Like most couples, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken Shawn Johnson East and Andrew East on quite the roller coaster ride -- but they're confident they'll emerge stronger than ever.
The obvious plus has been getting to spend lots of quality time with their daughter, Drew, who just turned 6 months old, and watching her grow up before their eyes.
"We've gotten to see her change and just we haven't missed a waking second, which is amazing," Johnson, 28, told "Good Morning America" about the bright spot of the lockdown.
That said, a negative for the Olympic gymnast -- who won a gold medal in 2008 -- has been having the normal jitters associated with being a new mom amplified by the pandemic.
"There's all these new worries and fears you have in general about taking care of your kid and making the right decisions and protecting them," she said in a Zoom interview. "For me, quarantine has been this massive anxiety and fear of how do I keep my baby, our baby, healthy? How do you go to the grocery store and not risk bringing it home?"
This has led to her husband, also 28, grappling with how to make her feel safe and confident by respectfully dealing with emotions he isn't experiencing at the same level.
"I think everyone within homes might have differing opinions," Johnson -- who has been married to East, a former football player, since 2016 -- added. "Everyone's trying to process how to go about all of it."
Aside from their relationship growing as a result of a substantial increase in the amount of time they spend at home together, East said they've been able to take a break from the "high-paced mentality" they normally have and are learning to embrace how "the pace is just slowed down."
"It was tough for us for the first couple of weeks," he said. "But it's been really fantastic to kind of just sit on the front porch and not have anything to talk about sometimes -- as opposed to stressing out and like, 'Oh, we got to make sure we got to do this,' and tackling the to-do list."
One way the Easts took some time to stay connected as husband and wife was by celebrating their recent four-year wedding anniversary. In lieu of a fancy dinner and hiring a babysitter, they leaned on some family who they're quarantining with and kept things super casual.
"So my mom and dad are actually quarantined with us," Johnson said. "So they watched our daughter inside the house and then we went and sat in our backyard in lawn chairs and we ate tacos and drank margaritas in onesies."
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Fans of the Easts are used to getting an inside look of their daily lives via social media and, for the past few years, they've even gotten to know them better thanks to their YouTube channel.
"It's kind of like one big experience experiment," East noted. "And so we're doing our best to just roll with the punches and learn as we go. But it is so wonderful and fulfilling to be able to share these moments with other families and, whether it's heartbreaking or it's awesome, there's like this kind of group empathy that results and that's been a really cool effect of everything."
The Easts are now hosting their own version of "The Newlywed Game" on their YouTube channel where they gather four celebrity couples and have them see how well they know their partners. The winning twosome gets to donate all the revenue made from the video in which they were featured -- plus $1,000 from the Easts themselves -- to the charity of their choosing.
Johnson said they felt it would be fun to bring a relatability factor to these couples -- "especially in a time when we all feel so isolated," she pointed out -- that would get people laughing and smiling. This, she said, helps us remember we're all human beings, no matter your star power.
"I feel like we can just put celebrity couples on such a pedestal that it makes them feel untouchable and just perfect," Johnson explained. "And I feel like when we interact with them doing this game, you just watch and you're like, 'Oh, they're just like us. Like, they make fun of each other and they don't know these answers.' It's just a lot of fun to watch and just see them kind of be brought back down to earth from this big platform they've been put on."
Their first episode brought together country music lovebirds and their latest gathered some of everyone's favorite "Bachelor" duos. Future episodes will include pairs of athletes, influencers and even actors. Dream guests for the Easts include Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi and John Legend and Chrissy Teigen as well as everyone from the Biebers to the Obamas.
East said they were drawn to doing the game show because he and Shawn love to compete and see the dynamic of other couples competing. Beyond that, though, he said there was already a desire for them -- even before COVID-19 -- to use their YouTube channel philanthropically. They view seeing people come together as a response to the pandemic as a "silver lining."
"It's been a cool side effect that," East concluded, "in the absence of people having community, how much more of a priority it's been of people giving back using whatever platform they have -- whether they're just a local worker or, you know, digital creators or celebrities."