The talk show host called up the former first lady while both spend time at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic

By Ashley Boucher
March 23, 2020 08:06 PM

Ellen DeGeneres‘ phone calls to her famous friends continue — and this time, the talk show host dialed up former First Lady Michelle Obama to check in amid the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

DeGeneres, 62, has been calling several of her famous friends to see how they’re faring at home — and Obama, 56, offered some sage advice for staying positive while cooped up indoors.

“Always brightens my day to get a call from my friend Ellen, especially on this rainy Monday at home. It’s good to know that even when we’re apart, we’ve still got each other,” Obama wrote alongside the video, which DeGeneres shared on Twitter.

“What are you doing to be creative and keep busy?” DeGeneres asked the mother of two, who explained that daughters Sasha and Malia were home from college.

“Ya know, we’re just trying to, like, structure our days,” Obama told the comedian. “I mean, everybody’s home. The girls are back because colleges are now online. So they’re off in their respective rooms doing their online classes and I think Barack is — I don’t know where he is. He was on the phone on a conference call. I just got finished with a conference call.”

RELATED: Ellen DeGeneres Wishes She Had Kids and Is Home ‘Bored’ amid Coronavirus Outbreak

“Y’all are busy,” DeGeneres, who has expressed her boredom while staying at home to practice social distancing, replied.

“We’re just trying to, ya know, just keep a routine going. But we also got a little Netflix and chilling happening,” Michelle said. “What are you guys doing?”

Twitter

“Same thing,” DeGeneres shared, adding her “condolences” that Sasha and Malia were back at home.

“Because you were expressing how happy you were that they were gone,” she added.

Michelle Obama, Ellen DeGeneres
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“I know. I know,” Michelle lamented. “I shouldn’t have boasted about that. The gods were getting me back. They’re back!”

DeGeneres then shared that she hopes more of her family can join her and her wife Portia DeRossi at their home in Santa Barbara.

“My mother’s up here and she’s safe,” the talk show host explained. “I want my brother and his wife to come, but Portia’s family is here. It’s an interesting time and you know, a time for all of us to reflect on what’s important and try to be creative.”

Michelle agreed, taking note that “this is like no other time in history — particularly for our kids who are so used to being occupied and stimulated all of the time.”

Michelle Obama
Josh Brasted/FilmMagic

The Becoming author added that “there’s some good and bad” that comes with being stuck at home.

RELATED: Michelle Obama on Getting Through the ‘Fear’ & ‘Loneliness’ of an Isolating Pandemic: ‘You Aren’t Alone’

“I feel for all the folks who are going to suffer because of what’s going to happen to the economy and we have to be mindful about what we’re going to do to support those folks when this quarantine are over and people are looking at what’s left of their businesses and their lives,” she said. “And that is a negative but on the positive side, I know for us, it’s forced us to continue to sit down with each other, have real conversations, really ask questions and figure out how to keep ourselves occupied without just TV or computers.”

She added that the quarantine is “a good exercise in reminding us that we just don’t need a lot of the stuff that we have.”

“When times are bad, having each other, having your health, we can do with a lot less. And I think that’s an important lesson I want my kids to understand as they get out there in the world. Be grateful for what you have and be ready to share it when the time comes.”

As of Monday, there are at least 39,819 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with 458 deaths from coronavirus-related illness.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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