Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Centenarians prove beating coronavirus possible

These survivors show that even for the very elderly, COVID-19 is no guaranteed death sentence

Alyssa McMurtry   | 10.04.2020
Centenarians prove beating coronavirus possible A view from empty Plaza de Colon and its surroundings during the state of emergency by the government against the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain on April 5, 2020. ( Burak Akbulut - Anadolu Agency )


While the vast majority of COVID-19 victims are senior citizens, there is an increasing number of centenarians proving that no matter the age, it is possible to recover from the virus.  

Dozens of people 100 years old and above have survived wars, economic depressions, political upheavals, dizzying social change and now coronavirus – the global pandemic that has taken over 95,000 lives so far.

“The first days she checked into the hospital we were really worried,” David Toribio told Anadolu Agency, speaking of his 100-year-old grandma Micaela, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in mid-March.

“But then when we got news from the hospital, we realized there was hope. Now, she’s home and she’s happy.”

Her family posted a video online showing her singing and receiving applause from her neighbors on her balcony in Barcelona when she arrived home on Tuesday. “I killed that little bug,” she said in the clip.

Hospitals across Spain have been applauding other centenarians on their way home after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Iran, Portugal, the U.S. and China are among other countries reporting centenarian COVID-19 survivors.

In Italy, a man born in 1919 who was hospitalized in the city of Rimini was also given the clear late last month.

“This gentleman was in quite good health and quickly became the hospital mascot,” Gloria Lisi, the city’s vice mayor, told local media. “In these times, it’s important to give some hope.”

A Dutch woman who celebrated her 107th birthday the day before falling ill with COVID-19 is believed to be the world’s oldest survivor. According to local media, she received a clean bill of health this week.

Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived for 122 years until 1997, is the oldest person ever whose age was independently verified. That means these coronavirus survivors still may have many more good years ahead of them.

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