Melinda Gates is taking walks, Warren Buffett is drinking more Coke, and Elon Musk is still going to work. Here's how the world's richest people are preparing for the coronavirus outbreak.

Warren Buffett

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Warren Buffett joked on Yahoo Finance that he's drinking Coke to protect himself from the coronavirus.

The ultrawealthy may have better access to testing for the novel coronavirus than ordinary Americans, but how they're passing the time as authorities urge people to social distance doesn't look all that different.

Authorities are asking Americans to stay in their homes as a respiratory illness caused by the virus has killed over 15,000 across the globe, including 479 in the United States. More than 360,000 people have been diagnosed with a respiratory illness caused by the virus, which is believed to have jumped from animals to people in a wet market in Wuhan, China.

Keep reading to see how some of the wealthiest people in the world are handling the coronavirus outbreak.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk is still going to the office — but told his employees that they don't have to.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is still going to the office — but told his employees that they don't have to.

"I will personally be at work, but that's just me," Musk wrote in a leaked email to Tesla employees. "Totally ok if you want to stay home for any reason."

Musk also wrote in the email that he believes that the public is overreacting to the pandemic. "My frank opinion remains that the harm from the coronavirus panic far exceeds that of the virus itself," Musk wrote. "If there is a massive redirection of medical resources out of proportion to the danger, it will result in less available care to those with critical medical needs, which does not serve the greater good."

Bill Gates announced his retirement from the boards of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway to focus on philanthropy after calling the coronavirus a "once-in-a-century pathogen."

Bill Gates announced his retirement from the boards of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway to focus on philanthropy after calling the coronavirus a "once-in-a-century pathogen."

"I have made the decision to step down from both of the public boards on which I serve – Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway – to dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change," Gates posted on LinkedIn on March 13. "The leadership at the Berkshire companies and Microsoft has never been stronger, so the time is right to take this step."

Gates has previously warned that the world was not prepared for a pandemic. "I view the threat of deadly pandemics right up there with nuclear war and climate change," in an essay for Business Insider in 2017. "Innovation, cooperation, and careful planning can dramatically mitigate the risks presented by each of these threats."

Meanwhile, his wife Melinda Gates is working from home and enjoying the great outdoors.

Meanwhile, his wife Melinda Gates is working from home and enjoying the great outdoors.

"For my part, in between video meetings about our coronavirus response and other foundation issues, I've made a point to get outside (while still following social distancing rules!) to soak in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest," Gates wrote on Instagram.

The Gateses have also pledged to donate $100 million through their foundation to support treatment efforts across the globe, build infrastructure to treat patients in Africa and Southern Asia, and fund the development of a vaccine for the virus, Business Insider reported.

Jeff Bezos has been speaking with the White House and also wants to hire laid-off restaurant workers at Amazon.

Jeff Bezos has been speaking with the White House and also wants to hire laid-off restaurant workers at Amazon.

Amazon is in the process of hiring 100,000 new employees to help meet rising demand, Bezos said in an open letter to Amazon employees published on his Instagram account Saturday. Bezos also said that the e-commerce giant has raised the wages of its hourly employees, including new hires.

"My own time now is wholly focused on COVID-19 and how Amazon can best play its role," Bezos wrote. "I want you to know that Amazon will continue to do its part, and we won't stop looking for new opportunities to help."

Warren Buffett joked on Yahoo Finance that he's drinking Coke to protect himself from the coronavirus.

Warren Buffett joked on Yahoo Finance that he's drinking Coke to protect himself from the coronavirus.

"I'm drinking a little more Coca-Cola actually, that seems to have warded off everything else in life," Buffett said during an appearance on Yahoo Finance on March 15.

The extra Coke hasn't protected Berkshire Hathaway's investment portfolio, however. The company has likely lost $70 billion on its 10 biggest equity investments alone due to the coronavirus, Markets Insider reported.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma is donating millions of tests and masks to affected areas — and got a Twitter account to post about it.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma is donating millions of tests and masks to affected areas — and got a Twitter account to post about it.

Ma pledged to donate 500,000 coronavirus tests and 1 million face masks to the US on March 12, as shortages mounted. When the first shipment of supplies left China several days later, Ma sent his first-ever tweet to share the news.

Ma has since made a similar pledge to each of the 54 countries in Africa.

The first shipment of masks and coronavirus test kits to the US is taking off from Shanghai. All the best to our friends in America. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/LTn26gvlOl

— Jack Ma (@JackMa) March 16, 2020

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