'90 Day Fiance: Self-Quarantined recap: Benjamin rushes Akinyi with wedding date, Michael's ex-wife Sarah reveals cancer battle, and Patrick plans reunion with Myriam
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/12/2020
90 Day Fiance: Self-Quarantined featured Benjamin Taylor setting a new wedding date and rushing Akinyi Obala to marry, Michael Jessen's ex-wife Sarah Jessen revealing her cancer battle, and Patrick Cornett announcing plans to reunite and potentially reconcile with Myriam Mana during Monday night's episode on TLC.
As the title suggests, 90 Day Fiance: Self-Quarantined gives viewers a glimpse into the lives of former90 Day Fiance franchise stars as they quarantine themselves at home amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Pao, a 32-year-old from Bucaramanga, Colombia, is currently living in Miami, FL, with her husband Russ, 34. The pair met in Colombia eight years ago and Paola traveled to the United States so they could get married.
The couple has been quarantining with their son Axel, and while being at home has brought them closer together, Russ admitted the lack of separation and social distancing was starting to wear and tear on them.
Axel, for instance, didn't appear to sleep much, and he was shown having a tantrum while Paola was trying to enjoy a glass of red wine by herself.
"He likes to get in the trash can and dad told him, 'No,'" Russ said.
Paola said before the coronavirus, Russ had been traveling to Amsterdam, Canada and more. She was therefore raising her son alone with the help of her mother. Paola hoped Russ being at home would teach him how difficult it is for a mother to be alone with her baby 24/7.
Russ, a technical product lead for a service company, and Pao, a personal trainer online, bickered over the division of responsibilities. Russ was working every day in the house, so it was a very new experience for him.
Paola received her personal trainer, nutrition and Zumba certification, and she said she's enjoying this as a career and loves providing for her family.
Russ and Paola then discovered Russ' grandmother had passed away. She was having health problems before and needed surgery, which was a risk considering she had low blood pressure, but Russ still called her death "a shock."
Russ cried and had a really hard time with it, saying he was the only member of his family outside of Oklahoma. Russ hated how the virus separated him from his grandmother as well as the rest of his family.
"F-ck you. F-ck you, COVID," Russ vented.
After a really long day, once Axel was in bed, Pao and Russ tried some couples' yoga poses together to let off some steam and stretch their muscles. The couple failed miserably but had some laughs.
Chantel Everett's mother, Karen Everett, a 54-year-old from Atlanta, GA, showed off her face without makeup. She bragged there's "not a whole lot of difference" from how she looks with her face all done up.
Karen's husband Thomas Everett, 55, said he goes to work four days a week, and the pair had two of their children -- River and Winter -- living with them.
River said Karen was initially joyful and cheerful about them living together but then things changed about a week later. River also said his father hogged the video games, leaving him with "nothing to do."
During her free time, Karen was spending time in the garden, a place she called her "victory garden," where she was growing different kinds of food.
"I love nature. Nature does not lie like people do. I've met so many lying people. Nature never lies," Karen told the cameras.
Karen and Winter learned Tai Chi together because Karen was hoping her daughter would keep up with her healthy habits. Winter didn't exactly find their routine relaxing, but the girls appeared to have fun together.
"My mom is so crazy. I love her," Winter gushed.
Karen then revealed her family keeps bug-out bags, meaning if something bad happened, like the apocalypse, a person could take off with his or her bag and be prepared for the worst.
Karen FaceTimed with Chantel and Pedro Jimeno afterwards, and Pedro joked about how his wife wasn't showering. Chantel also complained Pedro sat at their computer all day long.
Karen was thankful for the family time, saying, "We have it all," although times were difficult.
Benjamin and Akinyi
Benjamin, a 35-year-old from Phoenix, AZ, is still engaged to Akinyi from Nairobi, Kenya, and Ben said all they're waiting on is Akinyi's final interview for the K-1 visa, which will allow her to come to the United States.
With the spread of coronavirus, however, embassies have closed and interviews have been canceled.
Akinyi therefore still lives with her mother, father, sister and two dogs -- as well as her suitcases she had already packed in anticipation of leaving for America.
Akinyi said their house is not complete because construction has stopped. The government in Kenya has also been forcing people to stay in their houses since they didn't have resources necessary for testing for COVID-19 and finding out which people have it and which people do not.
"We have a 7PM curfew, where if you are found outside [after] 7PM, you are arrested," Akinyi revealed.
Akinyi said people tried to climb a high wall of her home in attempt to rob them of clothes.
Meanwhile, Ben was staying isolated in his bedroom and couldn't see his six-year-old son until getting tested. A couple of weeks prior, several people he had been around tested positive for coronavirus. Ben didn't have any symptoms, but he was taking proper precaution.
Luckily, Ben still had his job as a customer service manager for a solar energy company and continued to work through quarantine.
Ben said he and Akinyi only got to videochat once a week due to poor signal. Akinyi surprisingly said that if she had her way, Ben would move to Kenya. However, she agreed to move to America because Ben couldn't leave his son, his No. 1 priority, behind.
During a videochat with Akinyi, Ben noted that "yesterday was the date we had reserved at the church" -- suggesting that the pandemic had forced the couple to have to reschedule their wedding date given Akinyi's travel to America had been delayed.
