarded as the most likely culprit for a big outbreak. But Pandemic still gives you a sense of the inspiring work that heroic doctors, researchers, and aid workers are doing to prevent the very thing we’re all going through right now,” he wrote.

Gates and his wife Melinda are also keeping up with a couple of TV series, including A Million Little Things, This Is Us and Ozark. He’s also binge-watching the movie Spy Game, starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. “Not a lot of people have heard of Spy Game, but I’ve probably seen it 12 times,” said Gates.

“Not a lot of people have heard of Spy Game, but I’ve probably seen it 12 times.” – Bill Gates

BRIDGE WITH WARREN BUFFETT

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, speaks while Bill Gates looks on at Columbia. (Photo: Reuters)

In the midst of safe distancing, Gates is indulging in one of his favourite pastimes – playing bridge. His favourite partner to play the card game with is none other than legendary investor Warren Buffett. “We don’t get together in person now that we’re sheltering in place, but we still play online,” Gates said.

The two engage in a game of bridge through online platform Bridge Base, though Gates declined to reveal both his and Buffett’s screen names. “I got worried a couple months ago when their service briefly went down, but it was back up in no time. I was surprised at how relieved I was to see it running again,” Gates wrote.

“[Warren Buffett and I] don’t get together in person now that we’re sheltering in place, but we still play [bridge] online.” – Bill Gates

READ> Singapore business leaders share: How to make the most of your 'quaran-time'

Source: CNA/st(ds)

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