Ben told Akinyi he had rescheduled the wedding for August 29 instead.
But after their chat ended, Akinyi admitted she thought they were rushing it a little bit and she'd prefer to wait until the end of her 90 days in the United States to make sure she likes living there and gets comfortable.
Ben told Akinyi that he took his temperature twice a day to check for fever.
"Long-distance dating is strenuous. I don't see it as being long-term viability, and we're already two years into that process," Ben said in a confessional.
To have a little fun with each other, Akinyi and Ben danced on videochat and she taught him a traditional Kenyan dance.
Ben was later shown getting tested for COVID-19, and three days later, he received his results and learned he had tested negative.
"I don't have to protect anybody in the house anymore, and I'm happy to be able to just know," Ben shared.
Michael and Juliana
Michael, a 42-year-old from Greenwich, CT, and his wife of seven months, Juliana, a 23-year-old from Goiania, Brazil, were on Day 29 of quarantine when this special filmed.
The couple welcomed in Michael's ex-wife Sarah Jessen, their two children Max and Cece, and Sarah's new husband Sean Naso into their new house to wait out coronavirus.
They appear to be one, big happy family living together under one roof, and Michael said it just made sense for everyone to come together.
Juliana said living in the same house with everyone has been easy but also hard at times because they're all friends but sometimes get into disagreements.
Juliana admitted dirty dishes stress her out and she and Michael lack privacy.
"Intimacy and silent, wonderful romantic times have been challenged, but it's a different household when you have everybody, and even animals, running around," Michael told the cameras.
Juliana said her house is always dirty now that everyone's living together full-time, so she felt the need to put signs up throughout the house reminded people to take off their shoes and keep certain doors closed.
Juliana told the cameras her dogs were driving her crazy by going to the bathroom in the house and Sean was messy, leaving his glasses in the living rooms.
Michael and Sean often played music together to pass the time, and Max and Cece were taking classes and doing work online. Max apparently liked playing in the yard, but he said he missed his friends at school.
Julia often participated in Zoom sessions with her girlfriends, whom she missed terribly, and she revealed her family has been struggling in Brazil.
"My sister and my mom got fired. They are 100 percent dependent on us," Juliana revealed.
"Thankfully they are healthy," Michael noted. "On top of all that, Sarah has had some health issues. She was diagnosed with a form of breast cancer, and that was in early February."
Sarah said several biopsies were taken and doctors had identified "a lump." Sarah didn't like thinking about it or saying out loud that she has breast cancer.
"At first it was a shock, but it's very early staged. I've had two surgeries and I'm waiting for two tests to come back, and those tests will determine whether I'll need to have chemotherapy or not," Sarah explained.
"I'll definitely have radiation, but we're still sort of waiting on the chemo part. My lab results are backed up because they're processing so many virus tests. Sean has been there every step of the way, as much as he could."
Sean, however, didn't think he was doing well with the news. Sean said he didn't like thinking about Sarah's cancer and so he mentally and emotionally detached at times.
Michael said it's been interesting and "bizarre" to have a full house under these circumstances but his family is very lucky to have each other and they've been trying to make the most of it.
Patrick and Myriam
Patrick, a 28-year-old from Las Vegas, NV, had been in quarantine for about three weeks at the time this special filmed. Patrick said he babysits his son, Patrick Jr., while his mother works and the Las Vegas Strip is like "a ghost town."
Patrick pointed out how nightlife workers can't pay their bills, and so he's been trying to deejay online since he can't deejay in the clubs.
Patrick met Patrick Jr.'s mom, Reneta, two years ago, but they eventually split and decided to be co-parents and build a relationship as friends.
Patrick's five-year-old daughter lives with her mother in Kentucky, and Patrick said he sees his other child four or five times a year.
"I was supposed to see her over spring break, but because of the pandemic, she was unable to come out here," Patrick said. "Even though I'm quarantined here in Las Vegas, it's still a blessing because I get to see my son every single day."
Patrick then FaceTimed with Myriam, a 25-year-old from Paris whom he starred on90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days' first season.
Patrick said he fell for Myriam five years ago and had traveled to Paris to take their relationship to the next level, but once he arrived in Paris, he discovered she was in a relationship with another man.
"It kind of slowed down my process of pursuing anything with her because of that," Patrick noted. "It's been two years since I've talked to Myriam and reached out to her."
But because of the quarantine and pandemic, Patrick decided to reach out to Myriam and check in with her. He last saw her three years ago when she came to Kentucky.
Myriam revealed she's currently single, and Patrick admitted that opened up "a whole variety of ideas" in his head.
"Now that Myriam is single, we might have some Zoom dates alone, and I'm excited for that," Patrick told the cameras.
Myriam lives with her mother, father, and older brother. Myriam loved how her mother cooked for her every day, and she said being at home is great.
Myriam said she edits video for a job but typically works at festivals and so she hasn't had any work to do. Myriam has quarantined herself at all times unless she needs to go to the grocery store.
"Here in France, if you want to go out, you need to complete an attestation," Myriam explained of a paper on which she must write her name, surname, address and her reason for going out.
"If you don't have this paper and the police see you, you have to pay like 150 euro."